What is it about?

This article brings together fieldwork and historical research to track ways members of Soka Gakkai, Japan's largest new religion, transformed reverence for Beethoven into a component of their Buddhist practice.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Understanding ways an ostensibly non-religious and non-Japanese practice became a component of a Japanese religious community challenges prevailing notions of categorical boundaries and points toward innovative ways to research religion, culture, and related spheres.


Writing this article allowed me to begin articulating some of my findings from years of engaging with musicians within Soka Gakkai. Placing it alongside other articles in a special issue on aesthetics and emotions also allowed me to connect this research with ongoing work on affect.

Levi McLaughlin
North Carolina State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Beethoven and Buddhism in a Japanese Religion: Culture as Cultivation in Soka Gakkai, Numen, September 2021, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/15685276-12341641.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page