Helen Hardacre

Harvard University
Culture and religion scholar; Educator
Humanities and Arts
Philosophy and Religious Studies

Helen Hardacre is the Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions and Society.  Her research on religion focuses on the manner in which traditional doctrines and rituals are transformed and adapted in contemporary life. Concentrating on Japanese religious history of the modern period, she has done extended field study of contemporary Shinto, Buddhist religious organizations and the religious life of Japan's Korean minority. She has also researched State Shinto and contemporary ritualizations of abortion. From 1980 until 1989, Professor Hardacre taught at Princeton University's Department of Religion, and from 1990 she taught two years in the School of Modern Asian Studies, Griffith University (Australia), moving to Harvard in 1992. Her publications include The Religion of Japan's Korean Minority (1984), Lay Buddhism in Contemporary Japan: Reiyukai Kyodan (1984), Kurozumikyo and the New Religions of Japan (1986), Shinto and the State, 1868-1988 (1989), Marketing the Menacing Fetus in Japan (1997), which won the Arisawa Hiromichi Prize, and Religion and Society in Nineteenth-Century Japan: A Study of the Southern Kanto Region, Using Late Edo and Early Meiji Gazetteers (2002). Her study of the history of Shinto will be published in late 2016. One aspect of her current research concerns the issue of constitutional revision in Japan and religious groups' participation in debate on that issue.

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