Center for the Study of Conscience


Center for the Study of Conscience > Purpose


The goals of this research center are to examine “conscience” in contemporary society and establish the “study of conscience” as an interdisciplinary academic field through the exploration of its possibilities for application and practice. Furthermore, the center aims to disseminate the research findings in Japan and abroad, and establish a new academic community in this field.

Contemporary society is riddled with a variety of problems—some unique to our modern era and others trenchant stragglers from previous eras. If it is true that such a thing as a common conscience exists and that it functions as a moral compass informing us of our most basic needs as a species, would it not be reasonable to suppose that disregarding this conscience would lead to personal and interpersonal conflict? Thankfully, the heritage of Doshisha University is imbued by a constructive spirit which acknowledges the importance of the human conscience. This Center aims to build on this tradition by establishing a new broad-based academic discipline of “Conscience Studies” which is capable of providing scientific verification. In order to ascertain the applied potential of “Conscience Studies,” the Center will first modernize classical understandings/interpretations of human conscience and then develop and apply new theories to actual cases of local and global conflicts. The following is a list of research topics.

  1. What does “conscience” mean for Doshisha’s mission as an educational institution?
  2. What sort of relevance (such as applied/practical & theoretical) might “conscience” have in contemporary society?
  3. How should “conscience” be implemented in day-to-day life and in society at large?

The Center for the Study of Conscience takes an interdisciplinary approach in its research mandate. The Center pulls together leading researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines such as Religious Studies, International Relations, Social Work, Education, Ecology, Commerce, Psychology, Philosophy, and Natural Science who will lend their expertise for the creation of a new core discipline of “Conscience.”

Christianity is the very backbone of Doshisha’s moral education. In order to reinvigorate Christianity’s significance in our post-modern society, it is imperative to engage in interreligious dialogue. Holding out the possibility of a value system that is informed by and honors the best in the world’s religions is arguably one of contemporary society’s most pressing tasks.

It is the purpose of this Center to disseminate its research results to the general community. For this reason, the Center aims to establish a forum by which scholars will be able freely exchange ideas and research results. Texts introducing the idea of “Conscience” as a core subject will be created for students at Doshisha and elsewhere. The Center will also utilize Doshisha’s vast alumni network in its mission by creating a “Booklet Series” in English featuring prominent Doshisha alumni who will reflect on their place in the contemporary world as professionals.