Handbook of Christianity in Japan

Article excerpt

Handbook of Christianity in Japan. Edited by Mark R. Mullins. Leiden: Brill, 2003. (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Sec. 5 Japan, 10.) Pp. x, 423. euro99 / $124.

Christianity in Japan has had more influence than its numbers would indicate. This Handbook of Christianity in Japan goes a long way toward explaining that phenomenon. The editor, Mark R. Mullins, is a professor of religion in the Faculty of Comparative Culture, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. He and the other seventeen contributors to the volume have all published works or completed dissertations previously in the area of Japanese Christianity. Divided into three sections, the first traces the history of Christianity in Japan; the second discusses the influence of Christianity in Japanese society and culture; the final section provides important information on archives and resources in Japan for the study of Christianity.

Besides surveying the history from the first Roman Catholics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the advent of all other Christian groups, the first section includes chapters on imperialism and nationalism related to Japanese Christianity, as well as theology in Japan and the history of Bible translations. …