Ian Reader is currently a professor of Japanese and Religious Studies at Lancaster.  He  has recently published a book titled ‘Pilgrimage in the Marketplace‘ (Routledge) which draws on research in Japan and other places over several years and looks at commercial dynamics and pilgrimage, and his latest book,  A Very Short Introduction to Pilgrimage (OUP) will be published in April 2015.  Ian’s PhD thesis was on Buddhism in Japan and his research pursuits took him to the various parts of the world including Japan, Scotland, Hawaii and Denmark before moving to Lancaster in 1999, as Professor of Religious Studies, and subsequently as  Head of the Department. In 2007, Ian left Lancaster for The University of Manchester to establish a Japanese Studies degree programme. Then, after five and a half successful years, he returned again to Lancaster in 2012, where he is currently teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses on ‘Religion and Violence’ and on ‘Pilgrimage’’.  He is retiring in autumn 2015 and plans to  spend more time writing, looking after his garden and travelling.

His research interests are varied including religion in the modern world, with a special focus on Japan; religious decline and secularisation; pilgrimage in cross-cultural contexts- with a special focus on the transformations and developments of pilgrimage in recent times; Buddhism in contemporary Japan; religion and violence, with special focus on how religious doctrines and practices may give rise to and provide legitimations for violent actions; new religious movements in Japan; millennialism; religion and the media, especially how religious groups use media forms to market themselves. He has authored or co-authored nine books, edited numerous volumes and published over one hundred academic articles and book chapters.

For a partial list of Ian’s publications, please visit: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/ppr/profiles/ian-reader