Tama in Japanese Myth: A Hermeneutical Study of Ancient Japanese Divinity (Hardback)
  • Tama in Japanese Myth: A Hermeneutical Study of Ancient Japanese Divinity (Hardback)
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Tama in Japanese Myth: A Hermeneutical Study of Ancient Japanese Divinity (Hardback)

(author)
£60.00
Hardback 218 Pages / Published: 25/08/2011
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Tama in Japanese Myth attempts to elucidate Japanese religious experiences by presenting a new interpretation of the oldest existing text of Japanese myth, the Kojiki. Informed by phenomenological hermeneutics, Iwasawa shows that the concept of tama lies at the core of Japanese religious experiences. Tama is often compared to spirit and soul in Western philosophy and religion and especially to the German concept of Geist. Tama develops in ways that do not assume a dichotomy between the ideational and the sensible, which is precisely the dichotomy informing Western theism and the Platonic tradition of metaphysics. Iwasawa argues that the Western concept of God, far from explaining all possible connections between the human and the divine, is less than satisfactory for analyzing Japanese religious experiences. Iwasawa proceeds by examining the Japanese notion of tama as an inquiry into the origin of values wholly unaffected by the Western idea of a moral God.

Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 9780761855248
Number of pages: 218
Weight: 431 g
Dimensions: 241 x 162 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Tomoko Iwasawa's fascinating and, in many ways, revolutionary study of the Kojiki ... makes a convincing case for the fundamentality of tama within the overall structure of Japanese myth.... Fully conversant with Western philosophy and the leading experts in the analysis and criticism of classical Japanese texts, Tomoko Iwasawa's [book] should be considered required reading in Japanese studies, religious studies, and the comparative philosophy of religion. -- Alan M. Olson, Boston University
Unusually lucid and intelligent.... This thoroughly hermeneutic analysis looks to the thought of Paul Ricoeur and Hans-Georg Gadamer and then goes beyond them. Her argument is startling in its originality, thorough in its documentation, and deeply persuasive. -- Michael Palencia-Roth, Trowbridge Scholar in Literary Studies, Emeritus professor of comparative and world literature, University of Illinois
Few scholars have yet approached the kind of exegesis that lwasawa accomplishes ... Grounded in ancient Shinto texts and modern scholarship, this original and even courageous work critiques and advances Ricoeurian understanding of myth ... and perhaps ultimately of the human condition. -- Carl Becker Ph.D., Litt., professor of comparative religions, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University
I heartily applaud Iwasawa for the boldness of her project. I especially agree with her call for more remythologizing in the scholarly study of Shinto myth, that narrative corpus that was mythologized by State Shinto and then has been so thoroughly demythologized in postwar scholarship. * Japan Review *

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