How to Start a Religion: Introduction to the New Religions of Japan

Code: IPT5/711

Dates: July 10, 2023 - July 14, 2023

Time: 2:00 pm for 3 Hours

Starting a new religion is no easy task, but Japan has seen the rise of hundreds over the last two centuries. Several claim millions of members. How do they start? Who joins them? What do they teach about living a good life? How do they draw on older religious traditions, and what new mythologies and practices do they teach? How do they navigate the challenges of contemporary law, mass media, reputation, and succession? How do they approach gender, conversion, secrecy, charisma, scandal, modernity, and material culture?

In this course, we will learn a conceptual toolkit that can be applied to the study of any new religion. Our case studies will include Japanese new religions that have a presence in Vancouver.

Available in-person & online.


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