Paulina Kolata

Paulina is a PhD researcher in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester, UK. Her PhD research focuses primarily on realities of local Buddhist temples and their communities in regional Japan battling depopulation and effects of Japan's ageing society. Her project addresses questions of belonging, consequences of social change, and sustainability of Japanese Buddhist communities. Paulina’s research project is based on 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork of living at a local Buddhist temple; and is jointly funded by two UK’s research councils: Economic and Social Research Council, and Arts and Humanities Research Council; as well as by the University of Manchester through the President’s Doctoral Scholar Award. The project's tentative title is “Buddhist temple communities in transition: the geographies of survival and community erosion in regional Japan. An ethnographic case study of a Jōdo Shinshū temple in Hiroshima Prefecture.” Paulina completed an MA in Religious Studies at Lancaster University (2014) and a BA (Hons) in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester.

Contributions by Paulina Kolata

podcast

Pilgrimage in Japan and Beyond: Part 1

Professor Ian Reader discusses his publication ‘Pilgrimage in the Marketplace’, which explores the very ‘worldly’ conditions of development, popularisation, and ultimately, survival of pilgrimage centres in connection to the dynamics of the marketplace through which the ‘sacred’ as a category can be sustained.

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podcast

Pilgrimage in Japan and Beyond: Part 2

Professor Ian Reader discusses his publication ‘Pilgrimage in the Marketplace’, which explores the very ‘worldly’ conditions of development, popularisation, and ultimately, survival of pilgrimage centres in connection to the dynamics of the marketplace through which the ‘sacred’ as a category can be sustained.

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podcast

Religion and Authority in Asia

Given its contextual and perspectival malleability, the notion of ‘authority', and even more so of ‘religious authority’, is challenging to define and to study. In today’s interview with Paulina Kolata, Dr Erica Baffelli discusses the notion of authority and charismatic leadership in the context of her research on New and ‘New’ New religions in contemporary Japan.

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response

'Lived Religion' in the Japanese Context: Realities of Individual Practice and Institutional Survival

Japanese religiosity is not necessarily based on what one believes in, but rather on what one does or should do and what one can get out of such activities, regardless of whether the fruits are of a spiritual or material nature. In the current state of religious affairs, the concept of “lived religion” brought to us by Meredith McGuire in her latest book “Lived Religion: Faith and Practice” appears to be a highly relevant one, and most certainly, ...

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podcast

“Soka Gakkai, Kōmeitō and the religious voices of Japan’s political arena

Throughout Japanese history, religion has always coloured and influenced the matters of the state. Religious validation of imperialist aggression and Japan’s war efforts in the first half of the 20th century is just one example of this.

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