June 1 and 8: Women and Religion in Contemporary Japan course, Guest Lecture Series

Date: Wednesday, June 1 and 8, 2022
Time: 13:30-15:00 JST
Venue: Room44, Main building, School of Human Sciences, Osaka University
Guest speakers:
[June 1] Dr Bixia Chen, Subtropical Science Field Center, Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus
[June 8] Dr Dana Mirsalis, Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

★Lectures will be held online. Participants can join in person or via Zoom.
To register: https://forms.gle/efgH55kRkg2mKdUq7

Summary:
The Women and Religion in Contemporary Japan course offered by the School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, focuses on women’s experience of religion and spirituality within and outside religious institutions in Japan. However, the study is not approached as a distinctive phenomenon: the goal is to explore what women do with religion and spirituality by paying particular attention to how their roles and actions mirror, deviate, complement, contest or overlap with roles that women play—or are expected to play—in society, and the other way round. Through a combination of coursework, research and guest lecturers, the Women and Religion in Contemporary Japan course emphasises how intersecting the study of gender, religion and spirituality with their socio-cultural, political and economic contexts opens the door to a wealth of new knowledge we can continue to build. On such premises, we welcome two guest lecturers to address such an often tangled exploration. Dr Bixia Chen of the University of the Ryukyus focuses on the cultural implications of sacred sites in Okinawa by interrelating the study of their natural vegetation with women’s rituals, shading light on the lives of such women ritual performers. Dr Dana Mirsalis of Harvard University examines two narratives about the gendered Shinto priesthood in postwar Japan by looking at how they adapt, reinterpret, or ignore Jinja Honchō’s directives in order to carve out space for themselves. These lecturers will serve to engage in meaningful conversations and stimulate further investigation of women’s experience of religion and spirituality in Japan in the future.

For further details, please see the flyer.

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