Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Sea Of Esotericism Is Of One Flavor But Has Deep And Shallow Aspects: “Tantra” And New Age Movements (From Agonshū To Asahara Shōkō)

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

In their ordinary usage in Japanese, concepts of "religion", "esoteric", and "new" share a common characteristic: ambivalence. The concept of "new" is also ambivalent, especially in the context of a reflection on religion, when it implies that the Japanese became conscious of something of which they were not aware in the past. This chapter briefly introduces the "dark" side of esoteric traditions in Japan, and then shows that these esoteric traditions have created a favorable terrain for the emergence of new religious traditions in the twentieth century. It also introduces some of the so-called new religions that claim a direct influence from esotericism or tantra, showing that mikkyō maintains its role of relating the center and the periphery, orthodoxy and heterodoxy. Contemporary esotericism is a set of institutions claiming to possess the orthodox version of mikkyō, and these institutions are officially recognized by the Japanese government as legal religious associations.

Keywords: esoteric traditions; Japan; mikkyō; tantra



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation