In Search of the Way: Thought and Religion in Early-modern Japan, 1582-1860

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Oxford University Press, 2017 - History - 329 pages
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In Search of the Way is a history of intellectual and religious developments in Japan during the Tokugawa period, covering the years 1582-1860. It begins with an explanation of the fate of Christianity, and proceeds to cover the changing nature of the relationship between Buddhism and secular
authority, new developments in Shinto, and the growth of 'Japanese studies'. The main emphasis, however, is on the process by which Neo-Confucianism captured the imagination of the intellectual class and informed debate throughout the period. This process was expressed in terms of a never-ending
search for the Way, a mode and pattern of existence that could provide not only order for society at large, but self-fulfilment for the individual. The narrative traces how ideas and attitudes changed through time, and is based on the premise that the Tokugawa period is important in and of itself,
not merely as a backdrop to the Meiji Restoration of 1868.

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About the author (2017)

Richard Bowring graduated from the University of Cambridge with first class honours in Japanese in 1968, and a PhD in 1973. He has taught at Monash University, Columbia University, Princeton University, and the University of Cambridge, taking retirement in 2013. He was made an Honorary Fellow of
Downing College, Cambridge in 2013, and was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon by the Japanese Government in 2013.

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