Okuyama Michiaki

Senior Research Fellow, Nanzan Institute for Religion & Culture

Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Nanzan University

Dr. Okuyama specialized in religious studies and the history of religions at the University of Tokyo. During his studies, he spent two years at the Nanzan Institute as a Junior Research Fellow. After receiving his doctorate in 1996, he spent 18 months doing research in the United States at the Institute of Buddhist Studies (Berkeley, California), Emory University, (Atlanta, Georgia), and Princeton University. On his return, in 1998, he joined the staff of the Nanzan Institute as a Permanent Research Fellow.

During his years as a graduate student he studied the development of the thought of Mircea Eliade and its significance for contemporary religious studies. The results, based on his doctoral thesis, were published in 2000 as The Development of Mircea Eliade’s Study of Religion: Comparison, History, Interpretation (in Japanese),for which he received the 9th annual Nakamura Hajime Award that same year.
More recently, Dr. Okuyama is pursuing the study of new religious movements in the light of studies on comparative culture and the relationship between world and local history,in an attempt to clarify the proper context from which to describe them. In this connection he has served since 1999 on the editorial board of Comparative Civilizations, the offical organ of the Japan Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations.

He is also the editor of a new series of monographs, Religion in the Contemporary World.

He lectures in the Department of Humanities at Nanzan University on religious studies, the history of religion, and directs the research of graduate students in the theology of religions.

A current list of his publications, translations, and other academic activities is available on-line.