Modern Japanese history is roughly concurrent with the history of modern occultism, which formed out of transnational interactions among Europe, America, and Asia beginning in the late nineteenth century. Indeed, it has become a common refrain in scholarly studies of occultism that this “orientation towards hidden aspects of reality … held to be commonly inaccessible to ordinary senses” has been “an integral part of modernity” (Bogdan & Djurdjevic, Occultism in Global Perspective, 2013, 1–2).
In the last decade, scholarly research has increasingly highlighted the significance of this global occult for the rapid changes undergone by the Japanese religious landscape and also transnational occultists’ fascination with Japanese and Japan-inspired religious ideas and practices. In Japan, as elsewhere, “old” and “new” religious groups, psychotherapeutic methods, nationalist and liberalist political ideologies, eco-friendly movements, modern art, popular culture, and even the scholarly study of religion itself are only a few examples of the domains that have been partially (if only discursively) influenced by a constant mix and match of occult worldviews, philosophies, and techniques.
This special issue of Japanese Religions invites submissions on the interactions between Japanese religions and occultism (broadly conceived). This may include the adaptation of aspects of the global occult for Japanese settings, the uptake of Japanese practices or symbols by transnational occultists, or other ways that Japanese religious figures and organizations have interacted with occultism.
Topics may include (but are not limited to): Anthroposophy, Buddhism, divination, health practices, hypnotism, magic, New Age, new religions, parapsychology, secret societies, Shinto, Shugendō, spiritualism, Theosophy, and yoga.
Abstracts of up to 200 words are due 7 May 2019. Authors whose abstracts have been accepted will be informed by 15 May and will be invited to submit their full 6000-8000 word articles by September 30 for review by the editors and at least one blind reviewer.
We also welcome anyone interested in writing a book review, particularly of recent Japanese-language publications, or publishing a translation of a relevant Japanese article or chapter.
Please address any questions or submissions to the co-editors:
Ioannis Gaitanidis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Justin B. Stein (email@example.com)