Fumitaka Matsuoka

My research question is how far a Christian identity can be stretched and yet still remains "Christian" and who determines the limits and for what reasons. This question is explored in light of the kakurekirishitan (Hidden Christians) studies in Japan. More precisely, the question is that of how the historically singular epistemology embodied in the "one-God" understandings of Christianity has played out in multiple readings of reality, a "many gods" epistemology, in Japan. I would claim that the "character of love" as defined by Ernst Troeltsch’s notion of the revelation of Christ is a distinct Christian faith paradigm that takes on the character of "the Sounding of the Heart" even when the historical identity of Christ is extensively eroded, the "sounding" that speaks to people beyond the difference of the worlds with the language that is so intimate that it profoundly grasps their hearts.

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The Ferguson story reminds me of the “Rashomon Effect,” named for late Japanese movie director Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon. In the film a crime witnessed by four individuals is described in four mutually contradictory ways. The Rashomon Effect is contradictory and often has opposing interpretations of the same event ...

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