I'm thrilled to announce that the introductory Shinto series I've written for the educational YouTube channel "Religion For Breakfast" (created by Dr. Andrew Henry) debuted today with Episode 1: "What Is Shinto?" The other four episodes will come out every other week or so through October and November.
The series is written from an academic/historical perspective, but I've tried my best to respect the views of Shinto practitioners and use the preferred language they've been kind enough to teach me during my research.
We'll will cover five topics:
Introduction to Shinto for religious literacy about the tradition;
The historical relationship between Shinto and Buddhism in Japan;
The modern politics of Shinto and the debate over whether Shinto is a religion or not;
The question of whether Shinto is an indigenous tradition, World Religion, or potentially universal tradition;
Fan-requested exploration of the relationship between Hayao Miyazaki's animated films for Studio Ghibli and Shinto.
Unfortunately, there's only so much we can cover in a few ten-minute episodes. Believe me, I was banging my head on my desk trying to fit everything I could into 1500 words. If the series is popular enough, we hope to expand it into multiple seasons and really dig into the details!
If you'd like to support "Religion For Breakfast," like, subscribe, and consider joining the channel's Patreon community! Patrons receive access to exclusive content and get to weigh in on what videos are created next. Right now, Patrons at the $2 level are voting on the next season: Confucianism or Buddhism.
Without further ado, here's Episode 1!
Selected Sources/Recommended Readings:
Breen, John and Mark Teeuwen. A New History of Shinto. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
Hardacre, Helen. Shinto: A History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Inoue, Nobutaka, ed. Shinto, A Short History. Translated by Mark Teeuwen and John Breen. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003.
Nelson, John. A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000.