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Professor Ian Reader

Professor Ian Reader

Professor

County South
Lancaster University
Bailrigg
Lancaster
United Kingdom
LA1 4YL


Tel: +44 1524 592496
Location: County South B23
Office hours: My office hours are Tuesdays 11-1 during the Lent Term.  If you wish to see me outside of these times please contact me by email.  

Affiliations

Richardson Institute for Peace Studies

Religion in the modern world, with a special focus on Japan; Religious decline and secularisation; Pilgrimage in cross-cultural contexts- with a special focus on the transformations and developments of pilgrimage in recent times; Buddhism in contemporary Japan; Religion and violence, with special focus on how religious doctrines and practices may give rise to and provide legitimations for violent actions; New religious movements in Japan; Millennialism; Religion and the media, especially how religious groups use media forms to market themselves.

Career Details

I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Reading in History, graduating in 1970. I then spent most of the next decade travelling around the world (Middle East, India, West Africa, North and Central America), and worked at various jobs (building sites, school teaching, gardening) before getting into academic work- partly because I was not very good at the other jobs I tried. My MA was on African religious practices and my PhD was on Buddhism in Japan.

I started learning Japanese in 1979, and worked for five years at Japanese universities, initially teaching English but later Religious Studies,  from 1984-1989 before coming back to the UK.

In 1989 I was appointed Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Stirling. I stayed there until 1999 but during that period I was:

1992-1993 Visiting Professor, Department of Religion, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, USA

1995-1998 Senior Research Fellow, NOrdic Institute of Asian Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1999 I became Professor of Religious Studies at Lancaster (and served as Head of Department here).

In 2007 I left Lancaster to become the inaugural Profesor of Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester, where I was hired to establish a Japanese Studies degree programme. I stayed there for five and half years, serving as  Head of East Asian Studies and building up the department and Japanese programmes there.

I planned to retire from full-time university work in 2012 but have instead been persuaded to return to  Lancaster as Professor of Religious Studies- but on a part-time basis. My next career move will be to get a life.

Profile

I live in Lancaster with my wife,  Dorothy, whom I met in 1979 in a Japanese language class. We have lived in various parts of the world (Japan, Scotland, Hawaii and Denmark) before moving to Lancaster in 1999. Our children, Rosie (now 24) and Phil (21) both went to school in Lancaster before going off to university; Rosie did her first degree in Japanese and Linguistics at Leeds and is now doing postgraduate studies in Japanese Linguistics  at Kumamoto University in Japan, and Phil is in his final year studying English at King's College London. Dorothy and I still live in Lancaster  and like it as a town (despite the weather).  Dorothy is a translator,  initially of Japanese, but since 1999 she has worked as a translator of Swedish, Danish and Norwegian and she co-runs a translation partnership with three other translators of Scandinavian languages  that is based in Lancaster.

Outside of work my interests are my family, my vegetable and fruit garden, walking, discussing the meaning of life and other matters of deep philosophical importance in pubs,  and sport (spectating mostly these days and especially cricket and  football).

 

I am now part-time at Lancaster and teach in Lent Term. 

Current Teaching

In Lent Term I   teach the following two courses:
PPR362 Religion and Violence

PPR484  Pilgrimage

Current Research

I recently published a  book titled 'Pilgrimage in the Marketplace' (Routledge) which draws on research in Japan and other places over several years and looks at commcerical dynamics and pilgrimage. I am co-editor of a series on Religion, Travel and Tourism (Routledge) and am involved with a network of scholars who work on studies of pilgrimage in different parts of the world. 

I am also working on various projects related to religion and violence and am a senior researcher in the Canadian Network on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS): www.tsas.ca

I have been  working with Dr Erica Baffelli (University of Manchester) on various projects related to Japanese new religions, media and society; together with Birgit Staemmler (University of Tuebingen, Germany) we published an edited book on religion and the internet in Japan, and recently Erica and I have have co-authored articles on millennialism in Japanese new religions and co-edited a special edition of the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies (2012) on the Aftermath of the Aum Affair in Japan. We are currently working on a book together on Japanese new religions in the 1980s and 1990s.

 

I also work closely with colleagues at the Nanzan Institute of Religion and Culture, Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan on various projects (including the academic journal the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies) and am a member of the Research Project on ‘Religious Studies in Modern Japan. A re-examination from an International Perspective'' based at the Nanzan Institute of Religion and Culture  and funded by Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

As part of the above project we have digitised a large number of slides that I took during the 1980s of Japanese religious rituals and practices and have made them publicly and freely available for use by teachers and students, with commentaries on the images and links to additional resources on the practices illustrated. The digital archive can be accessed via the following URL:

http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/en/activities/photo-archive-of-japanese-religions/

Office Hours

My office hours are Tuesdays 11-1 during the Lent Term.  If you wish to see me outside of these times please contact me by email.

