Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Susumu Shimazono, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tokyo for a discussion of popular religious movements in Japan. Professor Shimazono discusses the origins of his interest in religious studies; the role of religion in modernization; and the emergence of new religions as a global phenomena in the 1970s with special reference to Japanese examples. Professor Shimazono distinguishes these spiritual movements from salvation religions by
identifying their unique features and their future evolution. He also analyzes Aum Shinrikyo as an abhorrent manifestation. He concludes with an analysis of the implications of new religions for politics and suggests their strengths and weaknesses as an enduring phenomena.