Date of Award

Spring 1985

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 1985 Keith Dolliver. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Richard Lufrano


In the late 1800’s, Japan enacted a series of political and societal reforms aiming to attain recognition as a legitimate global power. The adoption of Christianity initially supported this goal, yet the religion’s popularity began to wane in the last decade of the century. Using an array of secondary historical analyses on Japanese religion, tradition, and politics, Dolliver argues that Christianity lost status in Japan once the government realized that Western political and economic status was not intrinsically tied to Western religion. As a result, Christianity was never ingrained in Japanese culture and society as it is in the West.