By Mark R. Mullins
For hundreds of years the lodging among Japan and Christianity has been an uneasy one. in comparison with others of its Asian associates, the church buildings in Japan have by no means counted greater than a small minority of believers kind of resigned to styles of formality and trust transplanted from the West. yet there's one other part to the tale, one little identified and barely advised: the increase of indigenous activities geared toward a Christianity that's right now made in Japan and trustworthy to the scriptures and apostolic culture. Christianity Made in Japan attracts on wide box learn to offer an exciting and sympathetic glance behind the curtain and into the lives of the leaders and fans of numerous indigenous events in Japan. targeting the "native" reaction instead of Western missionary efforts and intentions, it offers types of new interpretations of the Christian culture. It supplies voice to the unheard perceptions and perspectives of many eastern Christians, whereas rais! ing questions very important to the self-understanding of Christianity as a very "world religion."
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Extra info for Christianity Made in Japan: A Study of Indigenous Movements
It was used, nevertheless, to unify and integrate the heterogeneous population and mobilize the people for nationbuilding, modernization, and military expansion. Christians who did not comply with the government directive to worship at the shrines of State Shinto—the duty of all loyal citizens—faced not only persecution but constant suspicion concerning their identity as Japanese. The revised version, however, was extended to suppress a wide variety of dangerous ideas (kiken shiso*) that showed disrespect toward the imperial household and its shrines or were in conflict with the national polity (by this time interpreted to mean Japan as a divine country under the absolute rule of one manifest deity—arahitogami—the emperor).
Indigenous new religious movements, on the other hand, have capitalized on the new demographic profile and deregulated religious economy and, according to the most reliable Japanese scholarship, have memberships totaling between 10 and 20 percent of the population. 23 Nevertheless, even accepting the more generous assessment provided by survey research that suggests there may be some kakure kirishitan in contemporary Japan, the efforts to transplant Christianity in Japan have not been too successful.
Figure 2. Methodists, of course, needed a Bishop. Be it a political, scientific, or social matter, before it can be acclimatized in Japan, it must pass through great modifications in the hands of the Japanese. Even many Japanese who made a commitment to the Christian faith struggled with lingering doubts about the "absoluteness" of missionary versions of Christianity. The fact that numerous denominations were competing for converts on Japanese soil (each with its own doctrinal peculiarities and forms of government) indicated to many leaders that there might be room for Japanese interpretations and cultural expressions of Christianity.
Christianity Made in Japan: A Study of Indigenous Movements by Mark R. Mullins