78th Annual Conference

A report of the 78th Annual Conference of the JARS

By The International Connection Committee


JARS held its 78th annual conference at Teikyo University of Science in Tokyo from September 13-15, 2019. A total of 640, including 160 non-member participants, attended. We owe the success of the conference to our conference organizers, and above all, to chief organizer, Prof. OKINAGA Takashi.


The theme of this year’s opening symposium was “The New World of Religion and Science.”

Professor ISHIGURO Hiroshi (Osaka University / ATR Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories) made a public lecture entitled “Robots and Religion,” followed by two commentators Prof. KIMURA Takeshi (University of Tsukuba) with his response entitled “Why Does It Matters IF an Android Robotics Scholar Talks about Religion” and Prof. OKINAGA Takashi (Teikyo University) with his entitled “Locating Mind in the Inorganic Transformation of the Human.” Many participants attended them and enjoyed the presentations and discussion.


The Conference organizers want to express their gratitude to the member for their kind cooperation.


You can find the texts of the presentations by the keynote speaker and the comments by the assigned respondents at the following URL http://jpars.org/journal/bulletin/vol_93


Public Symposium


The New World of Religion and Science

ISHIGURO Hiroshi (Osaka University / ATR Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories), Robots and Religion


KIMURA Takeshi (University of Tsukuba), Why Does It Matter If an Android Robotics Scholar Talks about Religion?


OKINAGA Takashi (Teikyo University), Locating Mind in the Inorganic Transformation of the Human



The regular program consists of 17 panels and 235 individual papers, which were organized into 13 parallel sessions.


Special Session Titles and Conveners

Lived Ancient Religion: Circum-Mediterranean World (MATSUMURA Kazuo)


Reconsidering the Role of Biography in the Study of Modern Japanese Buddhism (Orion KLAUTAU)


Panel Titles and Conveners

Relativizing the Modern Western Notion of “Religion” from European Perspectives (DATE Kiyonobu)


Contemporary Religion from the Viewpoint of Materiality and Environment (OKAMOTO Ryōsuke)


Religions and History of Religion in the Era of Manipulation of Human Life (ANDŌ Yasunori)


Calendar, Nation-state, and Religion in the Modern Period (OKADA Masahiko)


Between Shinran and Japanese Nationalism (KONDŌ Shuntarō)


Modern Buddhism and Onki (The Great Annual Memorial Services): Infrastructure, State, and Media (TAKEI Kengo)


Epistemology of God in Medieval Islam (SAWAI Makoto)


The Private Religionists under the Legal System of Religion in the Meiji Period (ISHIHARA Yamato)


Crossing the Border of Sect Shinto: Interaction of Believers, Conflicts, and Breakdowns between Inner Groups (YUMIYAMA Tatsuya)


Izutsu’s “Oriental Philosophy” and Its Development in Religious Studies (SAWAI Yoshitsugu)


Possibilities of Sectarian Surveys and Approaches to Individual Issues (KAWAMATA Toshinori)


The Formation and Development of Onmyōdō Rituals: A Study of Documents of the Nara Koyomishi Yoshikawa Family (UMEDA Chihiro)


A Critical Reflection on the Historical Development of the Phenomenology of Religion (OKUYAMA Fumiaki)


The Portrayal of Religion in the Entertainment Media with Special Reference to Indian Commercial Films (YAMASHITA Hiroshi)


Social Implementation of Artificial Intelligence and Religious Issues (KIM