“Religion” and “Politics”

A Japanese Case

Authors

  • Mitsutoshi Horii Shumei University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/imre.41013

Keywords:

Japan, Timothy Fitzgerald, mystification, secularity, politics

Abstract

Timothy Fitzgerald’s The Ideology of Religious Studies should not be read as something just about “religion,” but about the modern Euro- American “secularity,” which functions to mystify the colonial matrix of power of Euro-American modernity. Fitzgerald’s later work focuses on two mutually parasitic categories of “religion” and “politics.” As a case study of the Fitzgeraldian perspective, this article examines the construction of the religion-politics distinction in Japan since the late nineteenth century. In the latter half of the nineteenth century the aggression of Euro-American colonial power motivated Japan’s elites to institutionalize the nation based upon the Euro-American concepts of “politics” and “religion.” After Japan’s defeat in the Second World War in 1945, the US-led Allied Occupation redefined prewar Japanese state orthodoxy and institutions as “religion,” in order to eliminate them from the post-war Japanese statecraft.

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Published

2020-08-04

How to Cite

Horii, M. (2020). “Religion” and “Politics”: A Japanese Case. Implicit Religion, 22(3-4), 413–428. https://doi.org/10.1558/imre.41013