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Religion in Japan



Babak Rahimi

Prof. Babak Rahimi

Babak Rahimi is Associate Professor of Communication, Culture and Religion at the Department of Literature and the director of the Third World Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He earned his PhD from the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, in October 2004. Rahimi has also studied at the University of Nottingham, where he obtained an M.A. in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (1997), and the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, 2000-2001.

Rahimi’s research examines the relationship between culture, religion and politics. His book, Theater-State and Formation of the Early Modern Public Sphere in Iran: Studies on Safavid Muharram Rituals, 1590-1641 C.E. (Brill 2011), studies the relationship between ritual, public space and state power in early modern Iranian history. Rahimi has been an expert guest on various media programs like The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, BBC and CNN, in addition to NPR and On the Media. Also, he has been a visiting scholar at the Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität Berlin, and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His current research project is on the relationship between digital culture, politics and religion.

Dates Departure from U.S.: Sat., August 3, 2019
Arrival: Sun., August 4, 2019
Mandatory Orientation: Mon., August 5, 2019
First Day of Class: Tues., August 6, 2019
Last Day of Class: Fri., September 6, 2019
Departure for the U.S.
(or personal travel):
Sat., September 7, 2019

Flight Information

  • All approved applicants will be notified by e-mail when the program reaches minimum enrollment. Do not purchase plane tickets until the program is confirmed.
  • Details about specific airport pick-up time TBA
  • Contact STA Travel if you would like to book flights with other students on this program or take advantage of the airfare deposit program.
Info Sessions

Why You Should Go

Why Kyoto? As one of Japan’s largest cities, Kyoto is home to some of the most spectacular Shinto and Buddhist temples (1600 in total). It is also a city with deep history in the context of Japanese cultural and religious life. Kyoto also can serve as an educational site to explore the relationship between culture and religion in everyday life. Known as “the city of thousand temples” and once a capital city of the emperor, Kyoto’s numerous Zen temples such as Toji, Byodoin, and Daitokuji represent a fascinating example of how Zen Buddhism has played and continues to play a critical role in the formation of Japanese national modernity.

Who Should Go

This program is appropriate for students interested in history, Japanese studies, literature, and the study of religion. The two courses also fulfill GE requirements for Eleanor Roosevelt College (regional specialization), can fulfill one of two disciplinary breadth courses for Marshall College non-humanities majors, and can be petitioned by Muir College students to be two of three courses in a humanities GE sequence focused on Eastern Asian religion or literature. 

Program Details

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Fees and Funding

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Academic Excursions


Living Arrangements