How Shinto is Responding to Challenges in the Modern World

How Shinto is Responding to
Challenges in the Modern
Presented by:
 Understanding the challenges facing Shinto as a religion is the best
position to begin with in looking into the responses. This helps to know
exactly what it is responding to.
 Shinto currently faces a myriad of problems:
 From a religious perspective, proliferation of other religions especially
the monotheistic Christianity and Islam has dented the position of Shinto
in Japanese culture.
 The two religions find Shinto as a pagan practice due to its lack of belief
in a common and supreme being; God/ Allah (Robbins, 2004).
 To control the Christianity that was proliferating Japan, and which was
making individuals to be more loyal to religion than to the state,
Japanese were ordered to be Buddhists, just to crash the growing
Christianity. Even though the practice ended, to date every Japanese
household has a particular amount of allegiance to Buddhism especially
where particular family members were buried. This was during the
Tokugawa regime (between 1600 and 1868) when every household was
supposed to be affiliated with a certain Buddhist temple.
 Shinto’s here were forced to be off from their religion (Oxtoby, 1996).
The Meiji government however boosted Shinto by making it a
state religion through support both financial and moral of the
Shinto priests (Karan, 2005).
The Meiji Restoration and political –administrative reforms
helped Shinto cope with its disintegration that had began.
Shrine Shinto gained national support and was separated from
Shinto was placed on the same footing like the other religions
by making shrines to be juridical individuals through the
Religious Corporations Ordinance (Karan, 2005).
The current economic rather than social world especially in the
post world war two Japan has made majority of the citizens to
be more sensitive to the economic more than the cultural
 Shinto
has been a religion that has ran deep in the family
trees of all the Japanese that adhere to the religion.
 That has been one way of countering the influence of
other religions. The cultural value attached to it through
ancestors has made it remain still relevant and able to
withstand the forces of other religions (Molloy, 2008).
 With each family being affiliated to a particular Shinto
shrine, the families pass down the stories of their
religious heritage and inclination to their descendants
which ahs helped to preserve the religion and assisted it
to cope withy the current pressures.
The fact that the world has become more of a global village has made
the Japanese tot ravel to new places where the Shinto religion is quite
alien. This has been a problem especially for the Shinto Japanese in
places like Europe and the US. (Lucas, & Robbins 2004).
This however hasn’t hindered them from practicing their religion since
they get replicas of their Shinto shrines wherever they go. They also
send their children back in Japan to learn more of the same religion,
understands the practices better and learn their family affiliation to their
Shinto ways and shrines.
Karan, P. P. (2005). Japan in the 21st century: Environment,
economy, and society.. Lexington: University Press of
Lucas, P., & Robbins, T. (2004). New Religious Movements
in the 21st Century Legal, Political, and Social Challenges in
Global.. London: Routledge.
Molloy, M. (2008). Experiencing the world's religions:
tradition, challenge, and change (4th ed.). Boston: McGraw
Hill Higher Education.
Oxtoby, W. G. (1996). World religions: Eastern traditions.
Toronto: Oxford University Press.
Robbins, T. (2004). New Religious Movements in the
Twenty-First Century Legal, Political, and Social Challenges
in Global Perspective.. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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