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トップ >  Home >  Academics >  Undergraduate Studies > Cultural History

Department of Cultural History

The Department of Cultural History comprises four major fields of study: history, art history, history of philosophy and history of religion. In our department we aim to nurture the ability to understand the cultural activities of human beings from these diverse points of view.


In the field of history, a comprehensive study of Eastern and Western cultures helps to develop students’ awareness of cultural traditions. Courses in the history of Japan outline the history of the Japanese society and culture from ancient times to the present day. Courses in the modern history of Japan deal with such issues as the influence of Edo Era intellectuals upon the social thought of the time, as well as the relationship of religions upon the birth of the nation state in the Meiji Era. These classes are taught by specialists on these times.


In the field of art history, students learn about the history of painting and sculpture; especially that of the West and Japan. In the study of Japanese art history, a prominent specialist gives lectures on topics such as the Buddhist statues of the Kamakura Era. In studying Western art history, students learn about the arts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, with a focus on Gothic architecture, stained glass, and early Netherlandish painting, under the guidance of specialists on these times.
In the field of philosophy, lectures on the history of philosophy and thought about international relations, covering the span of time from ancient time up to the present age are offered. It is hoped that students will acquire fundamental knowledge and wisdom about the Western classical philosophies, apply it in pursuing solutions to the ethical issues of our modern age, consider the ideological movements relating to war and peace in the period from the modern age to the present day, and thus will learn how to connect thoughts with practical solutions.

Seisen is a Catholic university and the study of the history of religion is a core field in our department. Students may renew their understanding of the historical development of Christianity through studies about the Bible and the history of Christianity, taught by specialists. A unique feature is that we provide lectures in which the process of the acceptance of Christianity in Japan is studied through the analysis of such aspects as its reception among athletes and movie characters in the modern age.

Students in our department are expected to choose one of the above four fields and write a thesis on a theme within that field. Students, however, can take classes in all of the various fields and gain in-depth knowledge and wide perspectives. For example, combined studies on Korean missions in the Meiji Era and on the international relations between Japan and Korea, or Japan and China, can give clear and multifaceted images of modern East Asian history. Or, studies of the Netherlands in the 15th century from the perspectives of Western history as well as art history can place varied themes about art and religious protocol into one culturally-organic context. Thus, the Department of Cultural History offers its students a program of study based on versatile and interdisciplinary viewpoints.