Cultural and Theological Reflections on the Japanese Quest for Divinity
John J. Keane (Franciscan Friars of the Atonement)
In Cultural and Theological Reflections on the Japanese Quest for Divinity, John J. Keane offers an explanation of Japanese divinity (kami 神) using sociology, anthropology, linguistics, literature and history. He presents an overview of how the Japanese have sought to love and serve their kami - a quest that rivals the interest that the West gives to God. The principles of interreligious dialogue are applied to the meaning of kami and a plea is made for a dialogue that respectfully accepts differences between the cultures and the theologies of Eastern and Western thought. Important cultural themes are discussed as a part of this quest, such as the emperors of Japan and the Japanese Tea Ceremony. The work also challenges the understanding of kami as highlighted by Akutagawa Ryunosuke and Endo Shusaku.