Currently, we have two research groups. Participants are limited to researchers and graduate students, but the content of their presentations and discussions will be announced on this web-page.
Reexamination of Monotheism and Dialogue of Civilizations
The concepts of "Monotheism" and "Polytheism" derive from the study of religion in the 19th century. Today, in the Japanese intellectual community, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are regarded as belonging to the same "monotheism," and the conflicting interaction of these three religions is assumed to be propagated. Hence, we see the spread of the stereotyped explanation that monotheistic civilizations have come to a deadlock and that now we are in an era of polytheistic civilizations.
The research group reexamines how the concepts of "monotheism" and "polytheism" have shaped the history of theory and clarifies the historical development and logical structure of monotheism and polytheism. At the same time, the group will elaborate the positions that monotheistic civilizations and polytheistic civilizations hold on various issues, and seek a structure of co-existence of the different civilizations.
In addition to focused research on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the research group will pursue comparative studies with polytheistic faiths such as Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto. Through such comparative study, the concept of monotheism will be reexamined and a new horizon beyond the analytical method of "polytheism vs. monotheism" will be opened. The research group aims at constructing an interdisciplinary, civilizational theoretical model for the coexistence of different civilizations.
American Global and Monotheistic World
The U.S.A. maintains an overwhelming domination in the world in many areas, such as military power, economic concentration, and the media. Yet, there is opposition to the U.S. response after 9/11 that can be seen in terrorism, and the Iraq war implies the possibility of further conflict with Islamic civilization.
Inside the USA, right-wing Christianity has become a huge political force. Furthermore, Islamic philosophy and values have been invoked in the opposition to America in the Middle East. The group will analyze universal issues of international politics, civilization, and religion from the viewpoint of the relationship between American military/ foreign policy and monotheism, which has not been fully discussed in the academic context.
This term, we plan to hold three meetings in Tokyo and Kyoto.
In the group, we especially focus on analyzing American global strategy in diverse ways and try to deepen the argument critically from the monotheistic point of view.
Japanese Religions’ Opinions toward the Monotheistic Religions