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Religion and Social Crisis in Japan

Understanding Japanese Society Through the Aum Affair

Editors: Mullins, Mark R., Kisala, Robert (Eds.)

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Softcover $149.99
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About this book

At the time Aum Shinrikyõ emerged, most Japanese assumed that they lived in one of the most well-ordered and safest societies, a model that had much to offer the chaotic Western world. This assumption was shaken on 20 March 1995 when the deadly nerve gas sarin was released on the Tokyo subway system. Since that incident, the 'Aum affair' has had widespread repercussions and shaken the Japanese psyche in a serious way. This volume provides a window onto contemporary Japanese society by considering the various reactions and responses to this crisis precipitated by this deviant religious movement.

About the authors

RICHARD A. GARDNER Associate Professor of Religion, Faculty of Comparative Culture, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan CHRISTOPHER W. HUGHES Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, University of Warwick, England MAEKAWA MICHIKO Department of Religious Studies, University of Tokyo and Researcher, Religious Information Centre, Tokyo, Japan MATSUDO YUKIO Lecturer, Institute of Ethnology, University of Heidelberg, Germany SHIMAZONO SUSUMU Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Tokyo, Japan WATANABE MANABU Professor and Permanent Fellow, Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan

Reviews

'This is an important book that tells us a great deal about Japanese society through its varied responses to Aum. It is essential reading for all religious studies scholars and anyone interested in understanding more about the background and consequences of a small group which performed a horrendous act that was to affect not only Japan but the entire world.' - Eileen Barker, London School of Economics and Political Science

'In looking at how the Aum affair has been treated in Japan - through assessments of the police investigations of Aum, religious, media and legal responses to it and the ways in which Aum members themselves came to view the actions of their leaders - Kisala and Mullins provide a detailed assessment of Japanese society's reaction to Aum Shinrikyõ. In so doing they not only add considerably to studies of the affair (which have so far focused largely on the events relating to Aum's crimes and its attack on the Tokyo subway) but also shed valuable light on Japanese society and social processes when faced with the sort of religious-provoked crisis that Aum evoked. This book is essential reading for all who wish to understand Aum, the politics and dynamics of new religious movements, and modern Japanese society.' - Ian Reader, Lancaster University

'This book provides a window for English readers to view the social crisis in Japan precipitated by the 'AMU affair'. In addition to illuminating the various Japanese reactions to AMU Shinrikyõ, the articles prompt questions about the 'brainwashing' issue, whether religion scholars should be in the business of warning the public about dangerous groups, what constitutes religion, the media's relations to new religious movement, whether illegal tactics by law enforcement agents should be condoned when used against members of criminal religious groups, the proper relationship between the state and religion, and the healthiness of an ascetic, introversionist, world-denying outlook. This is an important collection of essays.' - Catherine Wessinger, Loyola University

'...an interesting and excellent work on the subject.' - Choice

'...readers will gain important insights into how the Aum affair has become a cultural event...' - Gary L. Ebersole, Journal of Religion

'...a very interesting collection of articles...' - Rodney Stark, University of Washington, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies


Buy this book

Hardcover $169.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-333-77269-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $149.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-65533-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Online orders shipping within 2-3 days.

Services for this book

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Religion and Social Crisis in Japan
Book Subtitle
Understanding Japanese Society Through the Aum Affair
Editors
  • Mark R. Mullins
  • Robert Kisala
Copyright
2001
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-333-77269-0
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-65533-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 227
Topics