The countries of East Asia have a long tradition of vilifying marginal religious movements. Journalists, governments, and anti-cult activists have often regarded groups such as Falun Gong, the Unification Church, and Aum Shinrikyo as hotbeds of sexual promiscuity or threats to peace and order. Yet these portrayals problematically assume that "real" religions are ascetic or pacifist; they may also overlook the violent techniques that governments have used to keep potentially seditious religious movements in check. This course investigates the fact and fiction of popular portrayals of marginal religious movements, showing that East Asian governance of religions is both historically and conceptually linked to the contemporary geopolitics of counterterrorism. The countries of East Asia have a long tradition of vilifying marginal religious movements. Journalists, governments, and anti-cult activists have often regarded groups such as Falun Gong, the Unification Church, and Aum Shinrikyo as hotbeds of sexual promiscuity or threats to peace and order. Yet these portrayals problematically assume that "real" religions are ascetic or pacifist; they may also overlook the violent techniques that governments have used to keep potentially seditious religious movements in check. This course investigates the fact and fiction of popular portrayals of marginal religious movements, showing that East Asian governance of religions is both historically and conceptually linked to the contemporary geopolitics of counterterrorism.
Section 401 - SEM
MW 0330PM-0500PM
THOMAS, JOLYON
WILLIAMS HALL 438