Jason Ānanda Josephson

Jason Ānanda Josephson received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University in 2006 and has held visiting positions at Princeton University, École Française d’Extrême-Orient, Paris and Ruhr Universität, Germany. He has two primary research foci: the history of Japanese Religions and Theory more broadly. Common to both foci is an attempt to use the Japanese case to decenter received narratives in the study of religion and science. His main targets have been epistemological obstacles, the preconceived universals which serve as the foundations of various discourses. Josephson has also been working to articulate new research models for Religious Studies in the wake of the collapse of poststructuralism as a guiding ethos in the Humanities.

His book, The Invention of Religion in Japan (University of Chicago Press, 2012), is the first study in any European language to reveal how Japanese officials, under extreme international pressure, came to terms with the Western concept of religion by “discovering” religion in Japan and formulating policies to guarantee its freedom.