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Other titles in the Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion series:
Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion #16: A New History of Shintoby John Breen
Synopses & Reviews
This accessible guide to the development of Japan’s indigenous religion from ancient times to the present day offers an illuminating introduction to the myths, sites and rituals of kami worship, and their role in Shinto’s enduring religious identity.
A New History of Shinto is an accessible guide to the development of Japan’s indigenous religion from ancient times to the present day.
The authors explore the various shrines, myths, and rituals of pre-Shinto worship, examining the processes by which they were then interpreted as Shinto and merged into the notion of Shinto that exists in Japan today. Key moments in Shinto's long evolutionary process are identified and discussed, including the Meiji Revolution of 1868 and other crucial junctures in Japan's medieval and early modern periods. Drawing on original research, this enlightening book encapsulates Shinto’s long history and continuing influence.
About the Author
"Written by two scholars at the forefront of the study of Japanese religions, this book offers much more than a ‘brief history’. It is in fact a very bold and lucid attempt to redraw the parameters that govern our understanding of that elusive body of thought and practice we call Shinto … This book will surprise and on occasion shock; it will surely be required reading for all those interested in Japan and the Japanese."
--Richard Bowring, Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Cambridge
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations vi
Conventions and Abbreviations Used in the Text vii
1 An Alternative Approach to the History of Shinto 1
2 Kami Shrines, Myths, and Rituals in Premodern Times 24
3 The History of a Shrine: Hie 66
4 The History of a Myth: The Sun-Goddess and the Rock-Cave 129
5 The Daijo-sai: A "Shinto" Rite of Imperial Accession 168
6 Issues in Contemporary Shinto 199
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