Religions of Korea in Practice

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Korea has one of the most diverse religious cultures in the world today, with a range and breadth of religious practice virtually unrivaled by any other country. This volume in the Princeton Readings in Religions series is the first anthology in any language, including Korean, to bring together a comprehensive set of original sources covering the whole gamut of religious practice in both premodern and contemporary Korea.

The book's thirty-two chapters help redress the dearth of source materials on Korean religions in Western languages. Coverage includes shamanic rituals for the dead and songs to quiet fussy newborns; Buddhist meditative practices and exorcisms; Confucian geomancy and ancestor rites; contemporary Catholic liturgy; Protestant devotional practices; internal alchemy training in new Korean religions; and North Korean Juche ("self-reliance") ideology, an amalgam of Marxism and Neo-Confucian filial piety focused on worship of the "father," Kim Il Sung.

Religions of Korea in Practice provides substantial coverage of contemporary Korean religious practice, especially the various Christian denominations and new indigenous religions. Each chapter includes an extensive translation of original sources on Korean religious practice, accompanied by an introduction that frames the significance of the selections and offers suggestions for further reading. This book will help any reader gain a better appreciation of the rich complexity of Korea's religious culture.

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One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2007
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691113470
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/13/2006
  • Series: Princeton Readings in Religions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 1,251,155
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert E. Buswell Jr. is Professor and former Chair of Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles, and founding director of the university's Center for Buddhist Studies and Center for Korean Studies. He is the author of "The Zen Monastic Experience: Buddhist Practice in Contemporary Korea" (Princeton), and editor in chief of "The Encyclopedia of Buddhism".

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Table of Contents

Princeton Readings in Religions v
Contents by Theme ix
Contents by Chronology xi
Preface xiii
Major Periods in Korean History xv
Note on Transliterations and Conventions xvii
Contributors xix
Introduction by Don Baker 1


Chapter 1: King Mu and the Making and Meanings of Mirǔksa by Jonathan W. Best 35
Chapter 2: Wǒn'gwang and Chajang in the Formation of Early Silla Buddhism by Pankaj N. Mohan 51
Chapter 3: A Miraculous Tale of Buddhist Practice during the Unified Silla by Richard D. McBride II 65
Chapter 4: Buddhism as a Cure for the Land by Sem Vermeersch 76
Chapter 5: The P'algwanhoe: From Buddhist Penance to Religious Festival by Sem Vermeersch 86
Chapter 6: Hell and Other Karmic Consequences: A Buddhist Vernacular Song by Younghee Lee 100
Chapter 7: A Buddhist Rite of Exorcism by Patrick R. Uhlmann 112
Chapter 8: "A Crazy Drunken Monk": Kyǒnghǒ and Modern Buddhist Meditation Practice by Jin Y. Park 130
Chapter 9: Educating Unborn Children: A Sǒn Master's Teachings on T'aegyo by Chong Go Sǔnim 144

Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism

Chapter 10: A Party for the Spirits: Ritual Practice in Confucianism by Hongkyung Kim 163
Chapter 11: The Great Confucian-Buddhist Debate by Charles Muller 177
Chapter 12: Confucianism and the Practice of Geomancy by Hong-key Yoon 205
Chapter 13: Voices of Female Confucians in Late Chosŏn Korea by Youngmin Kim 223


Chapter 14: Yi Kyubo's "Lay of the Old Shaman" by Richard D. McBride II 233
Chapter 15: The Creation of the World and Human Suffering by Boudewijn Walraven 244
Chapter 16: Sending Away the Smallpox Gods by Antonetta Lucia Bruno 259
Chapter 17: Village Deities of Cheju Island by Boudewijn Walraven 284
Chapter 18: Shamans, the Family, and Women by Boudewijn Walraven 306
Chapter 19: A Shamanic Ritual for Sending On the Dead by Antonetta Lucia Bruno 325


Chapter 20: Martyrdom and Social Activism: The Korean Practice of Catholicism by Inshil Choe Yoon 355
Chapter 21: Catholic Rites and Liturgy by Franklin Rausch and Don Baker 376
Chapter 22: Conversion Narratives in Korean Evangelicalism by Timothy S. Lee 393
Chapter 23: A New Moral Order: Gender Equality in Korean Christianity by Hyaeweol Choi 409
Chapter 24: Indigenized Devotional Practices in Korean Evangelicalism by Timothy S. Lee 421
Chapter 25: The Grieving Rite: A Protestant Response to Confucian Ancestral Rituals by James Huntley Grayson 434

New Religions

Chapter 26: The Great Transformation: Religious Practice in Chondogyo by Don Baker 449
Chapter 27: The Korean God Is Not the Christian God: Taejonggyo's Challenge to Foreign Religions by Don Baker 464
Chapter 28: The Wǒn Buddhist Practice of the Buddha-Nature by Jin Y. Park 476
Chapter 29: Renewing Heaven and Earth: Spiritual Discipline in Chǔngsan'gyo by Don Baker 487
Chapter 30: Rites of Passage in the Unification Church by Don Baker 497
Chapter 31: Internal Alchemy in the Dahn World School by Don Baker 508

North Korea

Chapter 32: The Sociopolitical Organism: The Religious Dimensions of Juche Philosophy by Eun Hee Shin 517

Index 535

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