Message from the Director
Aiming for the Co-existence of Islamic, Judaic, and Christian civilizations
Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions (CISMOR)
CISMOR was founded in 2003 and carries out interdisciplinary and comprehensive research on the monotheistic religions and their worlds. By transmitting our research results to the world, we seek to be an intermediary between the Islamic, Judaic, and Christian worlds.
The three monotheistic religions originating in the Middle East – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – are related like brothers. However, there has also been a history of repeated antagonism and conflicts between Europe and the U.S. on one side and the Islamic world on the other. To achieve co-existence of civilizations and security urgently needed in the world today, we need comprehensive and interdisciplinary research on the monotheistic religions from a theory-of-civilization perspective.
Since the founding of Doshisha University by Joe H. Neesima, the university has received critical acclaim for its devotion to research on Christianity and American society. In order to study monotheistic civilizations in their totality, CISMOR has expanded the scope of its research on religions to include not only Christianity, but also Islam and Judaism. We have expanded the scope of our regional research to cover not just the United States, but also the Middle East, Asia, and the European Union. In this way, CISMOR is implementing its research in an interdisciplinary and comprehensive manner.
CISMOR is a research center that could be established only in Japan, precisely because Japan is free from historical constraints on such studies. Here, substantial research projects on the three monotheistic religions are carried out in parallel across different disciplines, and in this sense, this research institute has few equals not only in Japan but also in the world.
Research on monotheistic religions in Japan has only a brief history, and there is much to learn. In this light, CISMOR also takes an important role in offering information on the monotheistic religions and their worlds and in widely communicating research results on such to Japanese society, all while fostering connections between Japanese traditions and religions on the one hand and the world of each monotheistic religion on the other. One of CISMOR’s distinct features is the presentation of its research findings in three languages: Japanese, English, and Arabic. To be specific, we publish the following academic journals: Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions (JISMOR) in Japanese and English; The World of Monotheistic Religions in Japanese and in English in part; Conference on Jewish Studies in Japanese and in English in part; and Japanese and Oriental Studies in Arabic. We also offer information on our official website in these three languages. In addition, our semiannual newsletter, CISMOR VOICE, though available only in Japanese, provides a general outline of the activities of CISMOR in an easy-to-understand manner.
CISMOR concluded the academic interchange agreement with universities, the research organizations of 11 countries of the world including Center of Oriental Studies, Cairo University. Such a international network was constructed with the aim of deepening different worlds’ mutual understanding, improving and globalizing the academic research through the interchange of researchers, joint research, exchanging the academic materials or publications, and holding of the symposium.
The worlds that are formed with monotheistic religions at the core are still facing various problems. Against this backdrop, we will continue persistent efforts to conduct basic research on monotheistic religions to explore how we can contribute to peace and mutual respect among these religions, as a Japanese, Kyoto-based research institute.