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Religions of Practice: The Case of Japanese Religions


Ezzy, D, Religions of Practice: The Case of Japanese Religions, Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 29, (1) pp. 13-29. ISSN 2047-704X (2016) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2016 Equinox Publishing Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1558/jasr.v29i1.30306


‘Religions of practice’ are religions that prioritize ritual practice, with little concern for creeds and belief. In these religions, ethical obligations are communicated through ritual practices and aesthetic responses to symbols. Some theories of religion characterize ritual practice and religious aesthetics as secondary outcomes of religious belief. Such characterizations misunderstand the significance of religious ritual practice. A neo-Durkheimian theory of religion that examines ritual practice alongside belief provides a more sophisticated understanding of religious experience. A range of ethnographies of Japanese religions are reviewed to illustrate the argument. Aesthetics and ritual performance are central to many Japanese religions. These generate a strong sense of relational and communal entwinement and are associated with an ambivalent or pluralistic moral ontology.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Japanese religions, religion, ritual, embodiment, aesthetics
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Religious studies
Research Field:Religion, society and culture
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Religion
Objective Field:Religion and society
UTAS Author:Ezzy, D (Professor Douglas Ezzy)
ID Code:111113
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-08-31
Last Modified:2017-06-23

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