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By Dennis Washburn, A. Kevin Reinhart

This quantity considers the idea that of conversion as a device for knowing differences to modernity. It examines conversions to modernity in the Ottoman area, India, China, and Japan as a response to the pressures of colonialism and imperialism.

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Extra info for Converting Cultures: Religion, Ideology and Transformations of Modernity (Social Sciences in Asia)

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24 trent maxey Reprising the specter of Christian conversion, EtÔ fears the possibility that government missionaries, preaching in the emperor’s name, might fail to win the contest to convert. The Left Chamber submitted a full proposal recommending the creation of a Ministry of Doctrine to oversee all creeds in December 1871. In it, we see EtÔ’s concern to distance the emperor and the imperial institution from the “religious” competition the Ministry of Doctrine would be directing against Christianity: We fear that later generations will mistakenly understand the divine spirit of the imperial ancestor (soshÖ no shinrei ) to be the founder of a religion (kyÔhÔshu).

P. 258. , p. 262. 8 trent maxey Christian conversion motivated much of the ritual, ecclesiastical, and ideological reforms undertaken by the Meiji state in the early postRestoration period. The fear of conversion translated into an attempt to convert. II. ”16 The Ministry of Rites ( jigikan), an ofÀce resurrected from the eighth century stood at the center of that invention and provided a focal point for ideologues, especially scholars of Native Learning (kokugaku) and Shinto priests, who sought to realize the unity of rite and rule.

If this missionary were to debate with a foreign teacher and fail (oyobazaru koto aru toki wa), where will the fault lie? The failure of the divine doctrine will thus be the failure of the gods. The Western doctrine will gain ever-greater force and missions will be unable to prevent it. If Confucianism and Buddhism cannot prevent it, it may, in the end, result in the slighting of the imperial family. 71 71 Quoted in Kitsunezuka YÖko, “KyÔbushÔ no setchi to EtÔ Shinpei,” in Meiji nihon no seijika gunzÔ, ed.

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