Here's English abstract of the articles from the online journal "Religion and Social Contribution".
Religion and Social Contribution 2012.10, Volume 2, Issue 2: 41-58.
Homeless Support by a Christian Based NPO in Okinawa
A Study Adopting a Four-Dimensional Model of Faith-Related Organization
This paper focuses on the case of the Promise Keepers (PK), a Christian homeless support group, to evaluate the orientation of Japanese faith-related organizations. At its inception, PK supported homeless people as a congregation. However, in order to make pluralize its resources, PK has become an NPO. Thus PK has been able to provide a wider variety of services for homeless people and has become the most reliable homeless support organization in Okinawa. While PK is based on a congregation with a strong internal unity, it is also working as an NPO open to the "outside". That is, PK makes use of two inherent kinds of social capital: bonding social capital and bridging social capital. In recent years both society and academia have called for "social contribution by religions". The case study in this paper aids consideration of emerging models of religious social participation.
Religion and Social Contribution 2012.10, Volume 2, Issue 2: 17-40.
“Religion and Social Contribution”: the 14th Dalai Lama’s Thought on “Religion” and “Altruism”
The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the views of the 14th Dalai Lama concerning the relationship between “religion and social contribution.” By making distinction between “religion” and “spirituality,” the Dalai lama emphasizes that all people need “universal religion,” the point of which is the thought to be of help to others. The Dalai Lama characterizes altruism as “wise self-interest,” a concept which means to think of others also when pursuing our own happiness.
Religion and Social Contribution 2012.10, Volume 2, Issue 2: 1-16.
Religious Policies of the Chinese Government and Public Service
Activities of a Tibetan Buddhist Academy as Seen through Earthquake Relief Activities
A massive earthquake hit the Tibetan-inhabited area in Qinghai Province in April 2010. The Serthar Buddhist Institute, located in Serthar County, Sichuan Province, immediately dispatched a rescue party to the affected area to provide medical aid and other support. This paper, based on a collection of notes written by a Han Chinese rescue worker who practices Buddhism, aims to clarify the details and significance of the social contribution activities conducted by Tibetan Buddhist organizations in terms of social capital and new religious policies of the Chinese government.
Religion and Social Contribution 2012.04, Volume 2, Issue 1: 19-43.
Life for Vulnerable Groups in Transplant Medicine
A Study of Issues in Pediatric Brain-death Organ Transplantation
I consider the question “what is life?” to be the essence of religion or religious studies. In this paper, rather than locating questions of life and death in a system of religious studies, I would like to review the questions “What is life?” and “What is death?” through a thematic focus on ethical issues in organ transplantation for children (pediatric, brain-death organ transplants), an area which has recently become more and more confused. I consider the question of “medical care involving sacrifice,” and search for "compassionate medical care" through a discussion of the 2009 revisions to Japan’s Organ Transplant Law, which I think robs brain-dead children (vulnerable groups) of the “right to dignified life.”
Religion and Social Contribution 2012.04, Volume 2, Issue 1: 1-17.
The Social Capital from Mountain Pilgrimage
The Example of the Pilgrims of Dewa-Sanzan
In this paper, I consider the creation of social capital in the tradition of mountain pilgrimage, as well as the various effects of that capital for well-being.In pilgrimage to Dewa-Sanzan, social capital among the pilgrims is created through cooperation and acceptance of climbing worship based on “gratitude.” This social capital develops bonds among believers in their everyday lives, which are also sustained across generations. Although this social capital has significance for individual well-being and ethics among the pilgrims, the resulting inner cohesiveness limits relations with outsiders and constrains the flexibility needed for future development.
Religion and Social Contribution 2011.10, Volume 1, Issue 2: 49-71.
From “Religion and Social Contribution” to “Management of Religious Studies for Society”
This paper reviews three main theoretical articles in the book “Religion and Social Contribution” edited and written by Inaba Keishin and Sakurai Yoshihide. First, this paper illustrates that the three articles are oriented toward social construction and social movement. Then, it focuses on the multiple meanings of “social contribution by religions.” Next, the paper points out the values behind these articles and argues for the importance of clarification and multiplicity of these values. I maintain that the request for “social contribution by religions” comes from religious believers and academic scholars who are oriented social activities. Further, I investigate the social background of these people from the viewpoint of the rise of knowledge workers. Finally, I insist on applying management and social marketing skills to the study of “social contribution by religions.” These skills will be relevant to the aspects of social construction and social movement orientations of the study.
Religion and Social Contribution 2011.10, Volume 1, Issue 2: 23-48.
