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Philosophy of Religions

Shinto, also called Shintoism, is the indigenous religious practices and beliefs in Japan from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the Second World War. It derives from the Chinese term, shin tao, which means “the way of kami. ” The main beliefs of Shinto center on the mysterious creation and harmonization of power of kami, which was linked with permanent attributes in the landscape, and in the truthful way of kami, which helped devotees to live in accordance with it. Shinto possesses a positive perspective of human nature and is considered a religion of community or continuity.

Shinto practices consist of offerings, abstinence, prayers, and purification. Some of the elements of State Shinto still persist after Shinto was demolished as the state religion at the end of Second World War. These include the use of the Emperor as a symbol of the State, involvement of Shinto rituals in the accession of a new Emperor, perception of Shinto devotees that the Emperor is holy, use of Shinto traditions as the basis of various public holidays and annual ceremonies in Japan, and the duty of the Emperor to take part in Shinto rituals (“Religion”, 2).

Civil religion describes the relationship between religion and nationalism in the United States. The tenets of civil religion indicate that God will guarantee the propagation of American values throughout the world. Civil religion emphasizes the value of democracy, freedom, honesty, equality, justice, opportunity, and tolerance in the society, nation, or other political group. Cited Work Religion & Ethics: Shinto. Retrieved 11 May 2009, from <http:www. bbc. co. uk/religion/religions/Shinto/history/nationalism_1. shtml>.

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