Tama in Japanese Myth: A Hermeneutical Study of Ancient Japanese Divinity
- Publish Date: 2011-08-25
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Tomoko Iwasawa
Tama in Japanese Myth attempts to elucidate Japanese religious experiences by presenting a new interpretation of the oldest existing text of Japanese myth, the Kojiki. Informed by phenomenological hermeneutics, Iwasawa shows that the concept of tama lies at the core of Japanese religious experiences. Tama is often compared to spirit and soul in Western philosophy and religion and especially to the German concept of Geist. Tama develops in ways that do not assume a dichotomy between the ideational and the sensible, which is precisely the dichotomy informing Western theism and the Platonic tradition of metaphysics. Iwasawa argues that the Western concept of God, far from explaining all possible connections between the human and the divine, is less than satisfactory for analyzing Japanese religious experiences. Iwasawa proceeds by examining the Japanese notion of tama as an inquiry into the origin of values wholly unaffected by the Western idea of a moral God.