Shinto and Japanese New Religions

  • by Professor Byron Earhart
  • Narrated by Ben Kingsley
  • 2 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The traditional religion known as Shinto was present in Japan from prehistoric times, long before Buddhism and other traditions arrived from the Asian continent. Shrine Shinto, centered around local shrines and seasonal festivals, has greatly influenced Japanese culture. Sect Shinto is characterized by more highly organized institutions, which attract many members; folk Shinto consists of beliefs and practices apart from these institutions, especially in the home. This presentation discusses the dynamic new Japanese religions formed during the last century and a half. The Religion, Scriptures, and Spirituality series describes the beliefs, religious practices, and the spiritual and moral commitments of the world's great religious traditions. It also describes a religion's way of understanding scripture, identifies its outstanding thinkers, and discusses its attitude and relationship to society.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Kingsley's 'newsreel' tone a touch distracting

Full of interesting information, this audio book makes for a good introduction to Japanese religions and spirituality. I was looking forward to hearing Kingsley narrate but, for some reason, he adopts a tone right out of a British war-time newsreel which, while amusing, highlights when the script occasionally oversimplifies topics (carefully explaining them in "Western" terms,) and the piece slips into the patronizing. Nevertheless, the information is clearly presented, aided by voices other than just "newsreel Ben" for quotes from other scholars etc...
A small warning for those who are not used to listening to Japanese speaking with a heavy "Katakana English" accent - a few of the Japanese readers might be a little difficult to understand.
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- Darcy Conroy


I believe there were some good insights somewhere but the premise of having Japanese speakers/actors speak VERY poorly accented English - to the point of being unintelligible at times - was horrid.

This was imo a complete waste audibly. Written - it's probably better.
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- A. Weber

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-22-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.