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Religion And Health In Japan: Past Research, New Findings, And Future Directions

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Chapter Summary

Research on intersections between religion and health has developed tremendously in recent decades. Scholars have introduced new measures and more sophisticated methods of analysis. One gap in the literature that remains significant, however, is the study of these associations outside of predominantly Christian influenced cultures. This chapter provides an overview of the few studies that have been conducted on this topic in Japan and introduces new findings concerning associations between religion and physical health. As similar studies in other societies have revealed, there are both positive and negative associations. These latter effects, in particular, indicate important cultural distinctions concerning how religion and health intersect in Japan versus the United States, for instance. The chapter compares several important studies of this topic within the Japanese context. Finally it addresses some of the weaknesses in this field of research thus far.

Keywords: Christian influenced cultures; Japan; new findings; physical health; religion; United States



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