Mitsutoshi Horii is Professor at Shumei University, Japan. He works at Shumei’s overseas campus in the UK, Chaucer College, as Principal. He is also Co-Editor of Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (a peer reviewed, quarterly journal of the North American Association for the Study of Religion, published by Brill). 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), and ‘Religion’ and ‘Secular’ Categories in Sociology: Decolonizing the Modern Myth (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). He is the guest editor of 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.
Mitsutoshi Horii, in his response to our season 11 episode with Jason Ā. Josephson Storm, furthers Storm's discussion of the importance of problematizing our systems of classification and highlights the critical scholarship in religious studies doing some of this work.
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.