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Strategies In Representing 'Japanese Religion' During The National Socialist Period: The Cases Of Kitayama Junyû And Wilhelm Gundert

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Chapter Summary

Just at the time when the scholarly treatment of the history of religions in Germany could gain its argumentative validity, and became the religious, particularly religio-political conceptual apparatus in the given religious constellations in the Third Reich, the academic occupation with the supposedly indigenous religiosity in Japan was also instrumentalized in the German academe in order to in reverse support and legitimize the authenticity of the Germanic religiosity, and in most cases in order to discredit the hegemonic status of traditional Christianity. This chapter examines, among others, two scholars who were actively engaged in propagating a singular Japanese religion in the German academic context: Kitayama Junyû and Wilhelm Gundert. The beginning of Kitayama's academic career in Germany incidentally corresponded with the outset of the National Socialist regime.

Keywords: Germanic religiosity; Japanese religion; Kitayama Junyû; national socialism; Third Reich; Wilhelm Gundert



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