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

Re-creating Religious Anthropology: The Permeation of Religiosity in the Contemporary World

Joint Research Coordinator NAGATANI Chiyoko

Reserch Theme List


religious policy, religious practice, secularism


Influenced by modernism’s promotion of rationalization, in many parts of the world religion has been excluded from political and social institutions. In recent years, however, the flourishing of fundamentalism and public religions has led to a revitalization and reassessment of religious traditions. Religion, which had been quarantined from the public sphere, has once again begun to permeate into society and to display new forms. In these cases, the concept of religion is not limited to traditional forms. In new social currents such as environmentalism and tourism, we catch glimpses of the new religiosity.
Our aim is to better understand religion in the contemporary world by taking not only traditional religions but also these new seemingly social phenomena into consideration, whose image appears so different from the conventional concept of religion. The anthropology of religion in Japan has tended to specialize in research on specific traditional religious world views. Through our research, we hope to re-create the religious anthropology in Japan by opening it to the global currents.