Hoa Francisco Ngo Humanities and Social Science
The Sacred and the Secular: Catholic Missionary Work in the Land of the Rising Sun
Wherever religion is, its Siamese twin secularism follows closely behind it. The border between the two concepts is not so clear, though, particularly among practicing Catholics who hold to orthodox Church views in modern democratic nations. These borders are not inherent to either religion or secularism; instead, they are drawn by the modern state in order to regulate religious groups for political ends. My project explores the boundaries of religion and secularism in modern in Japan in the context of the Catholic institution of Opus Dei. The Opus Dei center is an organization known for their orthodoxy and adherence to Church teachings; however, the concept of religion as defined and regulated by the Japanese government forces the missionaries of Opus Dei to adapt unique methods of evangelization. I look into the possibility of creating a distinct, Japanese Catholicism which may or may not be in tension with the Vatican.