essay draft1.docx - Ancestor worship Drawing on things equally on the past as they are responding to new things the primal religion of japan has many

essay draft1.docx - Ancestor worship Drawing on things...

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Ancestor worship Drawing on things equally on the past as they are responding to new things “the primal religion of japan has many other features which are conversely life-afferming. It includes assumptiosn about sacred space and about the calendrical sequences of life. It provides a matrix of well-worn patterns, incudign the acceptance of religious authority where relevant. This primal religion is admittedly, hardly recognized as ‘relgion’ by Japanese people themselves. Remember, however, that the vast majority of Japanese people are not themselves specialists in the study of religion. They just do it. The first step in designing a new religion, is to gain an understanding of the religious climate for which we will be working in. In this case, we are designing a new religion in Japan, which has a significantly different conception of religion compared to the western world. In medieval japan, there is existed no concept of relgion as general phenomenon. People spoke of have faith in local deities called “kami”, but there was never any word which assigned a certain identity to part of life which was “religious” (Hardacre, 18). Hardacre suggests that religious themes were integrated into popular beliefs and social life, however, they were not a demarcated as “religious”. In present day Japan, ‘religion’ is typically reserved for institutions or organizations demanding a personal involvement or commitment based on faith (Pye 265). This is why a popular survey found that many people when asked if they are religious, answer no, yet identify as being Shinto or Buddhist. For this reason, it may be the case that many people are spiritually Shinto or Buddhist, but do not necessarily practice their faith at temples. Many of them may have Shinto or Buddhist values instilled in them, yet not necessarily associate themselves with a specific temple. It’s important to create a religion that captures the Japanese religious spirit, otherwise it is susceptible to cultural resistance. According to Hardacre, when western notions of religion were being introduced into Japan after the Meiji restoration, there was a series of cultural resistance. There was much in Japanese cultic life that was fundamentally at odds with Western notions of religion. “While western ideas of religion grew out of centuries of western religious life and experience, those ideas and jurisprudence based upon them could not be easily assimilated by a nation like Japan, with its vastly different religious heritage”. (Hardarcre, 18)
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