Might Shinto and Catholicism be cousins of a kind? This half-joking question was spurred when I realized Shinto feels more familar than foreign.
While recently reading, Byron Earhart’s Shinto and Japanese New Religions, there were several passages that made me realize there are striking similarities between Shinto and Catholicism.
Apart from a belief in otherworld intervention, there are similarities built into the physical structures of each faith. Consider this mirror as such is centrally featured within the Shinto shrine.
To house the mirror or other relics, which is very similar to the veneration of relics within Catholicism, Shinto has the altar structures and the kamidana (the god house or god shelf) for home worship, like this small shrine.
One cannot help but notice similar structures within Catholicism, especially if you consider the tabernacle, the monstrance, and the pyx, which are pictured below.
These are just a few examples, but as I read Earhart’s book, I was struck by an uncanny familiarity with the supposed strangeness of Shinto.