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Lecture 17

RELS 131 Lecture 17: Shintoism (9.1)

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Religious Studies
RELS 131
Aditi Sen- Chowdhury

March 14, 2017 Shintoism 9.1 (lecture 17)  Hindus cannot be victims in India since they are the majority Shintoism  Complex idea: cluster of folk beliefs and practices  Habit, something that is there  animism o Belief that every object has a spirit, spirit precedes over objects o Kami: fundamental to Japanese culture, did not have success with monotheism – devotion to shrines Some Basics  Some say it is not a religion (by Western definition) o Not religious but spiritual  real religion, views are found differently  Shinto has no founder, no God  Way of the Spirits Defining Kami  They are not always good, do not have moral ambiguity though o Guardians of specific objects, different energy level (Buddhism too) o Worship of these spirits What do Kami’s do  Some are more powerful than others  Guardians – hierarchy: also have small functions  Way to understand the way the world works  Preside over villages and local areas Shrines  Where the Kami’s live, sacred space o Making sacred space naturally, pass a shrine, stop, and go  Help understand what Shinto is: essential and existential  Domestic, village, city, or state shrine – different levels Types of Shrines (Sokyo Ono)  Domestic shrine: Shinto home alter – rituals bring identity, culture, wo we are in society – routine and ritual, Japanese lifestyle o Everyday spent in a shrine – mind needs a routine o Idea of continuity  Shinto: tangible, includes Kami worship  Sectarian: Shinto worship is a national idea, went with Shinto shrine to dis
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