Religion in Modern Asia Newsletter

Establishment of JASRS


The Japanese Association for the Study of Religion and Society (JASRS) was established in June, 1993, following one year's preparation by its organizing committee. As its name suggests, the Association will be dedicated to the intensive study of a wide spectrum of issues in religion and society.

The Association's first annual conference was held at Meiji University (Tokyo) on June 26-27. Mitsugi KOMOTO, professor at Meiji University, was selected as the first Association president, and thirteen others were selected as members of the Association's standing committee. President KOMOTO and the standing committee are expected to plan an annual convention, local sessions, and other projects in the coming two years. By the end of June, the number of registered members had reached over two-hundred, including several non-Japanese members.

Individual research presentations and discussions were held following the general session on the first day of the convention. Four presentations were given on the topics of "Principles of the Explanation of Misfortune in Divination"; "The Idea of God and Its Transformation in a Japanese New Religion"; "A Consideration of Religion from the Perspective of Social Discrimination"; and "Expansion of Protestant Churches Among Indio Villagers, and Urban Changes Resulting from the Immigration of Indio Population."

On the second day of the convention, a symposium was held on the theme of "Perspectives on 'Fundamentalism.'" Discussion centered on cases of fundamentalist and quasi-fundamentalist movements and sects in the U.S.A., India, and other regions, and several explanatory hypotheses were offered. Over six hours were required to complete the discussions.

The Association hopes to promote discussions on a wide range of topics having to do with religion and society. Although many of the Association members do their primary work in such fields as the sociology of religion, anthropology, folklore and history, members from other fields of study are also welcome. The chief purpose of the Association is to deepen discussion among students of religion and society from different academic fields, and to exchange the latest information. It also aims to promote academic exchange with scholarly associations and groups overseas. Tentative plans include the holding of international symposiums and conventions, and other international academic projects will be introduced as the association develops.

Membership in the association requires introduction by two current members. Members of this Newsletter can be introduced by myself and others of my acquaintance. Annual membership dues are U.S. $40 ('?5,000). Members can attend annual conventions, present research reports, and receive the Association's quarterly publication (currently in Japanese only).

The Association can also be used as a networking source; an overseas' member who wishes to come to Japan to exchange opinions with Japanese members will be given the opportunity of local meetings for that purpose.

As an editor of this Newsletter as well as an editor of the Association's publication, I will continue to inform readers here of upcoming news in relation to the JASRS.

-- Jul 1, 1993, Nobutaka INOUE

Last updated: 2001/11/28 14:33:44

Copyright © 2001 Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University. All Rights Reserved.