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How Religions Have Shaped Japanese Society & Culture

DATE: April 26, 2016

TIME: 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. ET

GRADES: K-12

FEE: Free 

Tokyo Child ShrineUnlike some traditional cultures, Japan has been at the crossroads of religious traditions from many corners of the world, including India, China and Korea, as well as Western Europe and North America. But the Shinto religion has long been at the heart of Japanese culture – on the one hand, venerating the sanctity of nature, and on the other, propping up Japan's nationalism, imperialism and racism. In this webinar, we’ll explore how the disparate religious traditions have competed among themselves and with Shinto in order to shape the uniqueness of Japanese society and culture.

James KoderaOur presenter, James Kodera, is Professor of Religion at Wellesley College and the first ordained Asian American in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. He is a scholar in the comparative and historical study of religion with a focus on Asia. His current research interests include the plight of the "untouchables" in India and Japan, and Takashi Paul Nagai (1908-51), who transformed Nagasaki from the City of Anger into the City of Prayer.

Matthew SudnikIn addition, we welcome presenter Matthew Sudnik, Director of the Baginski Scholars Program at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he also teaches AP Human Geography and Humanities.

This program is made possible by the United States Japan Foundation as part of a Primary Source project for pre-collegiate U.S. educators to learn about nature and culture in Japan.

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