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Media and New Religions in Japan


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Table of Contents

Introduction: What is This Book About? 1. Media and New Religions in Japan 2.The Importance of Media Engagements: Themes 3. Mediating (Buddhist) Rituals: Agonshu's Satellite Broadcasting 4. Mediating the Leader's Image: Kofuku no Kagaku's Communication Strategies in the 1990s 5. New Religions and Offline/Online Interactions: Aum Shinrikyo, Hikari no Wa and the Internet Conclusions: Mediation Practices and Reception

About the Author

Erica Baffelli is currently a Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester, UK. She is interested in religion in contemporary Japan, with a focus on groups founded from the 1970s onwards. Currently she is examining the interactions between media and "new religions" (shinshukyo) in 1980s and 1990s and the changes in the use of media by religious institutions after the 1995 Tokyo subway attack.


`Erica Baffelli's book breaks new ground by providing us with the first comprehensive analysis of the ways in which Japanese new religions use media forms to create marketable images of themselves and to construct images of their leaders and to transmit their teachings. Her study shows how the charismatic standing of leaders may be constructed and reinforced via media-ised processes, publications and rituals, and how new religions make use of spectacular, media-oriented rituals to attract new audiences. Yet she also shows that new religions at times have problems with new media, as her account of the ways in which they may struggle with the potentialities of the Internet, shows. As such this is a valuable study of importance to anyone interested in Japanese religions, new religions, and the media.' -- Ian Reader, University of Manchester, UK

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