Had the chance to sit in at a Postgraduate Seminar in which Dr. Fujiwara presented a paper on Theology of Culture in a Japanese Context. He presented elements of his doctoral thesis from the University of Durham regarding the Christian faith and its tension between its transcendent nature and the surrounding culture, specifically within Japanese culture where Christianity has had a difficult time finding adherents. Less than 1% of the population is Christian.
It is no exaggeration to say that two millennia of church history have continually demonstrated the struggle between Christian faith and culture. In an effort to address this struggle, this book explores relevant issues pertinent to the relationship between faith and culture in the particular context of Japan. In this unique work, the context of Japan, well known as a desolate swamp for Christian missions, provides the setting for a re-exploration of issues pertaining to theology of culture. As such, Japan provides both a concrete and challenging context to work out a theology of culture.
Dr. Fujiwara began his paper with a brief sketch of three main encounters with Christianity in Japan (1549 Jesuits, 1859 several Protestant Missions, and postwar 1945). In each instance Christianity was originally received favorably but then rejected out of a growing suspicion with the agenda of Western Imperialism externally and cultural nationalism internally. (more…)