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Open AccessArticle

The Unificationist Funerary Tradition

Department of Religious Studies, University of Vienna, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Religions 2020, 11(5), 258;
Received: 22 April 2020 / Revised: 16 May 2020 / Accepted: 17 May 2020 / Published: 20 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Funerary Traditions of East Asian New Religious Movements)
This paper explores the distinctive funerary tradition of the Unification Movement, a globally active South Korean new religious movement founded in 1954. Its funerary tradition centres on the so-called Seonghwa (formerly Seunghwa) Ceremony, which was introduced in January 1984. The paper traces the doctrinal context and the origin narrative before delineating the ceremony itself in its Korean expression, including its preparatory and follow-up stages, as well as its short-lived adaptation for non-members. Notably, with more and more first-generation adherents passing away—most visibly in respect to the leadership culminating in the Seonghwa Ceremony of the founder himself in 2012—the funerary tradition has become an increasingly conspicuous property of the Unificationist lifeworld. This paper adds to a largely uncharted area in the study of East Asian new religious movements, namely the examination of their distinctive deathscapes, as spelled out in theory and practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: Unification Church; funeral; death; ritual; new religious movement; Korea; East Asia Unification Church; funeral; death; ritual; new religious movement; Korea; East Asia
MDPI and ACS Style

Pokorny, L. The Unificationist Funerary Tradition. Religions 2020, 11, 258.

AMA Style

Pokorny L. The Unificationist Funerary Tradition. Religions. 2020; 11(5):258.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pokorny, Lukas. 2020. "The Unificationist Funerary Tradition" Religions 11, no. 5: 258.

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