Publication Date: March 1 2012 | Series: Asian Religions and Society Series
Japan has had three Catholic prime ministers, and its current empress was raised and educated in the faith. How did a non-Christian nation come to foster more Catholic leaders than the United States, particularly when Protestantism is said to define Christianity in Japan and Catholicism is believed to be but a fleeting element of Japan’s so-called Christian century? This volume reveals that, far from being a relic of the past – something brought to Japan by missionaries and then forgotten – Catholicism offered, and continues to provide, an authentic and alternative way for Japanese believers to maintain “tradition” and negotiate modernity.
I have been looking for a book like this for some time to use in courses on Japanese Christianity. While there are stellar publications on the so-called Christian century in Japan, spanning the late 1500s through early 1600s, there has been nothing on the modern period covering Christian history from such a wide and diverse perspective. Xavier's Legacies is a much-needed book in the fields of Asian and religious studies. - William Farge, S.J., author of The Japanese Translations of the Jesuit Mission Press, 1590-1614
A path-breaking exploration of Catholicism’s deep-seated influence in Japan.