“What Is Japanese Kami? An Inquiry into the Psychosomatic Aspect of Japanese Religiosity”

You are invited to a lecture on March 12 by Tomoko Iwasawa, Professor of Comparative Religions at Reitaku University (Chiba, Japan). This lecture will investigate the meaning of the Japanese concept of kami by analyzing its original meanings developed in ancient texts and rituals. The essence of Japanese religiosity can be best understood by way of tama, which underlies the concept of kami, usually translated as ‘god,’ Tama develops in ways that do not presuppose a dichotomy between the ideational and the sensible; it is inescapably a combination of the material and the spiritual, body and mind. We will explore this indissoluble combination of materiality and spirituality as one of the main features of Japanese religiosity, which deserves to be studied more in depth and go beyond the modern conception of mind-body dualism. This is the sixth installment in the “TUJ Philosophy Lecture Series,” organized by Adjunct Professor Jordanco Sekulovski.

The TUJ Philosophy Lecture Series is a non-profit forum of Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) for the promotion of critical thinking. The lectures are free, open to the public, and feature speakers from universities around the world. The lecture series is a great way to learn about recent research in philosophy and in the humanities as a whole.

Monday, March 12, 2018
19:00 – 20:30 (doors open at 18:30)
Temple University, Japan Campus, Azabu Hall, 1F The Parliament Student Lounge (access)
Not required

For more information, contact tujresearch@tuj.temple.edu

About the Lecturer

Tomoko Iwasawa is Professor of Comparative Religion at Reitaku University (Chiba, Japan). She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy of religion from Boston University. Her publications include: “Philosophical Implications of Shinto” in The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Philosophy (2015), “Philosophical Faith as the Will to Communicate” in Philosophical Faith and the Future of Humanity (2012), and Tama in Japanese Myth: A Hermeneutical Study of Ancient Japanese Divinity (2011).