Christianity made in Japan : a study of indigenous movements by Mark R. Mullins

By Mark R. Mullins

For centuries the lodging among Japan and Christianity has been an uneasy one. in comparison with others of its Asian pals, the church buildings in Japan have by no means counted greater than a small minority of believers roughly resigned to styles of formality and trust transplanted from the West. yet there's one other facet to the tale, one little identified and infrequently instructed: the increase of indigenous pursuits geared toward a Christianity that's right now made in Japan and devoted to the scriptures and apostolic culture. Christianity Made in Japan attracts on broad box examine to offer an fascinating and sympathetic glance behind the curtain and into the lives of the leaders and fans of numerous indigenous routine in Japan. targeting the "native" reaction instead of Western missionary efforts and intentions, it offers different types of new interpretations of the Christian culture. It offers voice to the unheard perceptions and perspectives of many eastern Christians, whereas elevating questions important to the self-understanding of Christianity as a very "world religion."

This ground-breaking research makes a mostly unknown spiritual international obtainable to outsiders for the 1st time. scholars and students alike will locate it a worthy addition to the literature on jap religions and society and at the improvement of Christianity open air the West. through providing another method of the examine and figuring out of Christianity as an international faith and the complex strategy of cross-cultural diffusion, it represents a landmark that may outline destiny examine within the field.

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By Mark R. Mullins

For centuries the lodging among Japan and Christianity has been an uneasy one. in comparison with others of its Asian pals, the church buildings in Japan have by no means counted greater than a small minority of believers roughly resigned to styles of formality and trust transplanted from the West. yet there's one other facet to the tale, one little identified and infrequently instructed: the increase of indigenous pursuits geared toward a Christianity that's right now made in Japan and devoted to the scriptures and apostolic culture. Christianity Made in Japan attracts on broad box examine to offer an fascinating and sympathetic glance behind the curtain and into the lives of the leaders and fans of numerous indigenous routine in Japan. targeting the "native" reaction instead of Western missionary efforts and intentions, it offers different types of new interpretations of the Christian culture. It offers voice to the unheard perceptions and perspectives of many eastern Christians, whereas elevating questions important to the self-understanding of Christianity as a very "world religion."

This ground-breaking research makes a mostly unknown spiritual international obtainable to outsiders for the 1st time. scholars and students alike will locate it a worthy addition to the literature on jap religions and society and at the improvement of Christianity open air the West. through providing another method of the examine and figuring out of Christianity as an international faith and the complex strategy of cross-cultural diffusion, it represents a landmark that may outline destiny examine within the field.

Show description

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23 Nevertheless, even accepting the more generous assessment provided by survey research that suggests there may be some kakure kirishitan in contemporary Japan, the efforts to transplant Christianity in Japan have not been too successful. 23 CHRISTIANITY MADE IN JAPAN Also hidden within these meager statistics are the numerous indigenous Christian movements that developed in reaction to the transplanted mission churches over the past century, the story that we now consider. ” While at times the “Westernness” of Christianity has contributed to its appeal among Japanese, for the most part it has been viewed as a problem.

9 Early on in missionary circles there were certainly discussions on developing indigenous churches, but this was understood primarily in terms of the “three selfs”: self-support, self-control, and self-propagation. The idea that Japanese Christians might have their own insights and ways of organizing and practicing the faith was generally not entertained. Transmission of the missionary culture—without corruption or addition—was the primary concern. It is not surprising that Japanese found this displacement theology rather abrasive and hard to swallow.

This poses some interesting questions for Protestant missionary theology and practice. What is it about the Protestant approach to Christianity that these Japanese Christians were unwilling to accept? Although the Japanese founders of indigenous Christian traditions were indebted to the Protestant missionary movement in many respects, tensions and conµicts emerged over time as a result of fundamental differences in their understanding of the relationship between the Gospel and Japanese culture.

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