Aike Peter Rots

Associate Professor - Japan Studies
Image of Aike Peter Rots
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Phone +47-22858385
Room 331 PAM
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Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 P. A. Munchs hus 0371 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1010 Blindern 0315 OSLO

Research interests

I am interested in a variety of topics related to the study of religion, culture and society in modern and contemporary Asia. Thus far, my research has mainly focused on Japan; recently, however, I have also developed an interest in Vietnam and the Ryukyu Islands. Thematically speaking, my research interests include the following: Shinto and shrines; Christianity, new religious movements and popular religion; nature, landscape conservation and environmental activism; the formation of "religion" and "the secular"; sacralisation, heritagisation and the production of space; nationalism, ideology and identity politics; and theory and method in the study of religion and culture.

I am the author of the monograph Shinto, Nature and Ideology in Contemporary Japan: Making Sacred Forests (Bloomsbury 2017), and the co-editor (with Mark Teeuwen) of Formations of the Secular in Japan (special issue of Japan Review, no. 30, 2017). Other publications include "Re-enchantment Restricted: Popular Buddhism and Politics in Vietnam Today", in Buddhist Modernities: Re-Inventing Tradition in the Globalizing Modern World, eds. Hanna Havnevik et al. (Routledge 2017); "Sacred Forests, Sacred Nation: The Shinto Environmentalist Paradigm and the Rediscovery of Chinju no Mori", Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 42:2 (2015); "Shinto's Modern Transformations: From Imperial Cult to Nature Worship", in Routledge Handbook of Religions in Asia, eds. Bryan S. Turner and Oscar Salemink (Routledge 2014); "Nature's Blessing, Nature's Wrath: Shinto Responses to the Disasters of 2011", in When the Tsunami Came to Shore: Culture and Disaster in Japan, ed. Roy Starrs (Brill 2014); and "Ambiguous Identities: Negotiating Christianity and 'Japaneseness'", in Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Religions, eds. John K. Nelson and Inken Prohl (Brill, 2012).

I am currently finishing an article on tree-planting and religious activism in post-tsunami Tohoku, as well as a comparative article on religious environmentalism and nationalism in East Asia. In addition, I am involved in the research project "Sacred Heritage in Japan", which looks at the consequences of heritagisation on Japanese sacred sites and ritual practices. For this project, I have conducted field research in Okinawa, looking at a sacred site associated with the Ryukyu Kingdom that has become a major tourist destination after being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; publications on this topic are forthcoming. I am also in the process of developing a new, comparative project on cetacean worship and environmental change in maritime East Asia.

 

 

Educational background

PhD, University of Oslo, 2014

MA Japanese Religions, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 2008

BA Japanese Language and Culture, Leiden University, 2007

BA World Religions, Leiden University, 2007

 

Tags: Japan, Religion and politics, Shinto, Japanese, Nature and the environment, Culture and society, East and Southeast Asia

Publications

Monograph:

Shinto, Nature and Ideology in Contemporary Japan: Making Sacred Forests. London: Bloomsbury, 2017.

 

Edited volume:

(With Mark Teeuwen:) Formations of the Secular in Japan. Special issue of Japan Review, no. 30, 2017.

 

Journal articles and book chapters:

'Public Shrine Forests? Shinto, Immanence, and Discursive Secularization.' Japan Review 30, 2017, pp. 179-205.

(With Mark Teeuwen:) 'Introduction: Formations of the Secular in Japan.' Japan Review 30, 2017, pp. 3-20.

'Re-enchantment Restricted: Popular Buddhism and Politics in Vietnam Today', in Hanna Havnevik, Ute Hüsken, Mark Teeuwen, Vladimir Tikhonov and Koen Wellens, eds., Buddhist Modernities: Re-Inventing Tradition in the Globalizing Modern World, Abingdon: Routledge, 2017, pp. 183-203.

'The Sacralization of Space', in Sîan Melvill Hawthone, ed., Gender: GodMacmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks, Farmington Hills: Macmillan Reference USA, 2017, pp. 315-332.

