Professor Mark Mullins


Mark R Mullins joined the University of Auckland  as Professor of Japanese Studies in January 2013. Prior to this appointment, he was engaged in academic work in Japan for 27 years and taught at Shikoku Gakuin University, Meiji Gakuin University, and Sophia University, where he also served a three-year term as editor of Monumenta Nipponica. He completed his postgraduate studies in the sociology of religion and East Asian traditions at McMaster University (PhD 1985). His teaching and research focus is on the role of Japanese religions in modern societies both within and outside of Japan.

Research | Current

  • Asian Diaspora Religions in Aotearoa New Zealand: Mapping Religious Change
  • Christianity as a Transnational Social Movement: Toyohiko Kagawa and the Friends of Jesus in the Japanese Empire and Beyond
  • Religion and Social Welfare Regimes in Japan and East Asia


Teaching | Current

THEOREL 221/321 Comparative Religion and Society

JAPANESE 308  Religion in Modern Japanese Society

ASIAN 702 Approaches to Research in Asian Studies



Postgraduate supervision

Supervision is available for postgraduate students interested in research on religion in modern society, including  the sociology of Japanese religion, religion-state issues, religious minorities, the cross-cultural diffusion of  religions, amd the role of religion in Asian diaspora communities. 


2019 Awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, by the Japanese Government in recognition for his contribution to the development of the sociology of religion in Japan, research on Japan in New Zealand, and promotion of academic exchanges and mutual understanding between Japan and New Zealand.

2016 Awarded Foreign Minister's Commendation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for contribution to and promotion of Japan-related research in New Zealand.

2005 Awarded 21st Joseph Roggendorf Book Award for the Japanese edition of Christianity Made in Japan: A Study of Indigenous Movements (University of Hawaii Press, 1998), published by Transview Press in Tokyo.


Director, Japan Studies Centre, New Zealand Asia Institute

Undergraduate Advisor, Asian Studies Programme

Areas of expertise

Sociology of Religion, Japanese religions and society, Christianity in Japan and East Asia, New Religious Movements, Religion-State Issues in Modern Japan

Committees/Professional groups/Services

2019 - Executive Council Member, East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

2018 - President, New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions

2017- Member of the Editorial Board, Asian Journal of Religion and Society, Korean Association for the Sociology of Religion

2017- Vice-President, New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions

2016- Editor, Book Series: Religion and Society in Asia Pacific (Palgrave Macmillan)

2016- Member of the Editorial Board, International Journal of Asian Christianity (Brill)

2013- Member of Advisory Board, Monumenta Nipponica (Sophia University)

2010-2012 Editor, Monumenta Nipponica: Studies in Japanese Culture (Sophia University)

1991 and 2007 Guest Co-editor, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies

2004-2009 Associate Editor, Japanese Religions

1993-2005 Editorial Advisor, Echoes of Peace: Quarterly Bulletin of the Niwano Peace Foundation  

2004-2016  Board Member, Japanese Association for Religious Studies


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Mullins, M. R. (2017). Shinsaigo no Nihon ni okeru neo-nashonarizumu [Neo-nationalism in post-disaster Japan]. In H. Tsukada (Ed.) 徹底検証日本の右傾化=Tettei Kenshō: Nihon no ukeika (pp. 128-147). Tokyo: Chikumashobō.
  • Mullins, M. R. (2017). Religion in occupied Japan: The impact of SCAP’s policies on Shinto. In E. Anderson (Ed.) Belief and practice in imperial Japan and colonial Korea (pp. 229-248). Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Mullins, M. R. (2016). Neonationalism, politics, and religion in post-disaster Japan. In M. R. Mullins, K. Nakano (Eds.) Disasters and social crisis in contemporary Japan: Political, religious, and sociocultural responses (pp. 107-131). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9781137521323_6
  • Mullins, M. R. (Ed.) (2015). Critical Readings on Christianity in Japan. Leiden: EJ Brill. Pages: 1430.
  • Mullins, M. R. (2015). Japanese responses to imperialist secularization: The postwar movement to restore Shintō in the public sphere. In M. Burchardt, M. Wohlrab-Sahr, M. Middell (Eds.) Multiple secularities beyond the west: Religion and modernity in the global age (pp. 141-167). Berlin, Germany: Walter De Gruyter Inc.
  • Mullins, M. R. (2014). Kagawa Toyohiko (1888-1960) and the Japanese Christian impact on American society. In A. L. Park, D. K. Yoo (Eds.) Encountering modernity : Christianity in East Asia and Asian America (pp. 162-193). Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.
  • Mullins, M. R. (2013). Sacred Sites and Social Conflict: Yasukuni Shrine and Religious Pluralism in Japanese Society. Religious Pluralism, State and Society in Asia (pp. 35-50). New York: Routledge.
  • Mullins, M. R. (2012). Christianity in Contemporary Japanese Society. In I. Prohl, J. Nelson (Eds.) Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Religions (pp. 133-157). Leiden: Brill.


Contact details

Alternative contact

Correct Location:
Level 4, Room 207-427
Auckland 1010
New Zealand

Office hours

Semester 2:  Wednesday 1:00-3:00 (and by appointment).


Primary office location

ARTS 2 - Bldg 207
Level 4, Room 426
New Zealand

Web links