Special Issue "Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Yohan Yoo
Website
Guest Editor
College of Humanities, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Interests: Comparative religion; Korean shamanism; religion and mythology; Korean Christianity
Prof. Dr. Song-Chong Lee
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Religious Studies Faculty, University of Findlay, 1000 N. Main St., Findlay, OH 45840, USA
Interests: Korean religion and society; cosmopolitanism; neo-Confucianism; Ham Seok-Heon
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is dedicated to papers presented to the World Religion Forum (WRF) held 4–5 October 2019, in the city of Jeonju, Korea. The WRF is a special program of Jeonju’s larger city festival called the World Religious Culture Festival, which was hosted and sponsored by the World Religious Peace Committee (WRPC) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea. The WRF aimed at exploring the impact of religion on life and society, with focus on its paradoxical nature contributing to both peace building and violent conflict. The WRPC has recognized the positive function of religion, for example, as shown dramatically in the contribution of Sant’Egidio to the peace accords in Mozambique in 1992 and the active diplomatic role of religious leaders in preventing the reemergence of war in Angola in 1998. It is also aware of the contribution of religion to the escalation of conflicts as revealed in major sectarian and religious tensions caused as a result of a variety of political crisis. Therefore, alongside the collaborative effort of the WRPC and the City of Jeonju to promote the deep religious history of the city, which is well-known for the first Catholic martyrdom in Korea and historically and religiously important sites (Martyrs Mountain’s Shrine, the Jeondong Cathedral, the Donggosa Temple, the Jeonju Hyanggyo, etc.), and to brand the city as a mecca for religious tourism, the conference intended to not only provide a meaningful venue for international scholarly discussion on the role of religion but also share with the public civic virtues, for the common good, expressed by various religious traditions. This Special Issue features wide-ranging themes relevant to the conference title, “Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond.” As this conference title indicates, while most papers were prepared for the Korean context, some deal with non-Korean topics, intended to bring the Korean audience new perspectives on and new insights into the merits and demerits of religion.

Prof. Dr. Yohan Yoo
Prof. Dr. Song-Chong Lee
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Korean religion
  • Korean shamanism
  • Catholic conversion in Korea
  • religious conflict
  • interreligious dialogue
  • Korean Buddhism
  • Korean Protestantism
  • religion and film

Published Papers (10 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Christmas in the Room: Gender, Conflict, and Compromise in Multi-Religious Domestic Space
Religions 2020, 11(6), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11060281 - 09 Jun 2020
Abstract
Interfaith relationships offer particular potential for creating religious coexistence; they also play out very differently in domestic space than in public and civic spaces, with the result that interfaith marriage becomes an important, yet unique, site of religious cooperation, co-existence, and conflict. The [...] Read more.
Interfaith relationships offer particular potential for creating religious coexistence; they also play out very differently in domestic space than in public and civic spaces, with the result that interfaith marriage becomes an important, yet unique, site of religious cooperation, co-existence, and conflict. The article argues that examinations of interfaith families must take three factors into account, each of which involves careful attention to the particular power dynamics of the family in question. First, scholars must think about the broader context in which the interfaith family has come to exist. Second, scholars must consider that the emotional and power dynamics of domestic space often have little in common with the compromises and power dynamics of public space. Lastly, while gender is not generally a key category of analysis for thinking about interfaith encounters in public space, gender, both as it shapes power dynamics and as it drives assumptions about childrearing and domestic labor, shapes interfaith family life and requires attendant scholarly attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond)
Open AccessArticle
Seeking Solidarity between Protestant and Catholic Churches for Social Justice in Korea: The Case of the Korea Christian Action Organization for Urban Industrial Mission (Saseon) (1976–1989)
Religions 2020, 11(6), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11060278 - 05 Jun 2020
Abstract
The Korea Christian Action Organization for Urban Industrial Mission (Hanguk-gyohoe-sahoeseongyo-hyeubuihoe (Saseon)) was an organization which devoted itself not only to the Korean democratization movement against the military dictatorship, but also to the movement for the improvement of the quality of [...] Read more.