'Sacred Forests, Sacred Nation: The Shinto Environmentalist Paradigm and the Rediscovery of Chinju no Mori.’ Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 42 (2), 2015, pp. 205-233.

'Worldwide Kami, Global Shinto: The Invention and Spread of a "Nature Religion".' Czech and Slovak Journal of Humanities 3, 2015, pp. 31-48.

'Shinto's Modern Transformations: From Imperial Cult to Nature Worship', in Bryan S. Turner and Oscar Salemink, eds., Routledge Handbook of Religions in Asia. Abingdon: Routledge, 2015, pp. 125-143.

'Nature's Blessing, Nature's Wrath: Shinto Responses to the Disasters of 2011', in Roy Starrs, ed., When the Tsunami Came to Shore: Culture and Disaster in Japan. Leiden: Brill, 2014, pp. 23-49.

'The Rediscovery of "Sacred Space" in Contemporary Japan: Intrinsic Quality or Discursive Strategy?', in Liu Janhui and Sano Mayuko, eds., Rethinking ‘Japanese Studies’ from Practices in the Nordic Region. Kyoto: International Research Center for Japanese Studies, 2014, pp. 31-50.

'Chinju no mori : la forêt sacrée', in Philippe Bonnin, Nishida Masatsugu and Inaga Shigemi, eds., Vocabulaire de la spatialité japonaise. Paris: CNRS Éditions, 2014, pp. 80-82.

'Shizen : la nature', in Philippe Bonnin, Nishida Masatsugu and Inaga Shigemi, eds., Vocabulaire de la spatialité japonaise. Paris: CNRS Éditions, 2014, pp. 444-447.

'Ambigious Identities: Negotiating Christianity and "Japaneseness" ', in John K. Nelson and Inken Prohl, eds., Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Religions, Leiden: Brill, 2012, pp. 309-343.

'The Discourse on Chinju no Mori: Redefining Shinto and Shinto Sanctuaries in Contemporary Japan', in Shinto Kokusai Gakkai, ed., Toward a Deeper Understanding of Shinto Culture. Essays on Shinto: Volume 6, Tokyo: Shinto Kokusai Gakkai, 2012, pp. 96-110.

'Staatscultus of natuurverering? 'Shinto', 'religie' en politieke ideologie in de moderne Japanse geschiedenis', in Leidschrift, 26 (2), 2011, pp. 51-75.

'Christian Millenarianism and Nationalism in Prewar Japan: Nakada Jūji's Politics of Identity', in Toru Aoyama, ed., Religion, Identity and Conflict: Proceedings of the Postgraduate Workshop, Tokyo: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 2010, pp. 49-58.

 

PhD dissertation:

Forests of the Gods: Shinto, Nature, and Sacred Space in Contemporary Japan. University of Oslo, 2013.

 

Edited book (popular-scientific):

(With Joantine Berghuijs) Bezield Leiden: Wereldgodsdiensten aan de Rijn, Leiden: LDSR Kosmikos, 2007.

 

Book reviews:

Review of Sacred Space in the Modern City: The Fractured Pasts of Meiji Shrine, 1912-1958, by Yoshiko Imaizumi. Monumenta Nipponica 71 (2), 2016, pp. 438-442.

Review of Japanese Tree Burial: Ecology, Kinship and the Culture of Death, by Sébastien Penmellen Boret. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 42 (2), 2015, pp. 392-395.

Review of Gods Without Names: The Genesis of Modern Shinto in Nineteenth Century Japan, by Yijiang Zhong, on Dissertation Reviews, 2014.

Review of Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook, edited by James W. Heisig, Thomas P. Kasulis and John C. Maraldo. Japan Review 24, 2012, pp. 213-215.

 

Other:

'Shinto'. Introduction, headnotes and selection of primary sources. Online companion to Jack Miles et al., eds.,The Norton Anthology of World Religions, New York: W.W. Norton, 2016. Available online (access code needed).

