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The dilemma of faith in modern Japanese literature : metaphors of Christianity

Author: Massimiliano Tomasi
Publisher: Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2018. ©2018
Series: Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese studies series.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The first book-length study to explore the links between Christianity and modern Japanese literature, this book analyses the process of conversion of nine canonical authors, unveiling the influence that Christianity had on their self-construction, their oeuvre and, ultimately, the trajectory of modern Japanese literature. Building significantly on previous research, which has treated the intersections of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: ebook version :
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Massimiliano Tomasi
ISBN: 9780815378761 0815378769
OCLC Number: 1031056630
Description: xi, 204 pages ; 25 cm.
Contents: Introduction --
Christianity and Modern Japanese Literature. The Conflict between Religion and Literature --
Narratives of Conversion. Kitamura Tokoku and the Celebration of the "Inner Life" --
Shimazaki Toson and the Discovery of the Self --
Kunikida Doppo: The Rejection of Self-Deception and the Paradox of Contrition --
Masamune Hakucho: The Fear of Death and the Cruelty of the Christian God --
Arishima Takeo: The Problem of Sin and of the Inevitability of Fate --
The Salvific Discourse of Akutagawa Ryunosuke: Early Exposure to Christianity --
A Christology of the Self: The Case of Mushanokoji Saneatsu --
The Appropriation of Christianity in Narrative: Kinoshita Naoe's Hi no hashira and Nagayo Yoshiro's Seido no kirisuto --
Epilogue: A Poetic Religion, Rife with Paradoxes.
Series Title: Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese studies series.
Responsibility: Massimiliano Tomasi.

Abstract:

The first book-length study to explore the links between Christianity and modern Japanese literature, this book analyses the process of conversion of nine canonical authors, unveiling the influence that Christianity had on their self-construction, their oeuvre and, ultimately, the trajectory of modern Japanese literature. Building significantly on previous research, which has treated the intersections of Christianity with the Japanese literary world in only a cursory fashion, this book emphasizes the need to make a clear distinction between the different roles played by Catholicism and Protestantism. In particular, it argues that most Meiji and Taishō intellectuals were exposed to an exclusively Protestant and mainly Calvinist derivation of Christianity and so it is against this worldview that the connections between the two ought to be assessed. Examining the work of authors such as Kitamura Tōkoku, Akutagawa Ryūnosuke and Nagayo Yoshirō, this book also contextualises the spread of Christianity in Japan and challenges the notion that Christian thought was in conflict with mainstream literary schools. As such, this book explains how the dualities experienced by many modern writers were in fact the manifestation of manifold developments which placed Christianity at the center, rather than at the periphery, of their process of self-construction. The Dilemma of Faith in Modern Japanese Literature will be of great interest to students and scholars of Japanese modern literature, as well as those interested in Religious Studies and Japanese Studies more generally.

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