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Darwin, Dharma, and the DivineEvolutionary Theory and Religion in Modern Japan$
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G. Clinton Godart

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824858513

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824858513.001.0001

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The Religious Transmission of Evolutionary Theory in Meiji-Era Japan

The Religious Transmission of Evolutionary Theory in Meiji-Era Japan

(p.17) Chapter One The Religious Transmission of Evolutionary Theory in Meiji-Era Japan
Darwin, Dharma, and the Divine

G. Clinton Godart

University of Hawai'i Press

Religion was a crucial mediating factor in the early transmission of evolutionary theory to Japan. Even before the Meiji period, certain evolutionary ideas appeared within a religious context. Evolutionary theory and Christianity arrived in Japan in the same period, and conflict ensued as the early conveyors of evolutionary theory, such as Edward S. Morse and Ernest Fenollosa presented the theory as one that delegitimized Christianity; simultaneously, several important Christian missionaries and Japanese Christian thinkers, presented science and Christian faith as part of one package necessary for the modernization of Japan.

Keywords:   Meiji period, religion and evolution, evolutionary theory, Darwinism, Christianity, Edward S. Morse, Ernest Fenollosa, Thomas Gulick

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