'Shinto's sacred forests: Religious studies, environmentalism and the rediscovery of sacred space', on PluRel - en blog om religion og samfunn, 2012.

'Transformation or secularisation?', on PluRel - en blog om religion og samfunn, 2012.

'Internationaal congres over religie en terrorisme,' in Tijdschrift voor Theologie, 51 (3), 2011, p. 331.

'Millenarianism - Monotheistic machinations or universal utopias?', on PluRel - en blog om religion og samfunn, 2011.

'Japan, the Jews, and Divine Election: Nakada Jūji's Christian Nationalism', in The Newsletter, International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS), 54, 2010, p. 31.

'MA Japanese Religions Bursary 2007-'08', in Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions Newsletter, SOAS, 16-17, 2008, p. 17.

(With Ike Gerritsen) ' "U hoeft dat juk niet te dragen!" De Levensstroom in Leiderdorp', in Joantine Berghuijs and Aike Rots, eds., Bezield Leiden: Wereldgodsdiensten aan de Rijn, Leiden: LDSR Kosmikos, 2007, pp. 57-66.

 

Conference papers and guest lectures:

'Sēfa Utaki: Whose Heritage?' Forskningsdager: Verdensarvstafett, Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research, Oslo, 22 September 2017.

'Heritage Production, Ecology, and the Resignification of Sacred Space: The Case of Sēfa Utaki.' European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS) 15th International Conference, Lisbon, 30 August-2 September 2017.

'「地域復興の象徴としての鎮守の森」[Chiiki fukkō no shōchō to shite no chinju no mori.]' International workshop '「東北における宗教活動と森づくり」[Tōhoku ni okeru shūkyō katsudō to mori-zukuri]', Tohoku University, 7 July 2017.

'Heritage, Religion, and the Politics of Identity in Okinawa.' Guest lecture, Kyushu University, 5 July 2017.

'Reclaiming the Shinto Secular: The Death of "Religion" in an Enchanted Society.' International symposium 'Did the Gods Survive Modernity? Religion and the Secular in Contemporary Japan.' University of Groningen, 19 May 2017.

'UNESCO and Sacred Heritage in Japan: The Case of Sēfa Utaki.' Museologisk lunsjseminar, University of Oslo, 3 April 2017.

'Kampen om Henoko: Militærbaser og fredsaktivisme i Okinawa.' Guest lecture, University of Bergen, 29 March 2017.

'Whose Sacred Grove? Imperialism, Heritage Production, and the Invention of "Ryukyu Shinto".' Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Toronto, 16-19 March 2017.

'Saving Sacred Sea Cows: Pacifism, Environmental Advocacy, and Cultural Expression at the Henoko Bay Protest Site.' NORASIA VII: Maritime Asia, University of Oslo, 12-13 January 2017.

'Primordial Practices? "Nature Worship", "Animism", and the Depoliticisation of Shinto.' Workshop and symposium 'What Isn't Shinto', University of Pennsylvania, 23-24 September 2016.

'Forest Lovers, Forest Walls: Tree-Planting, Cultural Nationalism, and Religious Activism in Post-Tsunami Tohoku.' 10th Conference of the Nordic Association of Japanese and Korean Studies (NAJAKS), Stockholm University, 17-19 August 2016.

'Revival or Repression? Buddhism and Politics in Vietnam Today.' Oslo Buddhist Studies Forum, University of Oslo, 12 May 2016.

'Daoists in Ise's Forest: Nature Conservation, National Religion, and International Legitimacy.' International seminar 'Internationalism in East Asia', Saitama University, Japan. 14 March 2016.

'Shinto og politikk i Japan: sekularisering eller sakralisering?' Guest lecture, University of Bergen, 2 March 2016.

'Reclaiming Public Space: Shinto and Politics in Japan Today.' International conference 'Traditional Wisdom and Political Expression', Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences, Brussels. 29 January 2016.

'Making Sacred Forests: Shinto, Environmentalism, and Chinju no Mori.' Guest lecture. University of Manchester, 20 October 2015, and SOAS, London, 22 October 2015.

