Soka Gakkai is one of the most rapidly growing, controversial, and fascinating religious organizations of contemporary Japan. It is founded on the two principles of Nichirenism and Western Romanticism. In Soka Gakkai's Human Revolution, Levi McLaughlin applies the notion of mimetic nation to his examinations of the Gakkai's organizational structure and operation, the development of its education system, and its treatment of sacred texts based on Gakkai's voluminous publications and abundant ethnographical work.

The book consists of six chapters with a preface and an afterword. The first two chapters explain McLaughlin's conceptual framework and provide a history of Soka Gakkai by drawing parallels to the modern nation-state of Japan. In the next two chapters, he analyzes the role of narrative in Soka Gakkai. The martyrdom of Nichiren and his followers is described, followed by the heroism characterized by modern Western Romantic writers; the ways in which Human Revolution,...

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