Manga, Anime and Religion in Japan (Prof. Elisabetta Porcu, University of Cape Town)
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Manga and anime as a global, mass-culture phenomenon can surely not be ignored when understanding Japanese culture and society. What happens when religions in Japan use them? Why and how do religious groups manga-ize their teachings? How are their founders and foundresses reshaped through these very popular media? What is at stake when religions cross the boundaries of popular culture in the attempt to keep their bond to society and control of their sphere of authority? Focusing on the production of manga and anime by religious institutions in Japan, in this talk we will address these questions and explore the ways religious organizations are negotiating the transmission of the teachings and their role in society through a language and modalities borrowed from more successful secular spheres, in this case, popular culture and branding.
John Percival Building