Justin Stein

BA (Hamilton College), MS in Ed. (CUNY-Brooklyn), MA (Hawaii), PhD (Toronto)
Dr. Justin Stein
Surrey Office: Arbutus 3670
Richmond Office: 2320

Justin B. Stein, PhD (University of Toronto, Study of Religion, 2017), is an historian of spiritual practices at sites of connection between Japan, Hawaii, and North America. He joined the Asian Studies department at Kwantlen in January 2020 after a two-year postdoctoral fellowship sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at Bukkyo University in Kyoto. His first monograph, currently under review, is based on his dissertation research on the development of the Reiki healing system in the twentieth-century North Pacific and extends its analysis to other "transnational spiritual therapies". He has two current research projects: one on how 1930s Buddhist youth associations in the British, Japanese, and American empires engaged with colonialism; and another on a nineteenth-century Zen meditation system that claimed to cure all illness and distress through restructuring the nervous system. You can read some of his scholarship at https://justinstein.academia.edu/

Courses taught

  • LANC / JAPN 1200 - Introduction to Contemporary Japanese Society and Culture
  • LANC / ASIA 3310 - Japanese Culture and Business
  • LANC / ASIA 3320 - Japanese Culture through Film

Areas of Interest

Religion in modern Japan and the Japanese diaspora; health and healing practices; transnational networks and cultural production / exchange

Scholarly Work

  • Routledge Handbook of Religion, Medicine, and Health, co-edited with Pamela Klassen, Dorothea Lüddeckens, and Philipp Hetmanczyk (New York: Routledge, expected fall 2021).
  • "Introduction: Critical Approaches to the Entanglement of Religion, Medicine, and Healing" (co-authored with Dorothea Lüddeckens, Pamela Klassen, and Philipp Hetmanczyk); and "Energy Healing: Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and Healing Touch in the United States and Beyond"; both in Routledge Handbook of Religion, Medicine, and Health (see above).
  • "Japanese Religions and the Global Occult" (special issue, co-edited with Ioannis Gaitanidis), Japanese Religions 44 (2019).
  • "Japanese Religions and the Global Occult: An Introduction and Literature Review" (co-authored with Ioannis Gaitanidis), Japanese Religions 44 (2019), 1–32.
  • “‘Universe Energy’: Translation and Reiki Healing in the Twentieth-Century North Pacific,” Asian Medicine 14:1 (2019), 81–103.
  • “Psychosomatic Buddhist Medicine at the Dawn of Modern Japan: Hara Tanzan’s ‘On the Difference Between the Brain and the Spinal Cord’ (1869),” in Buddhism and Medicine: An Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Voices, edited by C. Pierce Salguero (New York: Columbia University Press, 2019), 38–44.
  • “Usui Reiki Ryōhō kara Reiki he – Toransu-Pashifikku ni yoru Henyō” (“From Usui Reiki Therapy to Reiki: Transpacific Transformations”), translated by Jun’ichiro Kuroda, in Kingendai Nihon no Minkan Seishin Ryōhō: Okaruto Enerugii no Shosō (Folk Spiritual Therapies in Modern and Contemporary Japan: Varieties of Occult Energy), edited by Shin’ichi Yoshinaga, Hotaka Tsukada, and Hidehiko Kurita
  • “Usui Reiki Ryōhō: An Annotated Bibliography (Part One: 1914–1980),” Journal of the Japanese Network for the Academic Study of Esotericism 1:1 (2018), 19–38.
  • “Global Flows of Universal Energy? Aquatic Metaphors, Network Theory, and Modeling Reiki’s Development and Circulation in North America,” in Eastspirit: Transnational Spirituality and Religious Circulation in East and West, edited by Jørn Borup and Marianne Q. Fibiger (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 36–60.
  • "The Japanese New Religious Practices of jōrei and okiyome in the Context of Asian Spiritual Healing Traditions,” Japanese Religions 37:1/2 (2012, Special Issue: Religion and Healing in Japan), 115–141.