Illinois College's Japanese Studies Lecture Series will focus next on “Shinto Religion in Japan” on Monday, March 12, in Kirby Learning Center, Room 6, at 11 a.m.
Leslie Williams, associate professor of Japanese and the director of the Language and International Trade Program at Clemson University, is one of the few Shinto researchers in the United States. He will talk about Shinto in both the historical and contemporary contexts as well as talk about his extensive fieldwork in Japan.
Williams teaches courses on Japanese language, literature, culture, religion and East Asian history. His research interests include Shinto and Taoist cosmological influences in Japan, the socially-determined cognitive structures of the supernatural in Japan, Japanese language pedagogy, and Taoist diet and exercise methods for enhancing the quality of life. His book, Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology in Shinto Ritual at Hakozaki, examines the ancient Shinto worldview that structures the rituals he observed in both shrine and popular contexts in contemporary northern Kyushu.
The Japanese Studies Lecture Series is taking place throughout the 2011-2012 academic year. The series is meant to enhance the understanding of the Japanese culture and inspire not only the college community, but also generate interest in Japan within the local community as well.
The lecture series is free and open to the public.