Getting Away from ‘Religion’ in Medieval Japan

Philip Garrett

The great temple shrine complexes of the medieval period were centres of organisation, authority, and legitimacy, which are best understood not as ‘religious’ complexes which were also ‘economic’ and ‘political’ powers, but as institutions whose authority cannot be separated out into separate (modern) categories of ‘economic’, ‘judicial’, or ‘religious’ authority. Such distinctions cut across the deeply interconnected nature of law, landholding, family, lineage, place, and belief in the period, the networks and systems by which medieval life was ordered, but they also cut across the way that they were perceived by those living within them: the ways in which people thought, behaved, and interacted with each other.

Click here to read the article.

Click here to access the original file in the journal Religions, 2022.