Gods of Medieval Japan
Written by one of the leading scholars of Japanese religion, Protectors and Predators is the second installment of a multivolume project that promises to be a milestone in our understanding of the mythico-ritual system of esoteric Buddhism?specifically the nature and roles of deities in the religious world of medieval Japan and beyond. Bernard Faure introduces readers to medieval Japanese religiosity and shows the centrality of the gods in religious discourse and ritual. Throughout he engages theoretical insights drawn from structuralism, post-structuralism, and Actor-Network Theory to retrieve the “implicit pantheon” (as opposed to the “explicit orthodox pantheon”) of esoteric Japanese Buddhism (Mikky?). His work is particularly significant given its focus on the deities’ multiple and shifting representations, overlappings, and modes of actions rather than on individual characters and functions.