Mitsutoshi Horii is Professor at Shumei University, Japan. He works at Shumei’s overseas campus in the UK, Chaucer College, as Principal. His recent research focuses on the function of modern Euro-American colonial categories, such as ‘religion,’ and examines the ways in which these categories authorise and naturalise specific norms and imperatives in a variety of postcolonial contexts. His most recent publications include the monograph The Category of ‘Religion’ in Contemporary Japan: Shūkyō and Temple Buddhism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). His forthcoming monograph is provisionally titled as ‘Religion’ and ‘Secular’ Categories in Sociology: Decolonizing the Modern Myth (contracted with Palgrave Macmillan). He is the guest editor of a forthcoming special issue of the journal Religions, “Critical Approaches to 'Religion' in Japan: Case Studies and Redescriptions.” His previous research interest was in the sociology of risk and uncertainty. His works in this field include the study of the practice of mask-wearing in public. His research in this area has attracted interests from the media internationally during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read his latest contribution to this field here.
In this episode, Dr. Mitsutoshi Horii joins Andie Alexander to discuss his recent book, The Category of 'Religion' in Contemporary Japan: Shūkyō & Temple Buddhism, where he demonstrates the necessity for understanding how and why certain groups come to be classified as 'religious' in contemporary Japan.