Category: Japan

Rodney Stark on The Triumph of Faith

The decline of religion around the world may be greatly exaggerated. Returning for his sixth appearance on our podcast, Prof. Rodney Stark, co-founder of Baylor’s ISR, discusses his new book “The Triumph of Faith” and reviews how the religious landscapes in various countries and regions of the world has been greatly transformed in the past half century. We look at “nones” from the United States, the rise of indigenous Christianity in Africa, and how even the Japanese still rely upon Shinto priests for blessings.

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Andrea Molle on Spirituality and the Martial Arts

Sivis pacem, para bellum … if you want peace, prepare for war. Can the practice of marial arts be consistent with spiritual enlightenment and inner peace? We visit with Prof. Andrea Molle, a professor of political science at Chapman University, who has written about the connection between spirituality and martial arts, as well as being a black belt who is active in the Aikido community. Andrea explains how various martial arts enhances religiosity and how the connection between combat and spirituality developed over time. He also discusses his experience with teaching martial arts to youth at a Southern Californian Christian church.

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Kevin Cooney on Christianity in Japan

Prof. Kevin Cooney of Northwest University gives us a general perspective of what spiritual life is like in Japan, focusing first on Shintoism and Buddhism, but then exploring the hidden history of Christianity. He discusses the suprisingly early arrival of the “Nestorian Church,” followed several hundred years later by Jesuit missionaries. What happens when the Catholic Church is forced to go underground and how does the opening of Japan to the West and then its imperialist phase impact Christianity? We also explore where Christianity sits today in Japan and how religion relates to fertility rates.

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Roger Finke on Religious Persecution

Roger Finke of Penn State University talks with Tony about the prevalence and reasons for religious persecution around the globe. We explore the connectcions between seemingly small violations of religious liberty and religious persecution. Prof. Finke further argues that even small violations of religious liberty can presage greater threats to a wider set of civil liberties. Our discussion covers all regions of the globe, with a focus on Japan, Nigeria, Iran, Russia, France and the United States.

Listerners are encouraged to email the host and let him know you are listening and to provide feedback (good or bad). The host’s email is: tgill (at) uw (dot) edu

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