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Pulpits as Lecterns: Discourses of Social Change inside Tokyo’s Protestant Churches, 1890–1920
Japanese Studies (2009)
  • Garrett L. Washington, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Abstract
Beginning in the 1890s, Protestant churches in Tokyo offered a new kind of social space that encouraged an open, verbal communication of ideas about a modern and improved Japan. Such churches differed dramatically from the majority of Japanese secular and religious gathering spaces that were directly influenced by their strong ties to state authority. At church, pastors and respected lay speakers told listeners to individually imagine the nation and their appropriate places within it. Speaking and listening with the men were many educated, socially minded women who had just been barred from various forms of public life. These men and women used the church space to imagine and realize alternative versions of a new Japan. To analyze the discursive distinctiveness of Tokyo’s Protestant churches, this paper examines laymen’s speeches made before the Women’s Group of Tokyo’s most socially active church, Hongo ̄, sermons in Tokyo’s two largest Kumiai (Congregationalist) churches, Hongo ̄ and Reinanzaka, and the accounts of attendees influenced by both. 
Keywords
  • discourse,
  • speeches,
  • church,
  • Tokyo,
  • sermons
Disciplines
Publication Date
December, 2009
Citation Information
Garrett L. Washington. "Pulpits as Lecterns: Discourses of Social Change inside Tokyo’s Protestant Churches, 1890–1920" Japanese Studies Vol. 29 Iss. 3 (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/garrettlwashington/4/