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After Nicholas: Self-realisation of the Japanese Orthodox Church 1912-1956


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During Japan’s Meiji period (1868-1912) of rapid Westernization, the propagation of Orthodox Christianity enjoyed remarkable success in this country. Under the leadership of Archbishop Nicholas (Kasatkin), Orthodoxy in Japan outstripped the growth of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in terms of missionary-to-convert ratio.

After Nicholas pioneers the study of the Japanese Orthodox Church after its initial boom, tracing the evolution of this community into the first independent indigenous East Asian Orthodox Christian body between 1912 and 1956.

Set in the wider contexts of Russo-Japanese relations, Christianity in Japan, as well as Orthodox mission, this book shows the Japanese Orthodox case to be an intriguing exception in each of these three fields. It was a unique instance of an irreducibly Russo-Japanese community which survived the tumult of Russo-Japanese relations in the era of the World Wars. This group also defied the usual typologies of “foreign” (Protestant) and “native” (new religion) Japanese Christianity. Finally, it was the sole case of a new mission-originated local Orthodox Church emerging at the time when other similar initiatives disintegrated worldwide.

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