このシリーズでは、私が1994年に執筆した統一神学大学院(Unification Theological Seminary)の神学課程修士論文(Divinity Thesis)を日英二か国語で掲載している。









II. American Missionaries and Japanese Christians (Cont.)

Financial and theological independence from foreign domination was a strong desire of Japanese Christians from the beginning. Samurai converted to Christianity in the belief that Christian principles could help in the establishment of a modern Japan; they did not mean to accept any form of western domination.
When the nationalistic spirit swept the country, the public opinion became highly critical of Christianity as a foreign import; missionaries were attacked as foreign agents, and converts as lackeys who had lost their national identity. This criticism made the Japanese Christians more eager than ever to seek financial and theological independence from the West.
The foreign missionaries counterattacked this movement by consolidating the metaphysical and dogmatic bases of their theological orthodoxy. This foreigners’ conservative reaction caused severe tensions between the missionaries and the Japanese church leaders. Japanese Christians thus had to face the difficult task of demonstrating their loyalty to both faith and country. Eventually the authority and influence of the foreign missionaries declined compared to the more outspoken Japanese Christians because many of them had to operate through translators.

C. Third Phase: The Emergence of the Non-Church Movement

Caldarola analyzes that, “the basic features that characterize the entire socio-psychological dynamics of the encounter between American missionaries and Japanese samurai is the preoccupation of both sides with preserving their cultural identities.” The Japanese Christians, most of them came from a social group undergoing painful adjustment, were eager to revitalize their spiritual tradition through the assimilation of Christian ethic. They achieved this desire through the process of three phases.
Caldarola describes the first phase of the encounter as the stage in which Japanese developed a “feeling of self-abasement.” The realization that their nation was in need of immediate modernization resulted in a temporary inferiority complex. The second phase of the encounter was characterized by a “feeling of self-revaluation” on the part of Japanese. As they began to succeed in their efforts to modernize their country and as they learned more about the westerners, they gradually outgrew their feeling of self-abasement even to the extent that at times they saw themselves as superior to the western challengers.
With Uchimura, Caldarola concludes, the acculturative process of Christianity in Japan reaches a third stage of development that may be regarded as the “revitalization” stage. In this stage the individual has enough confidence in his own capabilities to enable him to select and integrate those elements of the two contacting cultures which are compatible. In other words, revitalization enables the individual to achieve a balanced image of himself both as a “Japanese” and as a “Christian.”

(7)Caldarola, pp.35-37.
(8)Caldarola, p.40.
(9)Caldarola, p.40.
(10)Caldarola, p.40-49.

カテゴリー: 統一神学大学院修士論文シリーズ パーマリンク