By Mark R. Mullins
For hundreds of years the lodging among Japan and Christianity has been an uneasy one. in comparison with others of its Asian acquaintances, the church buildings in Japan have by no means counted greater than a small minority of believers kind of resigned to styles of formality and trust transplanted from the West. yet there's one other aspect to the tale, one little identified and infrequently instructed: the increase of indigenous pursuits aimed toward a Christianity that's right now made in Japan and devoted to the scriptures and apostolic culture. Christianity Made in Japan attracts on large box examine to provide an fascinating and sympathetic glance behind the curtain and into the lives of the leaders and fans of a number of indigenous hobbies in Japan. targeting the "native" reaction instead of Western missionary efforts and intentions, it provides kinds of new interpretations of the Christian culture. It supplies voice to the unheard perceptions and perspectives of many eastern Christians, whereas rais! ing questions important to the self-understanding of Christianity as a very "world religion."
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Additional info for Christianity Made in Japan: A Study of Indigenous Movements
In the following chapters we will explore in more detail how different streams of foreign influence (reformed theology, pentecostalism, dispensationalism, Unitarianism) have been mixed in unique ways with indigenous elements to produce these alternative Japanese Christian traditions.
Christianity and various new religions that emerged from the war's aftermath provided one means of coping with this crisis. With the establishment of religious freedom by the Occupation Forces in 1946, many groups left the Kyodan* to reestablish their prewar denominational identities. Between 1949 and 1953 over fifteen hundred new missionaries arrived in Japan, and the churches began to show signs of recovery. Indigenous new religious movements, on the other hand, have capitalized on the new demographic profile and deregulated religious economy and, according to the most reliable Japanese scholarship, have memberships totaling between 10 and 20 percent of the population.
Even many Japanese who made a commitment to the Christian faith struggled with lingering doubts about the "absoluteness" of missionary versions of Christianity. 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.