RELIGIOUS STUDIES 101B Lecture Notes March 26
Korea saw a process of Confucianism. What are some of the
developments we examined in class?
THE FINAL EXAM IS ON APRIL 11
Professor O, from korean. u of seoul.
buddhism and christianity biggest in korea
Both Buddhist and Shinto organizations calim that about 95% of
the Japanese population are members
Yet, when asked (by researchers, for example) about their
religion, most will claim they are not religious.
Shinto and Buddhist organizations, if you look at their
memberships, have about 95% of the population. some reject these
cause a lot of it is based on birth records.
SEVEN FIVE THREE
november 15th, anual ritual
based on folk beliefs that these ages are unlucky. seven and
three unlucky for girls, five for boys.
traditionally people take them to the shrine on this age and ask
the KAMI to keep them from becoming sick or getting in any
accidents etc. now its a big to do, everyone wears their komono, take pics.
textbook says it is an issue of translation
- the word for religion is SHUKYO which means strict adherence
to a group that requires "monogamous" adherance.
- this would exclude all the activities that jump around,
especially between shinto and buddhism, the kinds of activities
that strict adherents forbid.
- so in japanese context, shukyo usually means christian,
islamic, new religions, etc.
there is also a historical context to the word SHUKYO
- "shukyo" was created by the MEIJI.
- MEIJI restoration in 1866, trying to modify japan to make it
like europe to avoid colonisation.
- tehy develop a separation of church and state.
- STATE SHINTO WAS DEFINIED AS CIVIC DUTY. everything else that
was a religion including buddhism was classified as a religion
and they were allowed to exist as long as they didn't challenge
the govt. so the organizations that stayed in existence after
meiji restoration towed the line.
- after WWII americans redefined state shinto as a religion, and
allowed all religions even if they were critical of the govt.
- people were no longer REQUIRED to participate in state shinto.
- these two elements have a big impact on how modern japanese
think of SHUKYO. association in their minds between religious
groups and state / govt bolstering.
- so there is a suspicious negative connotation that goes along
with the term so people avoid saying their religious cause they
don't want to be associated with the term. - people think religions are trying to influence or act on
behalf of the govt so people don't like the religious
institutions per se
- it makes sense then why they see ancestor worship as not
religious cause it has no connection with the govt.
to japanese, religion is tied into government
majority of practices are to bring about worldly benefits:
GENZE RIYAKU: "THIS-WORLDLY BENEFITS"
- this gets written off as superstition or folk religion etc by
lots of western sculptors who have a notion that real or
authentic religions has to have an altruistic other-worldly
- this is in fact the most common form of practice
- blessing of cars, blessing of electronics, funerals, memorial