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The Concept of "Korean Religion" and Religious Studies in Korea

Chongsuh Kim
Journal of Korean Religions
Vol. 1, No. 1/2, Problematizing "Korean Religions" (September 2010), pp. 23-41
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23943284
Page Count: 19
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The Concept of "Korean Religion" and Religious Studies in Korea
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Abstract

"Korean Religion" is often thought to be a simple sum of various religion like Shamanism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, Christianity and "new religions" in Korea. However, it might be more accurate to say that it is what the unique Korean religious mind has manifested and transformed in the framework of particular religious traditions during a particular time. In a time of modernization, the concept of Korean religion above all has become largely reduced and purified through social differentiation. It has also become popularized and has taken on distinctively global traits beyond its Asian provincialism. "Korean Religious Studies" in its process of becoming concretized since the 20th century has regarded the aspects of Korean Religion such as basic religiosity, universality formed through comparison, and indigenous peculiarity as its core research themes. In the future, we can expect that Korean Religious Studies will actively share a horizon of comparison with studies that are based on religious experiences of East Asian countries including China and Japan. Moreover, it will participate in the restructuring of world religious studies, while at the same time pursuing a more profound identity of Korean Religion.

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