 

2013

Pilgrimage in the marketplace

Reader, I. 1/11/2013 New York: Routledge. (Routledge Series on Religion, Travel and Tourism)

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2012

Religion in a Globalized World: Comments and Responses

Reader, I. 2012 Dynamics in the history of religions between Asia and Europe: encounters, notions, and comparative perspectives. Krech, V. & Steinecke, M. (eds.). Leiden: E. J. Brill, p. 435-452 18 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Impact and ramifications: the aftermath of the Aum Affair in the Japanese religious context

Baffelli, E. & Reader, I. 2012 In: Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. 39, 1, p. 1-28 28 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Globally Aum: the Aum affair, counterterrorism and religion

Reader, I. 2012 In: Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. 39, 1, p. 177-196 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Secularisation R.I.P? Nonsense!: the ‘rush hour away from the gods’ and the decline of religion in contemporary Japan

Reader, I. 2012 In: Journal of Religion in Japan. 1, 1, p. 7-36 30 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2011

Japanese religions on the Internet: innovation, representation and authority

Baffelli, E. (ed.), Reader, I. (ed.) & Staemmler, B. (ed.) 2011 New York: Routledge. 228 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

The Shikoku Pilgrimage Online

Reader, I. 2011 Japanese Religions on the Internet: Innovation, Representation and Authority . Baffelli, E., Reader, I. & Staemmler, B. (eds.). New York: Routledge, p. 80-100 21 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Competing for the apocalypse: religious rivalry and millennial transformations in a Japanese new religion

Baffelli, E. & Reader, I. 2011 In: International Journal for the Study of New Religions. 2, 1, p. 5-28 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The transformation of failure and the spiritualization of violence

Reader, I. 2011 Blackwell companion to religion and violence. Murphy, A. (ed.). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 304-319 16 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Buddhism in Crisis?: Institutional decline in modern Japan

Reader, I. 2011 In: Buddhist Studies Review. 28, 2, p. 233-263 31 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2009

Bodily punishments and the spiritually transcendent dimensions of violence: a Zen Buddhist example

Reader, I. 2009 Dying for faith : religiously motivated violence in the contemporary world. Al-Rasheed, M. & Shterin, M. (eds.). London: I. B. Tauris, p. 139-151 13 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2006

Folk religion

Reader, I. J. 2006 Nanzan guide to Japanese religions. Swanson, P. & Chilson, C. (eds.). Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, p. 65-90 26 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2005

Gender and ancient Mediterranean religions

Reader, I. J. 2005 Encyclopedia of religion. Jones, L. (ed.). London: Macmillan Reference USA, p. 3381-3387 7 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Ten years on: Aum and the Tokyo subway attack

Reader, I. J. 03/2005 In: Kansai Time Out. 2005, p. 7-10 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Of religion, nationalism and ideology: analysing the development of religious studies in Japan

Reader, I. J. 04/2005 In: Social Science Japan Journal. 8, 1, p. 119-124 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Making pilgrimages: meaning and practice in Shikoku

Reader, I. J. 2005 Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 350 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Historical, new, and 'new' new religions

Reader, I. J. 2005 A companion to the anthropology of Japan. Robertson, J. (ed.). Oxford: Blackwell, p. 431-451 21 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Gendai sekai ni okeru junrei no koryu: sono imi suru mono (Pilgrimage growth in the modern world: meanings and implications in Japanese)

Reader, I. J. 2005 Gendai shukyo 2005: Shukyo fukko no koryu. Tokyo: Tokyodo Shuppan, p. 279-305 27 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Perspective Chronologies, Commonalities and Alternative Status in Japanese New Religious Movements Defining NRMs outside the Western Cul-de-sac

Reader, I. J. 11/2005 In: Nova Religio. 9, 2, p. 84-96 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2003

Killing for salvation: Aum Shinrikyō and the perils of religion.

Reader, I. 2003 Promise and peril: the paradox of religion as resource and threat. Lannstrom, A. (ed.). 24 ed. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Nortre Dame Press, p. 87-105 19 p. (Boston University studies in philosophy and religion)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Chance, fate, and undisciplined meanderings: a pilgrimage through the fieldwork maze.

Reader, I. 2003 Doing fieldwork in Japan. Bestor, T. C., Seinhoff, P. G. & Bestor, V. L. (eds.). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, p. 89-105 17 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Local histories, anthropological interpretations, and the study of a Japanese pilgrimage.

Reader, I. J. 2003 In: Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. 30, 1-2, p. 119-132 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Ideology, adademic inventions and mystical anthropology.

Reader, I. J. 2003 In: Japan Anthropological Workshop Newsletter. 36, p. 73-94 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Identity, Nihonjinron, and academic (dis)honesty.

Reader, I. J. 2003 In: Monumenta Nipponica. 58, 1, p. 103-116 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2002

Spectres and shadows: Aum Shinrikyo and the road to Megiddo.