'Sacred Groves "Saving the World": The Meanings of Chinju no Mori.' BAJS Annual Conference, SOAS, London, 10-11 September 2015.

'Public Shrine Forests? Shinto, Nature, and the Religious-Secular Dichotomy.' International Workshop 'Formations of the Secular in Japan', University of Oslo, 18-19 June 2015.

'Cultural Policy, Food Safety, and Environmental Issues in Contemporary Japan.' Japan Gateway to Asia Workshop, Irish Management Institute, Dublin. 12-13 March 2015.

‘Global Kami, Online Shrines: The Popularisation of Shinto Outside Japan.’ School of Asian Studies Postgraduate Research Seminar, University College Cork, 14 January 2015.

‘Global Shinto? Invention and Spread of a “Nature Religion”.’ International Conference ‘Migration, Religion and Asia’. Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, 27-29 November 2014.

‘Whose Shinto? Authority and Legitimacy in a “Religion Without Doctrine”.’ International Workshop ‘Religious Authority in Asia: Problems and Strategies of Recognition.’ University of Manchester, 31 October-1 November 2014.

‘Public Shrine, Private Faith: Shinto and (Anti-)Secularism in Twenty-First Century Japan.’ European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS) 14th International Conference, University of Ljubljana, August 27-30, 2014.

‘Sacred Space as Thirdspace? Sacralisation, Power, and the Appropriation of Space.’ Oslo International Graduate Students Conference ‘Space, Culture and Religion: Considering Implications of the “Spatial Turn”’, University of Oslo, 19-21 May 2014.

‘Discarding Religion, Reclaiming Religion: Competing Uses of a Concept.’ International conference ‘Religion and Pluralities of Knowledge’, Dutch Association for the Study of Religion (NGG) and European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR), University of Groningen, 11-15 May 2014.

‘Sacred Shrine Forests in Twenty-First Century Japan: The Shinto Environmentalist Paradigm and the Rediscovery of Chinju no Mori.’ Nordic Association for the Study of Contemporary Japanese Society (NAJS) Tenth Annual Conference, University of Helsinki, 20-21 March 2014.

‘Does Shinto Offer a Viable Model for Environmental Sustainability?’ PhD trial lecture, University of Oslo, 27 February 2014.

‘Shinto and Disaster in Post-2011 Japan: Community Resurrection, Spiritual Care and Theodicy.’ International conference ‘Cultures of Disasters’, University of Oslo, 6-8 November 2013.

‘Ancient Tradition or Modern Invention? Reinterpreting Shinto in Twenty-First Century Japan.’ Texas Asia Conference ‘Tradition and Transition’, University of Texas at Austin, 1-2 November 2013.

'Ritual Performance as Coping Strategy: "Religion", Matsuri and Shrine Worship in Post-Tsunami Tohoku.' Harvard Divinity School Graduate Conference on Religion 'Ways of Knowing', Harvard University, 25-26 October 2013.

‘Sacred Forests in Japan Today: Shinto and Nature Conservation.’ East Asian Lunch Seminar, University of Oslo, 2 October 2013.

‘“Shinto” and “religion” in contemporary Japan: Secularisation or sacralisation?’ PhD workshop ‘Varieties of secularism and anti-secularism’, Paris, 15-17 April 2013.

‘The politics of “sacred forests” in contemporary Japan: From nature conservation to national resurrection.’ PluRel public lecture, University of Oslo, 11 April 2013.

'Shinto: wereldgodsdienst, volksgeloof, natuurverering of fascistische ideologie? De politiek van godsdienstwetenschappelijke classificatie.' Promovendisymposium LDSR Kosmikos, Leiden University, 12 December 2012.

'The Rediscovery of "Sacred Space" in Contemporary Japan: Intrinsic Quality or Discursive Strategy?' Nichibunken Overseas Symposium ’Rethinking ”Japanese Studies” from Practices in the Nordic Region.’ University of Copenhagen, 22-24 August 2012.

