Uchimura and the Bible in Japan

Atsuhiro Asano

in The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199204540
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Uchimura and the Bible in Japan

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This article first clarifies the motive behind Kanzo Uchimura' reception of the Bible in a brief historical description of Japan's encounter with Christianity and the emergence of Uchimura's community of Mukyokai. Based upon the identified motivation, it then surveys Uchimura's writings with three applicational foci in mind, which stand out in his reading of the Bible; that is, the authentication of the marginal, reconsideration of patriotism, and redefinition of Christianity. Books, journal articles, and diary entries that he left behind are all contained in the forty-one volumes of Uchimura Kanzo Zenshu (‘The Complete Works of Kanzo Uchimura’ — Uchimura 1980–2001). Among these, particular focus is given to the series of expository essays on Paul's Letter to the Galatians, and other essays regarding major prophets, as Uchimura often compares them with the apostle Paul. Interest in these essays is due to the special affinity that Uchimura held toward the Galatians letter, to which his own life experience of community-building corresponds closely as an analogical narrative.

Keywords: Kanzo Uchimura; Christianity; Mukyokai; Paul; Galatians; Uchimura Kanzo Zenshu

Article.  7530 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity ; Religious Studies ; Comparative Religion

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