This event launches two books from the new Bloomsbury Shinto series (Series Editor: Fabio Rambelli, University of California, Santa Barbara): A Social History of the Ise Shrines: Divine Capital by Mark Teeuwen and John Breen, and Shinto, Nature and Ideology in Contemporary Japan: Making Sacred Forests by Aike Rots.
Mark Teeuwen will introduce the idea behind A Social History of the Ise Shrines and address the topic of “The ever-changing Ise Shrines: Studying Ise’s history through the lens of its agents.” John Breen will focus especially on the radical modern transformation of the Ise shrines in his talk, “The pleasures of pilgrimage in 19th century Japan.” In his presentation, “Ancient Sustainability? Ise Shrine, the Shikinen Sengū, and the Shinto Environmentalist Paradigm,” Aike Rots takes a critical look at the new Shinto discourse on nature and the environment, as it came to the fore at the start of the 21st century.
About the contributors
Mark Teeuwen is Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Oslo. He has published widely on the history of Japanese religion, with a focus on Shinto. Recent publications by his hand include A Social History of the Ise Shrines (2017) and A New History of Shinto (2010), both co-authored with John Breen, and Formations of the Secular in Japan (Japan Review 30, special issue 2017), co-edited with Aike P. Rots. His main current book project investigates the social history of the Gion festival.
John Breen is professor at Nichibunken in Kyoto, Japan, where he edits the journal Japan Review. He previously taught at SOAS, University of London. John has written widely in English and in Japanese on the imperial institution and on aspects of Shinto. He is co-author (with Mark Teeuwen) of A Social History of the Ise Shrines: Divine capital, Bloomsbury, 2017 and of A new History of Shinto, Blackwell, 2011. He has also edited collections of essays on the Ise shrines and the Yasukuni shrine. His present topic concerns Emperor Meiji.
Aike P. Rots is an associate professor in contemporary Japan studies at the University of Oslo. He holds a PhD from the University of Oslo, an MA degree from SOAS, University of London, and BA degrees from Leiden University. He is the author of Shinto, Nature and Ideology in Contemporary Japan: Making Sacred Forests (Bloomsbury 2017) and the co-editor (with Mark Teeuwen) of Formations of the Secular in Japan (special issue of Japan Review, no. 30, 2017). He has written articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, including modern Shinto, sacred space, religion and politics in Vietnam, and Japanese Christianity.
The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
Daiwa Foundation Japan House
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