- This event has passed.
The sense of an ending: women in Aum Shinrikyō
April 5, 2019 - 12:15-13:15
Open lecture by Erica Baffelli, Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies at The University of Manchester (UK).
This talk discusses the role of women in Aum Shinrikyō, a millenarian movement that perpetrated a sarin gas attack in Tokyo subway in 1995 and several other crimes. To date, the role of women in Aum – who are often dismissed in media accounts about the group as Asahara (the group leader)’s lovers – has been overlooked, although three out of five senior disciplines in the group were female. This talk will discuss some preliminary findings and themes emerging by interviews with ex-Aum members in relation to both their experience in Aum and their processes of distancing themselves from it after 1995.
Lecturer’s bio: Erica Baffelli is currently Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Japanese Studies at The University of Manchester (UK). Before arriving at Manchester in 2013, she was Senior Lecturer in Asian Religions at the University of Otago (New Zealand, 2007-2013). She is interested in religion in contemporary Japan, with a focus on groups founded from the 1970s onwards. Recent publications include: (with Ian Reader) Dynamism and the Ageing of a Japanese ‘New’ Religion ( 2019); Media and New Religions in Japan (2016); Baffelli and Reader (eds), Aftermath: the Impact and Ramifications of the Aum Affair. Special Issue of the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 39 (1), 2012; and Baffelli, Reader and Staemmler (eds), Japanese Religions on the Internet: Innovation, Representation and Authority(2011).