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From Salvation to Spirituality
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Susumu Shimazono, one of Japan's foremost sociologists of religion, deals with the development of popular religious and spiritual movements in Japan in the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. At present, it is estimated that more than ten percent of Japan's total population are members of the so-called New Religions. While Buddhist and Shintoist influences remain pronounced, there are many other features common to modern Japan's popular religious thinking. Through a careful study of these features, the author examines classical concepts and theories of religious studies, proposes alternative approaches, and reconsiders religion in modernity in the context of Japanese cultural heritage.
SHIMAZONO Susumu is a leading Japanese scholar in the field of the sociology of religion. He is Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tokyo. His research interests include social and cultural phenomena based on religion. He successfully passed the entrance exam of the Department of Science III, University of Tokyo, the most prestigious medical school in Japan, but chose not to attend it. Instead, he went on to graduate from the Faculty of Literature, Department of Religion and History, University of Tokyo, in 1972.
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