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Is Religion Social Capital in Japan?

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Title: Is Religion Social Capital in Japan?
Authors: Sakurai, Yoshihide Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Terazawa, Shigenori Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Issue Date: Mar-2012
Publisher: Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University
Journal Title: Journal of the Graduate School of Letters
Volume: 7
Start Page: 21
End Page: 29
Abstract: This paper was originally presented at the Beijing Forum 2010, held on November 5th-7th, 2010, at Beijing China, which was sponsored by the Peking University, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education and the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies. The objective of this forum is to promote the study of humanities and social sciences in the Asia- Pacific region,and the theme of 2010 was“The Harmony of Civilizations and Prosperity for All ―Commitments and Responsibilities for a Better World.” This term “harmony”was used by the Chinese state leaders, and given the rapid transit railway the name“和諧号.”Inside China, it is used as“harmonious society(和諧社会)”and also it means the realization of the“harmonious world (和諧世界)”in international relations. PRC President Hu Jintao proposed the concept of“the harmonious world”at the Asia African summit meeting in 2005,when it was extended to various fields such as politics,economy,culture,security, and environment. It is China to carry out not by an idea but by a substantial policy and state apparatus in order to adjust the structure of the conflicts among different interest groups as well as nations. The Beijing forum is a part of politics that aimed at “harmonious society,”and the world of arts and sciences is not unrelated to political practice,either. Therefore,my paper was given the political meaning that contributes to the construction of the humanities researchers’network which leads to “harmonious world”of East Asia. In addition to that,it is obvious that religions carry out charitable actions under the control of Chinese religious policy. Probably, in that sense my argument that discussed whether religions contributed to the formation of social capital was understood as a thing in alignment with Chinese political intention. It is the right science in China that a scientific result contributes to politics. Apart from Chinese context,my paper aims at seeing the social context of religion carrying out social actions in Japanese society. This paper focuses on the role of religious institutions, organizations,and the spirit of cultivating reciprocity,trust,and social networks,which develops social engagement. First, I will glance at “individualization of a family, neighborhood, and workplace”in recent Japan,which resulted from the low birthrate and longevity, differentiation in class and regions, and various social changes in globalization. Second, I will review the theory of social capital and the academic literatures of social services and social capital provide by Christianity in the US and Theravada Buddhism in Thailand. Last, I will extend my argument to the case of Japan, where both religious pluralism and secularism are institutionalized.
Type: bulletin (article)
Appears in Collections:Journal of the Faculty of Humanities and Human Sciences > Volume 7

Submitter: 寺沢 重法

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