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Dr. Jason Ānanda Josephson

KHK Visiting Research Fellow 2011 & 2016

KHK Visiting Research Fellow 2011, Associate Professor of Religion, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA

Jason Ananda Josephson studied Theological Studies at Harvard University (M.T.S. 2001) and Religious Studies at Stanford University (Ph.D. 2006). Since 2007, he has been an Assistant then Associate (2013) Professor of Religion at Williams College. He teaches courses on East Asian religions, continental philosophy, and the theory of religion. Before coming to Williams, he was a Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Study of Religion from 2006 to 2007, a Visiting Scholar at École français d’Extrême-Orient in Paris from 2004 to 2006, and a Visiting Student at Saint Antony's College, Oxford University from 2003 to 2004.

Josephson has three primary research foci: the history of Japanese Religions, Continental Philosophy, and Theory more broadly. The common thread to his research is an attempt to decenter received narratives in the study of religion and science. His main targets have been epistemological obstacles, the preconceived universals which serve as the foundations of various discourses. Josephson’s scholarship has concentrated dominantly on Japan of the Edo-Meiji Era (1600-1912) and has emphasized transnational connections by locating Japan in the larger context of European systems of thought and politics of the period. He has also been working to articulate new research models for Religious Studies in the wake of the collapse of poststructuralism as a guiding ethos in the Humanities. His most recently published monograph “The Invention of Religion in Japan” won the “Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Distinguished Book of the Year Award” in 2013.

As a KHK Visiting Research Fellow, he is going to work on a project entitled “Process Anthropology: A New Methodology for the Study of ‘Religion’ ”.


KHK Fellowship

Duration: February 2016 to July 2016 and April 2011 to September 2011

Project 2016: Ghost Images of Modernity: Encounters between Buddhists, Christians, and Psychical Researchers in 19th and early 20th Century Japan.
Project 2015: Process Anthropology: A New Methodology for the Study of "Religion"
Project 2011:Taming Demons. The Invention of Religion in Japan

External Website

Williams College