“I’ve never really thought about it:” The non-issue of non-belief in Japan

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Scholars of religion often point to Japanese (non) religiosity as an instructive case study to demonstrate that Western assumptions of the nature of ‘religion’ do not hold across cultures. But after such necessary critiques, is a scientific account of religion in general (and religion in Japan specifically) still possible?

In this talk, I will argue that both are possible. I will outline an emerging (and tentative) cognitive take on Japanese religion/nonreligion, born of a recent brief period of collaborative fieldwork. I will consider whether existing and emerging work in the cognitive science of religion on dual process theory and religious credences can help make sense of what anthropologists of religion find in Japan and whether the Japanese case may be useful in improving our cognitive accounts of belief and unbelief.
Period24 Jan 2019
Held atCoventry University, United Kingdom