74th Annual Conference

A Report on the 74th Annual Conference of the JARS


                           By The International Connections Committee


JARS held its 74th annual conference at Soka University in Hachioji, Tokyo from September 4-6, 2015.  A total of 665 people, including 167 non-member participants, attended.  We owe the success of the conference to our conference organizers, and above all, to chief organizer, Professor Tsuyoshi Nakano.

The theme of this year’s opening symposium was “The Future of Religion, the Future of the Religious Studies”.  More than 400 (of which half were members) attended the symposium.  Two prominent sociologists of religion from abroad were the keynote speakers, and two Japanese sociologists of religion responded to them.  On the second day, two English-language panels featuring these two foreign scholars were held.  Many participants attended them and enjoyed the presentations and discussions.

The conference organizers want to express their gratitude to the members for their kind collaboration.


You can find the texts of the presentations by the Keynote speakers and the comments by the respondents at the following URL: http://jpars.org/annual_conference/

Speakers at the opening Symposium and their papers:

Chair: Sunao Taira, (Yashima Gakuen University)

Tsuyoshi Nakano (Soka University), Summary and Record of Symposium

Keynote Speakers

José V. Casanova (Georgetown University), The Intertwined Roads of Global Secularization and Global Religious Denominationalism

James A. Beckford (University of Warwick), Sociological Perspectives on Religion and Religious Studies in the Age of Globalisation



Kiyonobu Date (Sophia University), Comments and Questions: From a Point of View of Studies on laïcité

Yoshihide Sakurai (Hokkaido University), Commentary and Questions: Religious Pluralism and Its Conflicts

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The regular program consisted of 17 panels and 254 individual papers, which were organized into 14 sessions.

Panel Titles and Conveners

The Role of Religious Studies in Citizenship Education with an Emphasis on the Development of Higher-Order Thinking (Satoko Fujiwara)

Public Religion and Public Roles of Religions in Modern Japan (Seiji Hoshino)

Secularism and Nation in Modern Asia: Toward a Post-Secularization Theory (Hiroshi Yamanaka)

Wittgenstein on the Battlefield: A Prayer to God (Tomoaki Matsuno)

“Seeing,” “Sitting,” and “Praying”: Religious Culture and Ideas about “the Body” (Yansheng He)

Religion, Humanism, and Medicine (Yasunori Ando)

Changes in the View of the Japanese Medieval Zen History from New Materials Discovered at the Osu Library of Shimpukuji (Fumihiko Sueki)

The Present Conditions and Problem of Nichiren Studies (Masahiro Kobayashi)

East Asian Buddhism and the Lotus Sutra (Hiroshi Kanno)

Disaster and Memory: Listening to Unspoken Voices (Hara Takahashi)

Religious Thought in the East and Izutsu Toshihiko’s Philosophical Reflections (Shigeru Kamada)

Acceptance and Development of SGI in USA and Europe (Yutaka Akiba)

Reconsideration of the Studies of New Religions: From Development in the Japanese Late Modern Society (Katsuaki Onishi)

Bible Translations and Expressions of Faith in the Hanzi Cultural Sphere (Shiho Nagasawa)

Takakusu Junjiro; and His Era: Based on Newly-Discovered Sources (Kazunori Iwagami)

The God of the East and the God of the West: The Theory of Soul and the Theory of Supreme Being (Reiji Ando)

Saint Worship in Modern Asia (Katsuyuki Ida)

For regular panel and individual paper titles, please click here.

(English titles appear on the last part of the pdf file.)