The Narratives of "Gifts from the Gods" in Shintoism at the Izumo Grand Shrine

[Speaker] Sakai, Katsuya:1
1:Society for the Study of Psychology of Religion (Japan)

We asked 54 members (mean age=53.11, men=20, women=34) of the Izumo Grand Shrine whether they have experienced the phenomenon of "Gifts from the Gods" (e.g., divine guidance, grace, protection, etc.) in their experience. 70% (n=38) responded either "Yes" or "Somewhat" while 20% (n=11) said "No" (10% or n=5 did not respond). Among those who responded "Yes" (n=14), "Gifts from the Gods" were manifested as "being protected from harm" (n=6), "divine guidance" (n=4), "match making" (n=3), "transcendental experience" (n=1), and "resolving financial problems" (n=1). These results reveal that the concept of "Gifts from the Gods" is not only well accepted but also prevalent among the Izumo Shintoists. In this presentation, I will focus on one of their core beliefs of Izumo Shintoism that underlies this concept of "Gifts from the Gods." It is the idea of divine intervention that is believed to enhance resiliency and collectivistic orientation in times of hardships.
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