The Politics of Religion in Postwar Japanese Public School Education
Thursday, March 23, 2017
International Affairs Building 918
Speaker: Jolyon Thomas, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages & Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania
Moderator: Sarah Kovner, Senior Research Scholar in the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
The passage of the 1947 Japanese Fundamental Law on Education (FLE) appeared in its time as a triumph for Japan’s fledgling postwar democracy and as proof that Japan's new mode of separating religion from the state was working. By 2006, however, legislators had significantly revised the law to allow for the teaching of “religious culture education” in Japan’s public schools. In this talk Dr. Thomas will argue that the postwar disaggregation of religion and public school education inaugurated by the FLE was always tenuous, and he will show that a surprising combination of clerics, scholars of religion, and nationalistic lobbying groups vigorously collaborated to bring religion back into public schools in a constitutionally valid and socially acceptable way.
No Registration Required.
Sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.