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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Spring 2006

ANT 391 • Religion & Ritua in Japan

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29345 M
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
BUR 228

Course Description

How do different practices and beliefs come together to form a total religious person in Japan? Under what circumstances do Japanese people participate in Shinto, Buddhist, and other religious practices? How are Japanese religious behaviors and beliefs expressed, experienced, and contested in Japanese society? These are some of the questions we will consider in this seminar as we explore the meanings and practices associated with religious and ritual practice in Japan and how the study of these aspects of Japanese culture can help us in interpreting and understanding Japanese society more generally. We will focus on the role ritual plays in the daily life of Japanese, and the significance of institutional and lay religious organizations in Japanese society. The course places emphasis on ethnographic writings related to religion in Japan although we will also look at indigenous philosophical perspectives on Japanese religions.


Traphagan, John W. 2004. The Practice of Concern: Ritual, Well-Being, and Aging in Rural Japan. Carolina Academic Press. Hardacre, Helen. Shinto and State, 1868-1988. William R. LaFleur. 1994. Liquid Life. Schattschneider, Ellen. 2003. Immortal Wishes: Labor and Transcendence on a Japanese Sacred Mountain. Kawano, Satsuki. 2005. Ritual Practice In Modern Japan: Ordering Place, People, And Action Clarke, Peter. 2000. Japanese New Religions in Global Perspective. Durkheim, Emile, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. Turner, Victor. The Ritual Process Douglas, Mary, Purity and Danger


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