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The Study Of Christianity Within The Field Of Religious Studies In Japan

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Chapter Summary

Long after the establishment of the Japanese Association for Religious Studies in 1930, the Nihon Kirisutokyo Gakkai (Japanese Society of Christian Studies (JARS)) was founded, in 1952. The first place where the study of Christianity was formally admitted in any of the Imperial Universities in Japan was at Kyoto Imperial University, with the creation of a chair in 'Kirisutokyogaku'. The official purpose of this chair was to open Christian studies academically to the public, regardless of whether researchers were of the Christian faith or not, and indeed regardless of any religious allegiance of the researchers concerned. Christian churches in Japan have regarded 'Religious Studies' as having a peculiarly Christian understanding connected to 'Liberal Christianity', and so have either denied it or viewed it with a sense of relativism at best.

Keywords: Japanese Association for Religious Studies (JARS); Kirisutokyogaku; Kyoto Imperial University; Liberal Christianity; religious studies



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