Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture

Perhaps nowhere in the world has the dialogue among religions taken hold stronger than in contemporary Japan. For more than 30 years the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture has been at the forefront of Christian participation in this dialogue, bringing together scholars from across the broad spectrum of Japanese religions to collaborate in scholarly pursuits.

Over the years since its foundation in 1974, the Institute has shaped itself as much to the skills and interests of its researchers as to the changing face of religion in Japan and Eastern Asia. This development is reflected in its two annual bulletins (in Japanese and English), in the publication of its bi-annual formal dialogues, and in the editing of an English-language scholarly review, the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. The preparation and publication of monographs, open seminars for the general public, colloquia with visiting scholars, and regular discussions of research in progress also form part of the Institute's ongoing academic life.

The Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture was also instrumental in initiating an exchange among Buddhist and Christian monastics from Japan and Europe, a project that has continued to this day and has come to be known as the “East-West Spiritual Exchange.”

The three-story building housing the Institute includes 16 offices for researchers, several large meeting rooms, and three floors of library space overflowing into an extensive basement for over 20,000 books and over 500 periodicals. The staff is made up of some 20 permanent and short-term research fellows, visiting scholars and associates, editorial and library staff, and office assistants.

The nearby Paulus Heim serves the Institute as a residence for fellows and guests.

The Institute's activities, as well as its journal and other publications, can be accessed via the Institute for Religion and Culture's Web site. For further enquiries, you may contact the Institute by e-mail at

Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture