Tomoko Masuzawa’s “The Invention of World Religions” poses distinct challenges for those who teach that subject matter in North America, and Canada in particular. By taking examples from Buddhism, Shinto and Tao I examine the categories and evidence for calling these traditions, cultural practices, historical and genealogical inheritances as dynamic entities which have been re-defined and re-imagined in an entirely “alien” concept. Here are asked the following questions: how can “religion” translate into the categories of their birth culture and back into the nomenclature of World Religions without losing a sense of the needs of students, instructors, and the integrity of the subject matter. The central point: “religion” has both structural and pedagogical advantages which, if used without explanation, pose serious evidential and knowledge breaks. Using James Legge’s contentious theory of the “Tao” three cases (Shinto, Buddhist, and Tao) may illustrate some problems and solutions about the codification of “Asian” tradition in the current texts. From this I offer some insight gained while editing World Religions materials from the Canadian context.
|Keywords:||Religion, Asia, Shinto, Buddhism, Tao, Pedagogy, Imagined Communities, Cultural Translations, Interculturalism|
Professor, Centre for International and Comparative Studies, Theology, History, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
There are currently no reviews of this product.Write a Review