In Japan, there are several area studies centers and anthropological research institutes that study the worlds of the monotheistic religions, but none that conducts research from an ideological and theological perspective. Such research, however, plays a most critical role in actual conflict resolution and the understanding of the monotheistic worlds. Our research projects seek not only to deepen ideological and theological research on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but also to intensively tackle ideological and theological issues shared by the three religions and points of contention among them.
All three of these monotheisms have branched out from the places where they were formed, and are now active in regions throughout the world. We will conduct research into the conceptual issues surrounding the world of monotheism, including issues that cannot be avoided in the context of globalization, such as modernization, secularization, and western thought. We will also examine these issues from the perspective of political thought. Another focus of our research will be the changes and conflicts that monotheistic values have brought to Japanese society.
Past research has generally focused on separate studies of the three major monotheisms: Judaism, Islam, and Christian theology. Particularly since the start of the modern era, these three monotheisms have been characterized by a repeated history of conflicts. The core theme of this project is to lay the groundwork for comprehensive ‘Monotheistic research’ that takes into account theology, law, philosophy, and thought, in order to achieve a grasp of the common roots shared by these three religions, and to enable conflict-free co-existence.
CISMOR also strives to promote interdisciplinary research encompassing the fields of international politics and security. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the Iraq war that followed, are deeply related to the three monotheisms that originated in the Middle East. Also, Europe, as a Christian world, is now pressed to deal with the urgent issue of how to achieve social cohesion while guaranteeing ethnic and religious diversity, against the backdrop of the recent increase of Muslim immigrants. CISMOR will address such global political issues from a monotheistic point of view.