Development Aid Through “Nurturing People” by the NGO OISCA
Subject Formation Beyond the Critiques of Neoliberalism
In recent years, social scientists have criticized international aid NGOs for
advancing neoliberal agendas. In this paper, I focus on a Japanese NGO called OISCA that comes out of a Shinto-based new religion in order to offer a case for which critiques of neoliberalism do not quite apply. I examine (1) the historical relationships between OISCA and governmental actors, and (2) forms of subject formation in the trainings that are based on a concept of subject-object mutuality. This perspective is possible due to attention to relations between religion and NGOs, and it proposes a new direction beyond critiques of neoliberalism in NGO research.
Religion and Social Contribution 2011.10, Volume 1, Issue 2: 1-21.
Social Contribution in Muslim Society
Case of Abu al-Nur in Modern Syria
This paper gives an overview of social contribution activities in Muslim society, with a special focus on anti-poverty relief efforts in contemporary Syria. Social contributions such as almsgiving and endowment have lost influence in modern Syria, but the Abu al-Nur Mosque, under the leadership of A?mad Kuft?r? has successfully carried out various activities by straddling the public-private divide. In particular, the poverty-elimination efforts of the mosque's “Ansar” public service organization have bought about a reevaluation of religious organization. The case of Abu al-Nur Mosque and Ansar illustrate the possibility of religious activity in the service of social action, in the context of a historically Muslim society that is currently secular.
Religion and Social Contribution 2011.04, Volume1, Issue 1: 79-101.
Are Religious Activities Socially Contributive Activities?
An Analysis of Survey Research on Socially-Contributive Activities Conducted by Religious Organizations
The purpose of this study was to examine the determinants of agreement with the statement that religious activities are socially-contributive activities. The annual Syukyo Nenkan fact book was used to contact religious organizations. Using multiple regression analyses, it was found that traditional Buddhist organizations, organizations which do not conduct socially-contributive activities, and organizations which think that conducting socially-contributive activities will cause the organization to become a part of government agreed strongly with the statement that religious activities are socially-contributive activities. It was also found that the size of the organization, agreement with the statement that religious organizations are expected by citizens to conduct socially-contributive activities, and agreement with the statement that socially-contributive activities are interactions with local citizens had no significant effect on whether the organization considered religious activities to be socially?contributive activities.
Religion and Social Contribution 2011.04, Volume1, Issue 1: 53-77.
Toyohiko Kagawa and Oceanic Civilization Beyond the Death line and the Great Earthquake
Toyohiko Kagawa (1888-1960) was deeply inspired by nature of the sea in his lonely childhood. He encountered religion (Christianity) as a teen. Both of Christianity and the sea had great influence on his social movements and thought. Nature and religion were two axes by which he got various ideas and courage to solve many social problems of modern capitalism. This article focuses on the linkage among three factors of nature of the sea, religion, and society in the dynamism of Kagawa’s activities and analyzes his unique general approaches to dealing with severe problems of the modern civilization.
Religion and Social Contribution 2011.04, Volume 1, Issue 1: 27-51.
The Perspective of Social Capital Theory and Religion
This paper evaluates the extent to which the theory of social capital contributes to religious studies that focus on various types of social engagement by religions. The first section illustrates the degrading social integration in contemporary Japan, which was described recently as a “no relationship society” and “isolated tribes.” It also describes how the public administration promotes the restoration of social capital that complements social services for disabled and disadvantaged people. Next, sociological reviews are undertaken on the theoretical dimension (in the second section), philosophical thought (in the third section), and analytical framework (in the fourth section) in order to consider the hypothesis that involvement in a religious congregation develops the reciprocal and trusting consciousness so that social engagement and participation in civil society are well organized. Then the author considers the cases of American Christian churches (in the fifth section) and Thai Theravada Buddhist temples (in the sixth section) and critically investigates previous research in terms of their perspective and methodology. Finally, in the conclusion, future challenges for this study will be proposed.
Religion and Social Contribution 2011.04, Volume 1, Issue 1: 3-26.
Unconscious Religiosity and Social Capital
This paper provides an overview of the correlation between religion and social capital in Japan. Japan has experienced rapid urbanization and industrialization since the middle of the nineteenth century and particularly since World WarⅡ. During this process, society has changed from the one which is based on the local community (Gemeinschaft) to the one based on the impersonal association (Gesellschaft). Religion no longer serves as the symbolic basis for societal stability, solidarity and integration.
Nationally only 30 per cent of the Japanese recognize themselves as religious. Under such circumstances, some Japanese have some kind of shared religiosity of which they are unconscious. This paper will discuss the setting of this unconscious religiosity and social capital in civil society in Japan by considering some important concepts related to their altruism such as harmony ethics in the hope that this presentation will throw some light on recent trends and future research.