2009 Volume 36 Issue 2 Pages 167-180
In the present paper, we focused on religion and religiosity using data that had been obtained from the Seven Nations Comparative Survey, the East Asia Values Survey, and the Asia and Pacific Values Survey. In Japan, only about 30% of the population have a religious faith, and this percentage is the lowest among developed countries. On the other hand, 70% think that having a religious mind is important. If we presume that people who either claim to have a specific religious faith or say that religious mind in a generic sense is important as being more or less positive to religion, then we could say that the proportion of people who feel positively about religion in Japan is comparable to that in most other countries. While attempts have been made to investigate the meaning of the term “religious mind” with relatively small data sets in Japan (Hayashi, F. 2007), it is also true that “religiosity” — which carries a different meaning than “religion” as an object of worship — is now being debated in Western countries, too. In this paper, we analyze whether the “religious mind” is a distinctive property of the Japanese or if there is a similar sort of attitude in the West using an international and comparative data set.