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International Seminar Series: “Shinto: The Heart and Soul of Japan”
Title of Presentation: Shinto: The Heart and Soul of Japan
Speaker: Dr. Louis Perez
Presentation Overview: Shinto means the “Way of the Spirits.” It has been called an “Incomplete” or “Formulatory” Religion because it lacks several of the essential elements commonly required to distinguish cults from religions. Few Japanese visit its 80,000 shrines with any regularity, yet millions can name scores of its Kami (gods-spirits). Virtually everyone participates in many of its folk festivals and public rituals. After two millennia in evolution, Shinto survives in the hearts and minds of a hundred million Japanese.
Speaker Bio: Dr. Louis G. Perez is Professor Emeritus of Japanese History at Illinois State University. With over 30 years of service to ISU, he is the former Director of General Education and
Distinguished Arts and Sciences Lecturer. He is the winner of six university awards for Teaching, Research, and Service including the President David Strand Diversity Award. He has authored a dozen books and two score articles on Japanese History. He is Past-President of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs and Director of the Midwest Japan Seminar.
Series Overview: The International Seminar Series offers the Illinois State campus and Bloomington-Normal communities weekly opportunities to learn about a wide range of international topics. Guest speakers are usually experts in their fields across a range of disciplines who cover a wide array of cultural, historical, political and social topics.
Series events have become one of the most popular internationally focused events on campus and continue to draw ever-growing crowds of students, faculty and community members. Audience members are given time at each event to raise questions to enable a two-way participation and learning.
International Seminar Series events are free and open to the public and occur every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The Spring 2019 series will focus on fostering world religious literacy.