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Nationalism And Religion: The Case Of Japanese Nationalism And State Shinto

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is based on the latter's approach at the outset, in that it is primarily concerned with whether the "secular functional equivalent" thesis is useful or not in investigating the relationship between nationalism and religion. It discusses that if nationalism is secularised religion, different types of religion should produce different types of nationalism because there are so many different manifestations of what we call "religion". The chapter argues that because state Shintō is very similar to Western religions, the original hypothesis is impossible to test in the Japanese case. It concludes with a brief discussion of the implication of the Japanese experiences with civil religion and globalisation and provides an outline of further enquiry needed to deepen our understanding of the issue. With regard to Japanese nationalism in particular, Sandra Wilson notes that references to the Japanese case are almost non-existent in contemporary theoretical discussions of nationalism.

Keywords: civil religion; globalisation; Japanese nationalism; state Shintō



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