Wintersession in Kyoto

The 2015 Wintersession in Kyoto application is available here

REL 290 Kyoto: Center of Japan’s Religion and Culture

Professor T. James Kodera

Hands-on observation and critical analyses of religion and culture in Kyoto, Japan’s capital for over a millennium. Topics include: Shinto and Buddhism in traditional Japanese art and culture, such as “tea ceremony,” calligraphy, poetry, theater and martial arts; Shinto and Japan’s appreciation of nature; Japan’s selective memory of the Pacific War and Japan’s growing nationalism; today’s Buddhist clergy as specialists of the world of the dead, in sharp contrast to the earlier (pre-seventeenth century) focus on meditation and acts of mercy for the living; “new religions” in contemporary Japanese society and politics; Japan’s assimilation of Western religions, as manifested in youth culture; the complicity of religion in the resurgence of nationalism and xenophobia; the contemporary Japanese fascination with the “other world”. Kyoto will be the center of operation with possible side trips to Nara, Hiroshima, and perhaps Tokyo.

Length: Two and a half weeks in Japan, with three days of orientation on campus prior to departure.

Not offered every year. Subject to Dean’s Office approval.

Prerequisite: At least one course in Asian religion; though not required, preference given to students of Asian religions and of East Asian Studies. Application required.

Enrollment limited to 10 and with written permission of the instructor.

Distribution: Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semester: Wintersession Unit: 0.5

2015 Kyoto Guidelines

2015 Wintersession Program Application 

Contact Us

Contact Us

Department of Religion
Founders Hall 222
106 Central Street
Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA 02481

Barbara Geller
Department Chair

Robin M. Lush
Administrative Assistant

Tel: 781.283.2609
Fax: 781.283.3648