'Japan's New Mission? "Animism", "Sacred Forests" and Environmentalist Rhetoric in Contemporary Academic Discourse'. 'Workshop on Tōzai Bunmeiron and Other Perspectives on a Unique Japanese Position in this World'. University of Oslo, 29-30 March 2012.

'The Totoro Paradigm: Shinto, Nature and Environmentalism in Japanese Popular Discourse.' International workshop 'Religion Across Media: Theoretical Perspectives and Case Studies'. University of Oslo, 13-15 February 2012.

'Shinto Environmentalism? The Rediscovery of "Sacred Forests" in Contemporary Japan.' Kansai Modern Japan Group anniversary meeting. Kyoto, 12 November 2011.

'The Discourse on Chinju no Mori: Redefining Shinto and Sacred Space in Contemporary Japan.' PhD Workshop, European Association for Japanese Studies. Käsmu, Estonia, 21-24 August 2011.

'Comparative Perspectives: Utopianism and Millenarianism in Modern Japanese Religious Ideology.' Conference 'The Root Causes of Terrorism: A Religious Studies Perspective'. Leiden University, 18-19 May 2011.

'Defining and Reinventing Shinto in Contemporary Japan: Religion, Secularism and Nationalism in the Context of Modern Japanese History'. PluRel lecture. University of Oslo, 31 March 2011.

「現代の日本社会の中の神道」 [Gendai no Nihon shakai no naka no shintō]. International House of Japan Workshop 'Access to the Culture and Society of Contemporary Japan'. Tokyo, 14-21 February 2011.

'Nature or Nation? Reinventing Shinto in Contemporary Japanese Society'. PluRel Conference 'Complexity and Legitimacy: Religion, Secularity, and Values in the Polis'. University of Oslo, 18-20 November 2010.

'The Myth of the Japanese Love of Nature: A Barthesian Deconstruction'. PhD Workshop 'The Heritage of Structuralism'. Paris, 8-10 November 2010.

'Christian Millenarianism and Nationalism in Prewar Japan: The Case of Nakada Jūji'. JSA-ASEAN Second International Conference. Hanoi, 22-23 October 2009.

'Christian Millenarianism and Nationalism in Prewar Japan: Nakada Jūji's Politics of Identity'. CAAS International Symposium on Religion, Identity and Conflict. Leiden University, 26-28 August 2009.

'The Sei Iesu Kyōkai: Rejection, Indigenization and the Formulation of Identity in a Japanese Pentecostal Community'. Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions, Japanese Religions Forum, SOAS. London, 17 April 2008.

 

 

Media and public lectures:

'Et folk som elsker naturen? Miljøproblematikk i det moderne Japan.' Torsdagsforelesning, Astrup Fearnley Museet, 4 May 2017.

'Øst-Asias øyer: hvorfor så mye balluba?' Panel debate, Litteraturhuset, Oslo, 28 September 2016.

Radio interview about the legacy of the Tokyo Tribunal in contemporary Japan, Kulturhuset, NRK P2, 3 May 2016.

Radio interview about Shinto, Utenriksmagasinet Mir, Studentradioen i Bergen. 30 March 2012.

「鎮守の森や神道など日本の宗教・自然観を研究」[Chinju no mori ya shintō nado Nihon no shūkyō / shizenkan o kenkyū], in Shintō Forum, vol. 8-1, 15 January 2012. Interview article.

'Hva er en ninja?', on P3.no, 19 August 2011. Article by Maria Lindberg.

'Ik weet dat de leraren alles geprobeerd hebben', on NOS.nl, 22 March 2011. Translation of an article by Mihoko Nishio.

'Japan i naturens vold', on NRK.no, 20 March 2011. Article by Anne Linn Kumano-Ensby.

'-Det japanske samfunn er i kraftig endring', in Adresseavisen, 19 March 2011. Article by Svein Inge Meland.

