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A “Greek God” in a Japanese New Religion: On Hermes in Kōfuku-no-Kagaku

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Abstract The article deals with the presence of the “Greek god” Hermes in the Japanese new religious movement Kōfuku-no-Kagaku, which was founded in 1986. The various references are interpreted in light of the history and development of the movement and with regard to its setting in present-day Japanese religious culture. In addition to the importance of several aspects of the reception of the Euro-American New Age tradition and the prophecies of Nostradamus, the fact that the figure of Hermes is presented as the hero of several manga and anime productions of Kōfuku-no-Kagaku is also taken into consideration. This leads to the theoretical question of the importance of the new media of representation of religious content and the effect this approach has on the development of the various groups.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Religious Studies University of Vienna Schenkenstraße 8-10, A-1010 Vienna


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