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Religion and Social Crisis in Japan : Understanding Japanese Society Through the Aum Affair - Robert Kisala

Religion and Social Crisis in Japan

Understanding Japanese Society Through the Aum Affair

By: Robert Kisala (Editor), Mark R. Mullins (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 14th May 2001
ISBN: 9780333772690
Number Of Pages: 227
For Ages: 9+ years old

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At the time Aum Shinrikyo emerged, most Japanese assumed that they lived in one of the most well-ordered of societies, a model that had much to offer the chaotic Western world. This assumption was shaken on March 20, 1995 when the deadly nerve gas sarin was released on the Tokyo subway system. Since that incident, the "Aum Affai" has had widespread repercussions and shaken the Japanese psyche in a serious way. This volume provides a window onto contemporary Japanese society by considering the various reactions and responses to this crisis precipitated by this deviant religious movement.

'This is an important book that tells us a great deal about Japanese society through its varied responses to Aum. It is essential reading for all religious studies scholars and anyone interested in understanding more about the background and consequences of a small group which performed a horrendous act that was to affect not only Japan but the entire world.' - Eileen Barker, London School of Economics and Political Science

'In looking at how the Aum affair has been treated in Japan - through assessments of the police investigations of Aum, religious, media and legal responses to it and the ways in which Aum members themselves came to view the actions of their leaders - Kisala and Mullins provide a detailed assessment of Japanese society's reaction to Aum Shinrikyo. In so doing they not only add considerably to studies of the affair (which have so far focused largely on the events relating to Aum's crimes and its attack on the Tokyo subway) but also shed valuable light on Japanese society and social processes when faced with the sort of religious-provoked crisis that Aum evoked. This book is essential reading for all who wish to understand Aum, the politics and dynamics of new religious movements, and modern Japanese society.' - Ian Reader, Lancaster University

'This book provides a window for English readers to view the social crisis in Japan precipitated by the 'AMU affair'. In addition to illuminating the various Japanese reactions to AMU Shinrikyo, the articles prompt questions about the 'brainwashing' issue, whether religion scholars should be in the business of warning the public about dangerous groups, what constitutes religion, the media's relations to new religious movement, whether illegal tactics by law enforcement agents should be condoned when used against members of criminal religious groups, the proper relationship between the state and religion, and the healthiness of an ascetic, introversionist, world-denying outlook. This is an important collection of essays.' - Catherine Wessinger, Loyola University

'...an interesting and excellent work on the subject.' - Choice

'...readers will gain important insights into how the Aum affair has become a cultural event...' - Gary L. Ebersole, Journal of Religion

'...a very interesting collection of articles...' - Rodney Stark, University of Washington, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies

Notes on the Contributors
The Evolution of Aum Shinrikyo as a Religious Movement
The Reaction of the Police and Security Authorities to Aum Shinrikyo
The Legal and Political Fallout of the 'Aum Affair'
Opposition to Aum and the Rose of the 'Anti-Cult' Movement in Japan
Religious Responses to the 'Aum Affair'
Aum and the Media: Lost in the Cosmos and the Need to Know
Back to Invented Tradition: A Nativist Response to a National Crisis
When Prophecy Fails: The Response of Aum Members to the Crisis
General Bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780333772690
ISBN-10: 0333772695
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 9+ years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 227
Published: 14th May 2001
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 14.61  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 1