 

  • Rots, Aike Peter (2017). Public Shrine Forests? Shinto, Immanence, and Discursive Secularization. Japan Review.  ISSN 0915-0986.  (30), s 179- 205
  • Rots, Aike Peter (2017). Re-Enchantment Restricted: Popular Buddhism and Politics in Vietnam Today., In Hanna Havnevik; Ute Hüsken; Marcus Jacobus Teeuwen; Vladimir Tikhonov & Koen Wellens (ed.),  Buddhist Modernities: Re-inventing Tradition in the Globalizing Modern World.  Routledge.  ISBN 9781138687844.  11.  s 183 - 203
  • Rots, Aike Peter (2017). The Sacralization of Space, In Sîan Melvill Hawthorne (ed.),  Gender: God.  Macmillan Publishers Ltd..  ISBN 9780028663258.  20.  s 315 - 332
  • Teeuwen, Marcus Jacobus & Rots, Aike Peter (2017). Introduction: Formations of the secular in Japan. Japan Review.  ISSN 0915-0986.  30, s 3- 20
  • Rots, Aike Peter (2015). Review of: Sébastien Penmellen Boret, 'Japanese Tree Burial: Ecology, Kinship and the Culture of Death'. Japanese journal of religious studies.  ISSN 0304-1042.  42(2), s 392- 395
  • Rots, Aike Peter (2015). Sacred Forests, Sacred Nation: The Shinto Environmentalist Paradigm and the Rediscovery of Chinju no Mori. Japanese journal of religious studies.  ISSN 0304-1042.  42(2), s 205- 233
  • Rots, Aike Peter (2015). Shinto's Modern Transformations: From Imperial Cult to Nature Worship, In Bryan S. Turner & Oscar Salemink (ed.),  Routledge Handbook of Religions in Asia.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-0-415-63503-5.  Chapter 8.  s 125 - 143
  • Rots, Aike Peter (2015). Worldwide Kami, Global Shinto: The Invention and Spread of a 'Nature Religion'. Czech and Slovak Journal of Humanities.  ISSN 1805-3742.  (3), s 31- 48
  • Rots, Aike Peter (2014). Nature's Blessing, Nature's Wrath: Shinto Responses to the Disasters of 2011, In Roy Starrs (ed.),  When the Tsunami Came to Shore: Culture and Disaster in Japan.  Brill Academic Publishers.  ISBN 978-90-04-26829-6.  Chapter 1.  s 23 - 49
  • Rots, Aike Peter (2012). Ambiguous Identities: Negotiating Christianity and 'Japaneseness', In John Nelson & Inken Prohl (ed.),  Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Religions.  Brill Academic Publishers.  ISBN 978 90 04 23435 2.  Book chapter.  s 309 - 344

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  • Rots, Aike Peter (2017). Shinto, Nature and Ideology in Contemporary Japan: Making Sacred Forests. Bloomsbury Academic.  ISBN 978-1-4742-8993-1.  260 s.

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  • Rots, Aike Peter (2016). Review of: "Sacred Space in the Modern City: The Fractured Pasts of Meiji Shrine, 1912-1958", by Yoshiko Imaizumi.. Monumenta Nipponica.  ISSN 0027-0741.  71(2), s 438- 442
  • Rots, Aike Peter (2014). Chinju no mori : la forêt sacrée, I: Philippe Bonnin; Masatsugu Nishida & Shigemi Inaga (red.),  Vocabulaire de la spatialité japonaise.  CNRS Editions.  ISBN 978-2-271-08059-2.  Encyclopedia entry.  s 80 - 82
  • Rots, Aike Peter (2014). Shizen : la nature, I: Philippe Bonnin; Masatsugu Nishida & Shigemi Inaga (red.),  Vocabulaire de la spatialité japonaise.  CNRS Editions.  ISBN 978-2-271-08059-2.  Encyclopedia entry.  s 444 - 447
  • Rots, Aike Peter (2012). Review of 'Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook', edited by James W. Heisig, Thomas P. Kasulis and John C. Maraldo. Japan Review.  ISSN 0915-0986.  (24), s 213- 215

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Published Sep. 17, 2010 10:45 AM - Last modified Sep. 27, 2017 10:24 AM