Reader, I. J. 2002 In: Terrorism and Political Violence. 14, 1, p. 145-186 42 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Japan.

Reader, I. J. 2002 Religions of the world. Melton, J. G. & Baumann, M. (eds.). Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, Vol. 2, p. 716-720 5 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Identity and nationalism in the 'new' new religions: Buddhism as a motif for the new age in Japan.

Reader, I. J. 2002 Religion and national identity in the Japanese context: Bunka. Antoni, K. (ed.). Munster: Lit Verlag, Vol. 5, p. 13-36 24 p. (Tubingen intercultural and linguistic studies on Japan)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Dramatic confrontations: Aum Shinrikyo against the world.

Reader, I. J. 2002 Cults, religion and violence. Bromley, D. & Melton, G. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 189-208 20 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Contemporary Zen Buddhism tracts for the laity: grassroots Buddhism in Japan (translation from the Japanese with appended commentary on modern Buddhist texts).

Reader, I. J. 2002 Religions of Asia in practice: an anthology. Lopez, D. S. (ed.). New Jersey: Princeton University Press, p. 713-724 12 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2001

Violent millennialism with a Christian touch: syncretic themes in the millennial perspectives of Aum Shinrikyo.

Reader, I. J. 2001 Christian millennialism. Hunt, S. (ed.). London: Hurst, p. 239-254 16 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Religions of East Asia.

Reader, I. J. 2001 International encyclopedia of social and behavioural sciences. Elsevier

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Reflected meanings: underlying themes in the experiences of two Japanese pilgrims to Europe.

Reader, I. J. 2001 Firenze, Il giappone e l'Asia orientale. Boscaro, A. & Bozzi, M. (eds.). Florence: Leo S. Olschi, p. 121-139 19 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Interior travels: pilgrimage, nostalgia, identity and quest.

Reader, I. J. 2001 Return to Japan: from 'pilgrimage' to the West. Nagashima, Y. (ed.). Arhus, Denmark: Arhus University Press, p. 13-32 20 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Consensus shattered: Japanese paradigm shifts and moral panic in the post-Aum era.

Reader, I. J. 04/2001 In: Nova Religio. 4, 2, p. 225-234 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2000

Imagined persecution: Aum Shinrikyo, millennialism and the legitimation of violence.

Reader, I. 2000 Millennialism, persecution, and violence: historical cases. Wessinger, C. (ed.). Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, p. 138-152 15 p. (Religion and politics)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Japanese influences and presences in Asia.

Soderberg, M. & Reader, I. J. 2000 London: Curzon Press.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Introduction.

Soderberg, M. & Reader, I. J. 2000 Japanese influences and presences in Asia. Soderberg, M. & Reader, I. J. (eds.). London: Curzon Press, p. 1-21 21 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Scholarship: Aum Shinrikyo and integrity.

Reader, I. J. 04/2000 In: Nova Religio. 3, 2, p. 368-382 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Religious violence in contemporary Japan: the case of Aum Shinrikyo.

Reader, I. J. 2000 Richmond: Curzon Press. 304 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Japan.

Reader, I. J. 2000 Encyclopedia of millennialism and millennial movements. Landes, R. (ed.). New York: Routledge, p. 198-202 5 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Bakku tsu za fyucha: Nihon shukyo ni okeru nosutarujia to saisei no imeji.

Reader, I. J. 2000 Ibunka kara mita Nihon shukyo no sekai. Suwansonu, A. & Hayashi, A. (eds.). Kyoto: Hozokan, p. 264-287 24 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Bakku tsu za fyucha: Nihon shukyo ni okeru nosutarujia to saisei no imeji.

Reader, I. J. 02/2000 In: Bukkyo. 49, p. 50-62 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Aum Shinrikyo.

Reader, I. J. 2000 Encyclopedia of millennialism and millennial movements. Landes, R. (ed.). New York: Routledge, p. 39-42 4 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Are wa shukyo kore ga shinko: genze riyaku to nihon no shukyo (in Japanese).

Reader, I. J. 2000 Oraiko: nihonjin no sei ryo shi. Noboru, M. & Takanori, S. (eds.). Tokyo: Shogakkan, p. 321-330 10 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

1999

Legends, miracles, and faith in Kobo Daishi and the Shikoku pilgrimage (commentary and translation of Shinnen's 'Shikoku Henro Kudokuki' of 1690.

Reader, I. 1999 Religions of Japanese in practice. Tanabe, G. J. (ed.). Princeton University Press, p. 360-369 10 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Contemporary Zen Buddhist tracts for the laity: grassroots Buddhism in Japan (Commentary and translation).

Reader, I. 1999 Religions of Japanese in practice. Tanabe, G. J. (ed.). Princeton University Press, p. 487-498 12 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

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