Tenri University hosted the 62nd annual conference of the Japanese Association for Religious Studies between September 3 and 5. About 600 scholars and researchers of religious studies attended the conference. This was the third time that the association held its annual conference in Tenri, the first one being held in 1951 and the second in 1975. Professor Emeritus Charles H. Long of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Professor William A. Graham of Harvard University, who also serves as Dean at Harvard Divinity School, were invited from the United States for the meeting.
A public international symposium, entitled “The Concept of Religion and Its Reality,” opened the three-day conference. This symposium was organized in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Oyasato Institute for the Study of Religion.
In the symposium, Professor Long first delivered a keynote address under the title “Theory and Method for Religious Studies: A New Arche for the Study of Religion.” This was followed by Professor Graham’s keynote lecture entitled “Reflections on the Comparative Study of Religion.”
Furthermore, Professor Masako Keta of Kyoto University spoke on the theme “Modern Society and Philosophy of Religion.” Then, Professor Susumu Shimazono of the University of Tokyo, who also serves as president of the Japanese Association for Religious Studies, delivered a lecture entitled “Contemporary Religion and Religious Studies: The Concept of ‘Religion’ in a Post Axial Civilization.”
On the second and third days of the conference, over 300 research papers were read in 11 sessions.