Levi McLaughlin is assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at North Carolina Station University. He is most well know for his research on religion in modern and contemporary Japan. Levi received his B.A. in Japanese Studies and M.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto. He also attended the University of Tokyo and received his Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton in 2009.
Levi’s research about New Religions in Japan is done primarily through his experience as a non-member participant observer of Soka Gakka. Though Soka Gakkai still carries the reputation for militant proselytization of non-members, interactions with Soka Gakkai members today is much different.
Levi’s more recent research looks at how religious groups in responded in the aftermath of the March 11, 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan. He looks at how religious groups, including but not limited to Soka Gakkai, have mobilized to provide support, both material and spiritual, to the Japanese people after the disaster. Their response may mark a shift in the way religious institutions approach pastoral care throughout the country.
Produced by Wilson Sayre for the Triangle Center for Japanese Studies