Fabio Rambelli, "The Sea and the Sacred in Japan: Aspects of Maritime Religion" (Bloomsbury, 2018)


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In The Sea and the Sacred in Japan: Aspects of Maritime Religion (Bloomsbury 2018), Fabio Rambelli invites various fifteen scholars of Japanese religions to reflect on a well taken-for-granted fact: although the sea has always been a critical source of religious inspirations for Japan, the study of Japanese religions has chosen to turn its attention away from the sea and in the process, became essentially continental and landlocked.

In fifteen chapters, this edited volume re-centers the study of Japanese religions on the coastal peripheries and calls for a geo-philosophy of the sea, or, a thalassosophy. Rambelli reminds us that "there is no sustained study in the intellectual history of the sea in Japan," and in fact, "we know very little about Japanese conceptualizations of the sea, not only in religious thought, but also in cosmology and premodern scientific discourses." This edited volume is thus an attempt to fill this knowledge gap and is the first book of its kind to focus on the role of the sea in Japanese religions.

Daigengna Duoer is a Ph.D. student at the Religious Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara.

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