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‘An Islam-Shintoism Dialogue; Necessities and Capacities’ Seminar Held in Japan


According to the Public Relations Department of Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO), this seminar was attended by a number of academics and scholars in theological fields - including Islam, Buddhism, and Shintoism – such as Haruo Sakurai, professor at Kogakkan University (eminent Shinto university in the cities of Ise and Uda), Religions History professor at Kansai University, and also a member of the Japan Association of Religion and Ethics (JARE), as well as Hiroaki Ito, representative of and professor at the Senshu University, who in his short speech expressed his hopes for this seminar to be fruitful and effective towards further understanding and co-operation between Iran and Japan.

Following this speech, the Iranian cultural attaché in Japan, Mr. Hossein Divsalar mentioned Iran being close to its 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution coinciding with the 19th year of Iran-Japan official relations, and said: Iran has taken extensive measures towards the dialogue of religions and cultures, and is constantly in dialogue with various religions, the numerous examples of which can be witnessed in the interactions between Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. made by the Center for Interreligious Dialogue & Civilization (CID) inside the Islamic Culture and Relations Organizations (ICRO) in order to expand the common grounds.



The Iranian cultural attaché added: Having 7 milleniums of civilization, Iran believes that through dialogue of religions and cultures, stability and peace must be brought to the world; interreligious dialogue is one of the most important methods to achieve such a goal.


Mr. Banihashemi, representative of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Japan, pointed out the legal status of religions in the Islamic Republic of Iran and reiterated: “In Iran, religious minorities have representation in the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Iranian Parliament) in proportion to their population, which cannot be seen in many countries, and they are able to freely practice their religious teachings [rituals]; also there is no doubt that dialogue and emphasis on common grounds will create a favorable setting for developing interactions and collaborations.”


Mr. Javanmardi, researcher at the University of Tokyo, presented a PowerPoint presentation on the current situation and legal status of religions and minorities of Iran.


Going forward, Takahiro Saito, professor at the Meiji University, made a speech on historical fields and how “Shintoism is not Shamanism”. While pointing out the differences in the various subdivisions of Shintoism in different areas of Japan, he also emphasized on the need to taking this diversity into consideration in religious dialogues.


Mr. Ono Junichi, professor at the Senshu University and expert in Islam and the Islamic Philosophy, also mentioned the status of Shintoism in Japan and its differences with other religions in terms of rituals and customs, and emphasized: “The important matter in religious interactions is to reach an accurate and correct mutual conception; and what must be bared in mind in interreligious dialogues is that in addition to a correct conception, [the two sides] must believe in and accept each other as they are, and they must discuss and share ideas about their common beliefs and points of view.”


Masataka Takeshita, tenured professor at the University of Tokyo and an Islamist who has studied and lectured for years in Iranian and Egypt Universities as well as Harvard University, also spoke on ‘The Way of Islam and the Way of God” which referred to both Islamic and Shinto ways.


Another speaker at this seminar, Mr. Jafari, faculty member at the University of Religions and Denominations (Qom, Iran) and professor at universities of Kyoto, mentioned the grounds for dialogue between Islam and Shintoism, and pointed out that each party lacks sufficient understanding and knowledge of the scientific and intellectual properties and capacities of the other party.


Mr. Jafari emphasized: “Considering the common grounds of the two religions that could be found, it is obvious that if the Islamic and Shinto thinkers can manage, in their joint dialogues, to design methods that could make their younger generation more familiar with spirituality, and boost moral virtues as a result, they would in fact provide a precise clear path to achieve and spread peace and tranquility.


Ms. Mori Mizue, professor at the Rikkyo University and expert in history of the Shinto school of thought elaborated the Shinto viewpoints and explained: “Shinto is not a worldwide religion and there are different sayings about its history and situation; apparently the idea of Shintoism, Shinto Shrines, etc. have been around since the 7th century, and they have brought the Japanese people a special national identity. /

17:00 - 22/07/2018    /    Number : 709500    /    Show Count : 639

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