The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Seminars, Symposia, and Academic Conferences

Tuesday, August 11 ~Friday, August 14, 2009
《International Symposium》Management and Marketing of Globalizing Asian Religions

  • Period: Tuesday, Aug. 11 - Friday, Aug. 14
  • Organizers: International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS)
    National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku), National Institute for the Humanities
  • Cosponsors: The Society for International Cultural Exchange
    Oyasato Institute, Tenri University
  • Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) through Taisho University
  • Venue: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka: 11-12, 14 Aug.
    Tenri University: 13 Aug.


This symposium arises from Nakamaki's view of new religious movements (NRMs) as multinational organizations (2003), further developed in a special issue focus on Asian Religious Movements published in the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) Newsletter #47 in 2008, edited by Wendy Smith. From this small beginning we would like to create a wider forum of discussion and publish a more substantial volume of papers, in both Japanese and English.

In developing theories of the management, leadership and organizational structures of globalizing religions, the successes of Asian NRMs and established religions as global players from their earliest days, such as Tenrikyo and Zen Buddhism, is striking. A newly emerging topic is how do NRMs market themselves to potential converts in a global context? (Reader and Tanabe, 1998) What is the nature of their approaches to non-diaspora communities with different cultural and linguistic heritages and what media do they use for proselytization? This workshop brings the insights of theories of management, human resource development and marketing to give an alternative view of the dynamics of NRMs as global organizations.

Once patterns of global religious organisation are identified, several other questions can be asked. Using Baumann's theories about religious transplantion (1994, 1997, 2001) and Bouma's of religious settlement (1997, 2000, 2004) the relationship between types of organisation and settlement can be explored. This exploration will lead to questions of the relationship between types of organisation and the management of competition and conflict, both internal to the groups and between them and other religious groups. It may well be that some types of organisation are more likely to facilitate the development of harmonious inter-religious relationships.

In order to develop and extend this pathbreaking theoretical perspective on globalizing Asian religions, we aim to call together a group of scholars of Asian religions and ask them to recast their data in terms of the way the organizations are managed in an overseas or global context by examining the structure, organizational culture, management style and leadership principles of the religious organizations they have hitherto studied from the perspective of the sociology of religion or religious studies. We propose to convene an international symposium for which 16 scholars would write papers focusing their knowledge of a particular Asian religious organization according to the above emerging paradigm and ask them to recast their data in terms of the way the organizations are managed in an overseas or global context, and how they market themselves in the midst of existing local religious traditions, by examining the structure, organizational culture.... etc.


Welcome Address (13:30-13:45)
  • Ken'ichi Sudo (National Museum of Ethnology)
  • Manon Osseweijer (IIAS)
Introduction (13:45-14:15)
  • Wendy Smith (Gervinus Visiting Professor, University of Hildesheim, Germany/Monash University, Australia)
  • Hirochika Nakamaki (Professor, National Museum of Ethnology)
Special Lectures (14:30-15:45; 16:00-17:15)
  • Peter Clarke (Professor, University of Oxford, U.K.)
    "The Globalization of Japanese New Religions with Special Reference to Their Expansion to Brazil, Africa and Southeast Asia"
  • Yoshihide Sakurai (Professor, Hokkaido University)
    "World Evangelism and Organizational Structure: Viewpoint from Management Strategy"
  • Reception Minpaku Restaurant (17:30-)
Aug. 12
Panel 1: East Asian Religions (10:00-12:30)
[Chair: Susumu Shimazono (Professor, University of Tokyo)]
  • Jeong Min Suh (Professor, Yonsei University, Korea)
    "Globalizing Korean Religions: Focusing on Christianity"
  • Hiroshi Iwai (Professor, Tezukayama University)
    "The Development of Japanese New Religions in Korea: A Focus on the Church of World Messianity"
  • Benjamin Penny (Research Fellow, Australia National University, Australia)
    "Falun Gong in Song and Dance"
Panel 2: Southeast and South Asian Religions (13:30-17:00)
[Chair: Yoshitsugu Sawai (Professor, Tenri University)]
  • Shamsul Amri Baharuddin (National University of Malaysia, Malaysia)
    "Asian NRM Is Not All Successful Stories: The Demise of a Global Dream of Malaysia's Darul Arqam"
  • Hidetake Yano (Associate Professor, Komazawa University)
    "The Propagation of Theravada Buddhism in Foreign Countries: The Case of the Dhammakaya Temple in Thailand"
  • Wendy Smith (Gervinus Visiting Professor, University of Hildesheim, Germany/Monash University, Australia)
    "Spreading Soul Consciousness: Managing and Extending the Global Reach of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) [co-author: Tamasin Ramsay]
  • Barbara Andaya (University of Hawaii)
    "Marketing Modernity: Pentecostalism in Southeast Asia"
Aug. 13
Excursion to Tenri (9:00 departure from the hotel) Visit to the Holy Sites of Tenrikyo
Panel 3: Japanese Religions in the Americas (13:30-18:00)
[Chair: Nobutaka Inoue (Professor, Kokugakuin University)]
  • Welcome Address Taketo Hashimoto (President, Tenri University)
  • Tomoe Moriya (Associate Professor, Hannan University)
    "The Eastward Transmission of Buddhism across the Pacific: The Development of the Nikkei Buddhist Missions in Hawaii and Mainland United States"
  • Masanobu Yamada (Associate Professor, Tenri University)
    "The Management and Marketing of Tenrikyo in Its Globalization Effort"
  • Ronan Pereira (Professor, University of Brasilia, Brazil)
    "Japanese Religions in a Globalized World - Some Considerations Based on Case Studies in Brazil"
  • Hideaki Matsuoka (Professor, Shukutoku University) "On Guarapiranga, a Sacred Place of the Church of World Messianity of Brazil: Its Significance in Proselytization"
  • Hirochika Nakamaki (Professor, National Museum of Ethnology)
    "Habitat Segregation and Epidemicalization of Japanese Religions in the Americas"
Aug. 14
Panel 4 Japanese Religions in the Global Context (10:00-12:30)
[Chair: Michihito Tsushima (Professor, Kwansei Gakuin University)]
  • Louella Matsunaga (Teaching Fellow, SOAS, U.K.)
    "Jodo Shinshu in Europe"
  • Susumu Shimazono (Professor, University of Tokyo)
    "From National Religious Cooperation to International Cooperation of Religions: Post-war Peace Movements and Their Historical Background"
  • Nobutaka Inoue (Professor, Kokugakuin University)
    "Modern New Religions' Responses to Globalization and New Religious Movements in the Age of Globalization"
Final Discussion (13:30-15:30)
[Chairs: Wendy Smith and Hirochika Nakamaki]
  • Panel Summary by Chairpersons
  • Disscussants (throughout the symposium):
    Yoshio Sugimoto (Professor, Minpaku), Kojiro Hirose (Associate Professor, Minpaku), Masakazu Tanaka (Professor, Kyoto University), Keishin Inaba (Associate Professor, Kobe University), Yashavantha Dongre (Professor, University of Mysore/Minpaku)

10-1 Senri Expo Park, Suita, Osaka, Japan 565-8511
Hirochika Nakamaki Professor, National Museum of Ethnology