mercredi 3 décembre 2014

Alexandre Benod: Rethinking the Concept of New Religions in Japan: The Case of Agonshû

Je recopie une information parue sur la liste électronique H-Japan:

Nichibunken Evening Seminar on Japanese Studies (193rd Meeting), December 4, 2014 (Thursday), 4:30 P.M.-6:30 P.M.

Speaker: Alexandre Benod

Topic: Rethinking the Concept of New Religions in Japan: The Case of Agonshû

Language: English

Place: Seminar Room 2, International Research Center for Japanese Studies, 3-2 Oeyama-cho, Goryo, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 610-1192

URL: <>

About the speaker:

Alexandre Benod completed his PhD at the Institute for Transtextual and Transcultural Studies of the University of Lyon (France) in 2013. His dissertation is titled “The Goma Fire Ritual: The New Religion Agonshû’s Response to Contemporary Social Suffering.” He worked under Suzuki Masataka’s guidance, in the Graduate School of Human Relations of Keio University between 2008-2009, while conducting the main part of his fieldwork in Agonshû’s facilities. Dr. Benod currently holds a postdoctoral position at the Ritsumeikan University Center for Game Studies thanks to a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellowship. His latest research compares New Religions and Video Games in Japan through the scope of a theory developed by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called « flow ».


This lecture will focus on the so-called new new religion Agonshû, part of a long term research project of the speaker introduced in his doctoral dissertation. Founded by Kiriyama Seiyu in 1978, Agonshû belief and rituals are deeply rooted in folklore and esoteric Buddhism. The group has become known in Japan through its intensive use of media techniques during its ceremonies and festivals, like the Hoshi Matsuri (Star Festival). The case of Agonshû illustrates the capacity of adaptation of the Japanese (new) religions to the needs of a society and questions the validity of this concept regarding the history of the modernization of religions.

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