• Mitsutoshi Horii


In one of my previous works, I critically reviewed the ways in which the ‘critical religion’ perspective had been considered by sociologists. I argued that when the critical examination of the category of religion is posited, “sociologists acknowledge the critique but only partially reflect them in their own sociological discourses of religion, continuing the analytical use of the concept” (Horii 2015, p. 23). Then I made the following remark in my conclusion:

What is urgently required now is empirical and systematic analysis of meaning for the term ‘religion’ which is located in the particular context of its usage, at different levels of discourses, including the lay understanding of the term. The diversity in conceptual boundaries, meanings and utilizations needs to be mapped across society. (Horii 2015, p. 33)


  1. Arnal, William E., and Russell T. McCutcheon. 2013. The Sacred Is the Profane: The Political Nature of Religion. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Heine, Steven. 2012. Sacred High City, Sacred Law City. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Horii, Mitsutoshi. 2015. Critical Reflections on the Category of Religion in Contemporary Sociological Discourse. Nordic Journal of Religion and Society 28(1): pp. 21–36.Google Scholar
  4. Reader, Ian. 1991. Religion in Contemporary Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Reader, Ian and Tanabe, George. 1998. Practically Religious: Worldly Benefits and the Common Religion of Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsutoshi Horii
    • 1
  1. 1.Shumei UniversityChibaJapan

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