Pia Jolliffe will give a talk about Christian martyrs in Japan, 16th-20th century and Klaus P. Ebmeier will give a talk on Sociodemographic/lifestyle risk and protective factors for dementia.
Christian martyrs in Japan, 16th-20th century
Pia Jolliffe, Old Member, Japanese Studies
The persecution of Christians in Japan has a unique place in global history. The persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire lasted more than 250 years it was neither continuous nor systematic. By contrast, the formal persecution of Christians in Japan lasted from 1587 until 1873 when the ban of Christianity in Japan was lifted. This seminar discusses the reasons for this persecution. Drawing on historical sources, such as the letters written by missionaries, I present case studies of the martyrdom of children, men and women of different social status. The seminar also draws attention to the argument of some members of the Christian community in Nagasaki that the suffering associated with the atomic bombing on 9 August 1945 was a case of 20th century Christian martyrdom. Although this interpretation does not reflect the official perspective of the Church, seeing the atomic bombing in continuation with and linked to earlier forms of Christian persecution is an important reminder of ordinary peoples’ experience and interpretation of history.
Dr Pia Maria Jolliffe is a Teaching and Research Associate at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies. She is also an Old Member and Continuing Member of Linacre College and a Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall. She is the author of several journal articles and books, including Prisons and Forced Labour in Japan. The Colonization of Hokkaido 1882-1894 (Routledge, 2018) and co-editor of Southeast Asian Education in Modern History. Schools, Manipulation, Contest (Routledge, 2018).
Sociodemographic/lifestyle risk and protective factors for dementia
Klaus P. Ebmeier Governing Body Fellow
Last year’s Lancet Commission’s report “Dementia prevention, intervention, and care” takes the ‘glass being a third-full’ view of observed associations between poor health or unhealthy behaviours and dementia: if we only could modify some of these ‘risk factors’, such as hypertension in middle aged (45–65 years) and older people (aged older than 65 years) without dementia, improve childhood education, increase exercise, maintain social engagement, reduce smoking, and manage hearing loss, depression, diabetes, and obesity, we might be able to delay or prevent a third of dementia cases.
The more scientifically more sustainable view is that at least some of the above ‘risk factors’ are in fact early symptoms of dementia (or at least the results of common underlying risks) so that their modification will not have an effect on the incidence of dementia. My personal view is determined by the observation of secular reductions in dementia incidence, which suggests that population health or life conditions may have a beneficial effect on dementia risk, but also by the absence or impossibility of randomised controlled human intervention studies in this field.
Governing Body Fellow at Linacre College and Chair of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Oxford since 2006. Chair of Psychiatry in Edinburgh 1997-2006, MRC Clinical Scientist at Edinburgh Brain Metabolism Unit 1989-1997. Educated in Bonn (Medicine) and Aberdeen (Psychiatry). Special interests in major psychiatric disorders, brain imaging and psychophysiology, as applied to cohort studies