ISBN 10: 1433106795 / ISBN 13: 9781433106798
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Rezension: "This book not only provides an interesting history of Church and State in Japan, but it also helps all Christians to understand what is involved in believing in Romans 13 in Japanese culture. It shows that, by the end of the war, Japanese Christians had exhausted most of their efforts in adapting to the Emperor system, which was authority demanding only obedience. But now they are doing genuinely creative work in the understanding of government and God that may prove to be in advance of what is taking place in Europe and America. The author is an historian of modern German thought who is working for peace by making 'conscience' the basis of action." (Yasuo Furuya, Professor Emeritus, International Christian University, Tokyo, Editor and co-author, 'A History of Japanese Theology') "Over the ages Christians around the world have faced the central issue of how to deal with the authority of the secular state. There has always been a fine line dividing what belongs to Caesar from what belongs to God. Moreover, as the power of the state dramatically expanded in the Twentieth Century, and as the ideologies supporting such states adopted quasi-religious forms, these lines became more difficult to maintain. The great strength of transcendence, the ability to reject secular authority in the name of a higher value, be it God or Conscience, was sometimes weakened and even lost. And yet, even under the most adverse circumstances, Christianity continued to produce a small core of believers who were willing to criticize the state and existing order in the name of higher authority and a more perfect kingdom. Prof. Miyata's book examines the development of modern Japanese Christianity from the perspective of 'authority' and 'obedience'. It is both a personal reflection on the theological issues that Japanese wrestled with in confronting the state as well an a unique work of intellectual history that speaks profoundly to all who are interested in defending democracy and human rights against the power of authoritarian forces. Miyata feels that the question of what stance Japanese Christians were to take towards and Emperor system, which he sees as a political religion tied to Shinto nationalism, was 'the most significant and most difficult issue that faced Christian evangelism in modern Japan'. Miyata shows us how an 'early critical energy', that challenged the state, gave way to compliance and the desire on the part of Japanese Protestants to align themselves with the nation-state. By the late 1930s and the outbreak of the Pacific War the Church, much to its later regret, found itself fully in support of Japan's military expansion and imperial conquest of Asia. And yet, in the midst of such tragic conformity, there were a few rare voices who ran counter to the mainstream and retained a critical perspective on the Imperial state. Miyata remains hopeful for Japanese Christianity and the post-World-War-II years seeing it once again taking up its role as the 'leaven' of a society in which the remnants of a former 'divine' order remains heavily entrenched. The translator of Miyata's book, Gregory Vanderbilt, should be commended for taking a difficult and sometimes convoluted text and turning it into a book of readable and often flowing prose." (F.G. Notehelfer, Emeritus Professor of Japanese History, UCLA)

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Mitsuo Miyata
Verlag: Peter Lang Okt 2009 (2009)
ISBN 10: 1433106795 ISBN 13: 9781433106798
Neu Anzahl: 1
(Einbeck, Deutschland)

Buchbeschreibung Peter Lang Okt 2009, 2009. Buch. Buchzustand: Neu. 157x233x19 mm. Neuware - Despite famously small numbers, Christians have had a distinctive presence in modern Japan, particularly for their witness on behalf of democracy and religious freedom. A translation of Ken'i to Fukuju: Kindai Nihon ni okeru Roma-sho Jusan-sho (2003), Authority and Obedience is 'a personal pre-history' of the postwar generation of Japanese Christian intellectuals deeply committed to democracy. Using Japanese Christians' commentary on Paul's injunction in Romans 13: 1-7, the counsel to 'let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God.', Miyata offers an intellectual history of how Japanese Christians understood the emperor-focused modern state from the time of the first Protestant missionaries in the mid-nineteenth century through the climax and demise of fascism during the Pacific War. Stressing verse 5's admonition to 'conscience' as the reason for obedience, Miyata provides a clear and political perspective grounded in his lifelong engagement with German political thought and theology, particularly that of Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as he calls for a conscientious citizenry in his modern society. Showing both Christians' complicity with the state and the empire - including the formation of a unified church, the Nihon Kirisuto Kyodan - and their attitude toward Christians in Asia, and the complexity of the critical voices of Christians like Uchimura Kanzo, Kashiwagi Gien, Nanbara Shigeru, and many others less well known - Miyata's work aims not at exposing cultural particularity but at showing how the modern Japanese Christian experience can give meaning to a theology and a political theory of how to live within the 'freedom of religious belief'. 197 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9781433106798

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