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Shin Buddhism, authority, and the fundamental law of education

Dessi, Ugo 2009. Shin Buddhism, authority, and the fundamental law of education. Numen 56 (5) , pp. 523-544. 10.1163/002959709X12469430260048

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This article takes its cue from one of the most controversial issues in the contemporary Japanese scene, the 2006 complete revision of the Fundamental Law of Education, that includes among its objectives the cultivation of patriotism, the high evaluation of Japanese tradition and culture, and the promotion of general knowledge regarding religion in public schools. Within this framework, the role of religion in education indeed represents a sensitive subject, which entails once again reinterpretation of the issues of the separation of state and religion, and the freedom of religion, which are enshrined in the Japanese Constitution. There have been reactions to this revision from various religious institutions, ranging from support to overt opposition. What is argued here is that these responses are meaningful to understanding some of the major dynamics currently at work within the Japanese religious world, and their implications for the issue of religion and authority. In this respect, the Shin Buddhist position may be seen as a way of contesting the claims of authority by political institutions, and affirming an alternative authoritative discourse on the basis of selected doctrinal sources, and a positive approach toward globalization and the differentiation of religion, politics and education.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BQ Buddhism
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
ISSN: 0029-5973
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2021 02:31

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