Sunday, 12 September 2010

Japan, the Jews, and divine election: Nakada Juji's Christian nationalism

Last summer, I had an article published in the 54th edition of the Newsletter (International Institute of Asian Studies, 2010). The article discusses the religious and political thought of the Japanese Christian leader Nakada Jūji (1870-1939). It is based on the research I did for my MA thesis in 2008, and on two papers presented at academic conferences in 2009, the main conclusions of which it summarises. The introduction is as follows:
In late 19th and early 20th century Japan, several popular religious movements and ideologies emerged combining nationalist notions on the divine nature of the Japanese people and country with millenarian beliefs in the imminent replacement of the current world order by a perfect new world. ‘New religions’ such as Omoto and Soka Gakkai drew on existing Shinto and Buddhist notions, reinterpreting them in the context of modern Japanese society. Other movements and religious leaders at the time used millenarian and nationalist notions in their attempts to reconcile an imported Christian belief system with their Japanese identity. Aike Rots examines one of these leaders, the evangelist, theologian and missionary Nakada Juji (1870-1939).
For the full article, click here (pdf).

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