|Budget Amount *help
¥1,500,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,500,000)
Fiscal Year 2004 : ¥700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥700,000)
Fiscal Year 2003 : ¥800,000 (Direct Cost : ¥800,000)
Since religion is nearly entirely excluded from school curricula in Japanese public education, colleges, for most students, are the first places where they can learn about religions and religious studies substantially. Ironically, such undergraduate programs of religion have recently been downsized due to economic difficulties. The situation is especially critical, given that religion is gaining more and more attention worldwide and teaching about religion is a major public role that scholars of religion can undertake for an increasingly diversified society. Against such a background, this survey gives, for the first time, the hard data about undergraduate curricula in which the study of religion is a central focus. Its results are available in English in the booklet attached to this form. It was originally presented as a paper at the 19^<th> World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions in March, 2005.
Main Results and Analyses
1. One of the most popular courses falls under the category of "Japanese studies," a study of general Japanese cultural traditions, including its religious aspects, from a largely ethnological perspective. It can be assumed that courses in "Christianity or Bible" in American colleges correspond to courses in "Japanese studies" rather than those in "Shinto studies" (that is, the study of Shinto history, texts etc.) in Japanese colleges.
2. Courses in religion are fairly balanced in kind among public colleges but not among private colleges.
3. Courses in "Bioethics/Environmental Ethics" are becoming popular, and 40% of them are taught from religious perspectives. Bioethics and environmental ethics are increasingly recognized as new fields where people expect the collaboration between natural sciences and religious studies.
4. "Gender and Religion" courses are taught five times more by men than by women, which is quite different from the case of American universities.