top page

Jason Josephson

Jason Ananda Josephson is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Williams College. He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University in 2006 and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Princeton University. He specializes in Edo-Meiji Japan (1600-1912), focusing on practices and beliefs often considered "superstitions" on the periphery of religion, such as divination, ghosts, the demonic, and faith healing. In addition to his interest in East Asian Buddhism, his work explores the contested borderland between "religion" and "science," as well as theories of religion in general. He is currently completing a manuscript entitled "Taming Demons: The Anti-Superstition Campaign and the Invention of Religion in Japan (1853-1920)," which examines a range of historical materials (from law codes, police records, textbooks, popular pamphlets, period academic journals, and newspapers) to trace the development of the distinction between "superstition" (meishin) and "religion" (shūkyō) in Japanese intellectual discourse and government policy. He has contributed entries on Edo and Meiji Buddhist figures and terms. [2008/1/8]