The Iris Murdoch Society of Japan
Dame Jean Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) was a leading novelist of twentieth-century Britain. We established The Iris Murdoch Society of Japan in 1998 with the purpose of honoring her remarkable achievements and studying her works (poetry, plays, essays, and philosophical writings, as well as her 26 acclaimed full-length fictions), their lively language, profound philosophical musings, and rhetorical sumptuousness, thereby establishing a convivial forum for fruitful interchange of ideas between readers and students of Iris Murdoch in Japan.
Since then we have been holding an annual general meeting and conference every autumn and publishing, annually, The Iris Murdoch Newsletter of Japan. The number of our members has been increasing and, as a result, a number of books and research papers written and edited by members are published each year.
Iris Murdoch taught philosophy at her alma mater, Oxford University, for many years. Throughout her life, she steadfastly refuted and condemned every manner of friction and strife among nations, races, and religions as well as all forms of discrimination based on gender, wealth, status, or education. She continually advocated love of humanity to put an end to the insidious and stubborn presence of hatred on the earth by means of the potentially healing power of human innocence and goodness, which might be connected to philosophies of nothingness in the East with which Murdoch was most familiar.
When we consider our present precarious world as it is, Iris Murdoch and her works present themselves with more significance than ever before.