Family And Relationships
See All Topics
Peter T. Chattaway
Fr Matthew P. Schneider, LC
see all columnists
NEW Patheos Answers
Faith Leaders Database
Holiness and Pentecostal
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Presbytarian and Reformed
See all religions
Resources For the Faith Seeker
E-Books and Other Special Offers
Books of the Bible Study series
History of the Bible
7 Day Prayer Challenge for Spouses
A Different Kind of Christian
Jesus is Love
The Saints We Love
Who is God
Rituals and Worship
Ethics and Community
The deities (kami) Izanagi and Izanami gave birth to all things, including the Japanese islands, and also to three major Japanese gods. One of these is Amaterasu, the sun goddess. The emperors of Japan, and all of the Japanese people, are believed to be descendents of these kami.
Ultimate Reality and Divine Beings
Ultimate reality in Shinto includes the chaos from which the kami emerged, but the focus of the ultimate in relationship to humanity is earth. Certain kami gave birth to the earthly realm and everything in it. Kami can occupy natural objects such as mountains, rivers, or trees. They can also occupy sacred areas and, more rarely, human beings.
Human Nature and the Purpose of Existence
Humans are part of the natural realm, which is sacred. Pollution does occur through normal acts such as contact with things that threaten life, for example: death, blood, or disease. This is unavoidable and constitutes no "sin." Pollution is washed away regularly through acts of purification. Thus one's purpose is to maintain the pure and natural state of existence.
Suffering and the Problem of Evil
In Shinto, the ideas closest to the western notion of evil are pollution and impurity, and these are addressed through rituals of purification. Suffering is not regarded as a form of punishment for human behavior, but, rather, as a natural element of human experience. Shinto deities are equally capable of being gentle and loving, or awesome and terrifying.
Afterlife and Salvation
There is an old saying in Japan: "born Shinto, die Buddhist." Before Buddhism, it was believed that all who died went to a vast hellish underworld from which there is no escape. Buddhism introduced the idea of rewards and punishments in the afterlife, and death and salvation in the afterlife came to be regarded as Buddhist matters.
Rituals and Worship
Back to religion Library
Get Patheos Newsletters
Get the latest from Patheos by signing up for our newsletters. Try our 3 most popular, or select from our huge collection of unique and thought-provoking newsletters.
Best of Patheos
Simply the finest and most popular features from Patheos columnists.
Sharing the Gospel
The best in evangelical thought, commentary on current events and culture, and biblical wisdom designed to energize your Christian faith.
Christians For a Better Christianity
News and commentary from today’s top Progressive Christian voices on faith and politics, social justice, transforming theology, the Bible and more.
Please also opt me in for Exclusive Offers from Patheos’s Partners
Privacy and Data Policy
From time to time you will also receive Special Offers from our partners that help us make this content free for you. You can opt out of these offers at any time.
see our full list of newsletters
View All Columns
Before You Unplug or Sign Out for Good
What Is the Purpose of Spiritual Gifts, and How Do You Discover Yours?
5 Ways to Hear What God is Telling You
How Awake Are We? When Waking Up is Falling Asleep
Daniel Thomas Dyer
"The Church supports the use of vaccinations"
Luther and the Beauty of Christ
The Soul of Gospel Music Explored in New Netflix Series "Voices of Fire"
Seven Ways to Think About Christian Mysticism
Cancelling Alice Walker?
Does God Have His Own Logic?
Roger E. Olson
Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world.
Advertise With Us
Terms Of Service
Do Not Sell My Data
Follow Us on Facebook
Find Us on YouTube
Unsubscribe From Notifications
. All rights reserved.