Item Details

“Religion” and “Politics”: A Japanese Case

Issue: Vol 22 No. 3-4 (2019) Special Issue: Twenty Years After - The Ideology of Religious Studies

Journal: Implicit Religion

Subject Areas: Religious Studies

DOI: 10.1558/imre.41013


Timothy Fitzgerald’s The Ideology of Religious Studies should not be read as something just about “religion,” but about the modern Euro- American “secularity,” which functions to mystify the colonial matrix of power of Euro-American modernity. Fitzgerald’s later work focuses on two mutually parasitic categories of “religion” and “politics.” As a case study of the Fitzgeraldian perspective, this article examines the construction of the religion-politics distinction in Japan since the late nineteenth century. In the latter half of the nineteenth century the aggression of Euro-American colonial power motivated Japan’s elites to institutionalize the nation based upon the Euro-American concepts of “politics” and “religion.” After Japan’s defeat in the Second World War in 1945, the US-led Allied Occupation redefined prewar Japanese state orthodoxy and institutions as “religion,” in order to eliminate them from the post-war Japanese statecraft.

Author: Mitsutoshi Horii

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