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Japanese Buddhists and Religious Freedom
Apr
23
4:30 PM16:30

Japanese Buddhists and Religious Freedom

A widespread historical narrative suggests that Buddhists failed to defend religious freedom in prewar and wartime Japan. But religious freedom was not a universal principle that Buddhists failed to understand or protect. Rather, Japan’s 1889 constitutional guarantee of religious freedom enrolled Buddhists in the project of defining “real religion” in order to free it.

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Contemporary Legacies of Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan (Indiana University)
Apr
11
3:00 PM15:00

Contemporary Legacies of Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan (Indiana University)

When Americans occupied Japan at the end of WWII, they claimed that Japanese religion was a political problem and declared religious freedom a solution. But in doing so, the occupiers ignored a long history of debate about religious freedom in Japan. Their narrative also masked competing interpretations among Americans themselves about was religion was and how it could be freed. This talk traces the lasting consequences of those debates, both for Japan and the world. 

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