Faculty of Arts


Special Topic: Religion in Modern Japanese Society


The aim of this course is to understand the role of religious beliefs, practices and institutions in modern Japanese society.

The first part of the course will review sociological and historical approaches to the study of religion and consider the "layers" of tradition. The second part of the course will examine religion during Japan’s century of modernisation and the third part will focus on several key issues that have been the topic of critical public debate in recent decades, focusing on religion and violence, neonationalism, and religious responses to disaster.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course, you should:

  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge of key terms and sociological perspectives used in the study of Japanese religions
  • Have acquired a broad knowledge of the key characteristics and distinctive features of representative religious traditions in modern Japanese society
  • Be able to provide an extended analysis of the significance of organised religions in relation to contemporary religion-state issues.


Coursework only

Availability 2021

Semester 1


Lecturer(s) Professor Mark R. Mullins


Readings will be available through CANVAS/Talis via Modules. The assigned readings each week should be understood as the bare minimum required for the successful completion of this course. Additional research and reading will be required to demonstrate thorough grasp of the subject matter and issues addressed in this course.


JAPANESE 292: 15.0 points


45 points in BA courses, including either JAPANESE 150 or ASIAN 100



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