Download Christianity made in Japan : a study of indigenous movements by Mark R. Mullins PDF

By Mark R. Mullins

For centuries the lodging among Japan and Christianity has been an uneasy one. in comparison with others of its Asian associates, the church buildings in Japan have by no means counted greater than a small minority of believers roughly resigned to styles of formality and trust transplanted from the West. yet there's one other part to the tale, one little identified and barely advised: the increase of indigenous events aimed toward a Christianity that's right now made in Japan and trustworthy to the scriptures and apostolic culture. Christianity Made in Japan attracts on huge box study to offer an interesting and sympathetic glance backstage and into the lives of the leaders and fans of numerous indigenous hobbies in Japan. targeting the "native" reaction instead of Western missionary efforts and intentions, it provides forms of new interpretations of the Christian culture. It provides voice to the unheard perceptions and perspectives of many eastern Christians, whereas elevating questions important to the self-understanding of Christianity as a very "world religion."

This ground-breaking research makes a principally unknown non secular international obtainable to outsiders for the 1st time. scholars and students alike will locate it a priceless addition to the literature on eastern religions and society and at the improvement of Christianity outdoors the West. by way of supplying another method of the learn and knowing of Christianity as a global faith and the advanced technique of cross-cultural diffusion, it represents a landmark that would outline destiny learn within the field.

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The fact that numerous denominations were competing for converts on Japanese soil (each with its own doctrinal peculiarities and forms of government) indicated to many leaders that there might be room for Japanese interpretations and cultural expressions of Christianity. For the founders of independent Christian movements, the transplanted missionary traditions, though a valuable resource to draw upon, were hardly the absolute truth. As the Japanese struggled to make sense of the Christian faith for themselves, they found it necessary to criticize missionary versions of Christianity on a number of grounds.

Many early Japanese converts to Christianity felt that this was largely the fault of the foreign missionaries. Christianity was unnecessarily bound to Western organizational forms, denominational politics, and missionary control. Although the statistics indicate that most Japanese have rejected the evangelistic appeals and demands of Western missionaries, the development of indigenous and independent Christian movements suggests the possibility of a more nuanced yet critical response to transplanted Christianity.

The “plurality of cultures” within the Protestant missionary movement was not overlooked by the native Christians. Uchimura Kanzõ expressed his pessimism regarding the prospects of transplanted Western Christianity as early as 1886 with the following words: Which of the nineteen different Christian denominations which are now engaged in evangelizing Japan is to gain the strongest foothold there? In our view—and let us express this view with the most hearty sympathy toward the earnest endeavors of the missionaries of all the denominations—none of them.

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