A Christian response to postmodern elements in Japanese society
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Theses Ph. D.--Missions
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This dissertation explores a Christian response to postmodern elements in Japanese society. Chapter 1 states the basic problems of postmodernism and shows the thesis that a Christian response to postmodern Japan is characterized by both rationality and humanity. Chapter 2 examines the basic nature of Japanese religion and society. This chapter begins with an analysis of Confucianism, the history of Japanese religions, and the Japanese social structure. Emotional human relationships and focus on small groups are the key ideas in understanding the Japanese cultural milieu. Chapter 3 explores how modern sociological theories treat the problems of modern society. Specifically, this chapter analyses the change of social theories from modernism to postmodernism. Chapter 4 analyses the cultural phenomena in the postmodern situation. This chapter also shows qualitative research concerning a personal religious experience in postmodernity. It shows that too much emphasis on rationality by modernism has produced an anomic situation in the postmodern people of Japan and shows how such people are attracted by emotional and restrictive faith. Chapter 5 addresses the controversy between liberal and conservative Christians. Both groups are eagerly responding to postmodernism but they have limits because they are equally influenced by modernism. Chapter 6 introduces an alternative response which will be effective in evangelizing the Japanese society. Spirituality seen in Korean Christian faith shows it is highly possible to win the Japanese people because of their cultural continuity. Chapter 7 concludes with the idea that motherhood (emotional) and fatherhood (rational) aspects of the Christian faiths should be integrated. This work is useful for those who are concerned with missionary work in Japan and those who are seeking an effective strategy to evangelize postmodern people.