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Studies Of Religion In Japan And The Philosophy Of Religion

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Chapter Summary

The reality that the philosophy of religion has highlighted as a reference point in the examination of religions has been termed by Wilfred Cantwell Smith 'faith', which he contrasts with 'belief '. According to him, 'faith' is a 'quality of human life' and a 'human potentiality'; therefore, it cannot be limited to subjective decisions or acts of individual commitment. Smith argues that, formerly, Religious Studies attempted to apprehend religion by focusing on the objective pole, but that it is necessary to focus on faith, which is the invisible subjective pole. Buddhism and Christianity are the two religious traditions in Japan that have been taken up as a subject of academic research in philosophy of religion. Manshi Kiyozawa is a prominent figure who represents the role that the philosophy of religion as an academic discipline has played in the study of religion in Japan.

Keywords: Christianity; human life; Japan; Manshi Kiyozawa; religious studies; Wilfred Cantwell Smith



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