Entanglements of Religion and Science

Ed. by Kim Seung Chul, T. J. Hastings, Awazu Kenta, Nagaoka Takashi, Hioki Naoko, Nagasawa Shiho, and Murayama Yumi.

 (Nanzan Institute for Religion & Culture, 2015) xii+660 pages.

[in Japanese only] The knowledge of modern science was brought to Japan in the latter half of the nineteenth century under the banner of “cultural enlightenment.” During the Tokugawa period some intellectuals had already been open to sciencific knowledge, but from the Meiji period on it was welcomed with open arms and its influence spread far and wide. The effect was a great change in Japan’s understanding of the world. It also meant that the religions were brought face to face with the new world that science had opened up, and they struggled for a response to it.
 The present volume is an attempt to think through the restructuring of religious identity through this encounter with science with a focus on the relationship to the natural sciences. To this end 52 excerpts from 26 writers were selected and arranged in 7 sections dealing with different aspects of the complex entanglements of religion and science. Each section is fitted out with an overview, and annotations to clarify the text have been provided as footnotes. The original text of entries that have been rendered into more modern Japanese are included as a final supplement.
 The intellectual effort that we see in Japanese thinkers in their attempt to untangle the relationships between religion and science are evident throughout the volume. Statements made against a variety of backgrounds–Buddhism, Christianity, new religious movements, philosophy, psychology, etc.—brings to the fore the ambiguities of science with its dual capacity for creativity and for destructiveness.

The Table of Contents and Introduction are available for downloading.

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