The 34th GJS SeminarDarwin, Dharma, and the Divine: Evolutionary Theory and Religion in Modern Japan

Date and time: March 6th, 2017 (Mon.), 4:00-5:00PM
Venue: First Meeting Room (3F), Institute of Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo
Speaker: Clinton Godart (Lecturer, Modern Japanese Studies Program, Hokkaido University)
Language: English

Abstract: C. Clinton Godart will talk about his new book, *Darwin, Dharma, and the Divine*, the first book on the impact of Darwinism on religion in Japan, and the first book in English on the history of Darwinism in Japan. How did Japanese of different stripes, Buddhists, Christians, intellectuals, ideologues, and many more think religiously about evolution? What were their main concerns? Did they reject evolution on religious grounds, or how did they combine evolutionary theory with their religious beliefs? Contrary to widely held belief, evolutionary theory was at times very controversial in Japan, and became embroiled ideological struggles.
Religion also produced a strong tendency in Japan to think of evolution as not governed by the “struggle for survival,” but as harboring morality and cooperation, and was used to imagine alternative routes for modernization.
(Open to public. Please feel free to join.)

Organizer: The Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)
Co-organizer: Institute for Advanced Studeis on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo
Contact: gjs[at]