REL 3456: Japanese Philosophy and Religion
Course Description for Japanese Philosophy and Religion
Japanese Philosophy and Religion
Description: This course will explore Shinto, the indigenous world-view and practices of Japan; Japanese Buddhism, including Zen, Pure Land, and Nichiren; bushido, or the samurai spirit; distinctive contributions of Japanese thinkers to neo-Confucianism; and Japanese aesthetics. As we do so, we will explore the differences between orientalism and responsible approaches to non-western cultures and philosophies. We will also discuss Japanese responses to the Buddhist problem of original enlightenment, think through the role of ritualized activities in Japanese culture, and learn what the hierarchical nature of Japanese language can tell us about life in Japan.