The Korea Christian Action Organization for Urban Industrial Mission (Hanguk-gyohoe-sahoeseongyo-hyeubuihoe (Saseon)) was an organization which devoted itself not only to the Korean democratization movement against the military dictatorship, but also to the movement for the improvement of the quality of life of laborers, farmers, and the urban poor from 1976 to 1989. Saseon, a joint organization of Protestants and Catholics, trained activists dedicated to democratization and the people’s right to life movements. The Protestants and Catholics of Saseon believed that participation in social movements was missionary work building the Kingdom of God on Earth, and that they could set a good example of solidarity with a common goal of social justice and a mission for the poor which transcended their theological differences. This paper will illuminate the cooperation between Korean Protestant and Catholic churches toward the common goal of social justice, focusing on the case of Saseon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond)
Open AccessArticle
Enlightenment on the Spirit-Altar: Eschatology and Restoration of Morality at the King Kwan Shrine in Fin de siècle Seoul
Religions 2020, 11(6), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11060273 - 29 May 2020
Abstract
The period from the Treaty of Kanghwa (1876) until the fall of the Korean Empire (1897–1910) is commonly characterized as a period of kaehwa—Enlightenment—in which the Chosŏn state strived to reform and modernize. This article complicates the notion of Enlightenment in the [...] Read more.
The period from the Treaty of Kanghwa (1876) until the fall of the Korean Empire (1897–1910) is commonly characterized as a period of kaehwa—Enlightenment—in which the Chosŏn state strived to reform and modernize. This article complicates the notion of Enlightenment in the late Chosŏn context, arguging that it was a hybrid term concurrently connoting modernization and religious awakening. In particular, this article sheds light on spirit-written texts—so called ‘morality books’—employed by civil and military elites to participate in Enlightenment discourse. By the mid-nineteenth century, Guandi—the apotheosized version of the warrior Guan Yu—had emerged as one of the most popular spirit-writing deities in Qing dynasty China. This article explores the Korean faith and practice of spirit-writing centered on Thearch Kwan (Ch. Guandi) at shrines in Seoul. The King Kwan Shrines (Kwanwang myo) were the sites of production and publication of morality books during a critical period on the eve of modernization of Korea. Surprisingly, these texts were published with the sanction of King Kojong (reigned 1863–1907), the reformer who founded the new country. Kojong and his confidant servants were fully aware of the spirit-written texts and published them as the “Corpus of Enlightenment.” The corpus unintentionally emphasized the key term of modernization in their eschatology, urging enlightenment—conceived of as religio-ethical values—in order to resolve contemporary ills and bring about a new era of peace. This research will dissolve the sharp demarcation between premodern and modern in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Korea by illuminating the polyphony of Enlightenment ideas, comflicting and competing between the old and new. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Basis for Coexistence Found from within: The Mystic Universality and Ethicality of Donghak (東學, Eastern Learning)
Religions 2020, 11(5), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11050265 - 23 May 2020
Abstract
The rush of Western civilization, headed by Christianity, caused a considerable identity crisis in the 19th century Joseon dynasty. The founder of Donghak 東學, Suun Choe Je-u 水雲 崔濟愚, sought a way out of the crisis through religion. Suun contended that the religions [...] Read more.
The rush of Western civilization, headed by Christianity, caused a considerable identity crisis in the 19th century Joseon dynasty. The founder of Donghak 東學, Suun Choe Je-u 水雲 崔濟愚, sought a way out of the crisis through religion. Suun contended that the religions of both east and west are grounded in the same Way of Heaven, and that it can be ascertained through an experience of mystical union induced by chanting a 21-character incantation. He also emphasized the importance of practicing this Way of Heaven in real life. According to him, the Western invasion is an act of selfishness, and goes against the Heavenly Way. The Heavenly Way is considered a foundation that enables communication and coexistence in a religiously diverse society. Despite the fact that his belief in the universality of the Heavenly Way is based on a personal experience—which is problematic to all mysticisms—Donghak provided a powerful discourse to deal with a variety of challenges of his time. In this age of religious pluralism, Suun’s universalism is significant in exploring the intellectual and spiritual foundation of the modern pluralistic thoughts of Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond)
Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Letter to the Romans in the Sect-Cult Development of Early Churches
Religions 2020, 11(5), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11050257 - 20 May 2020
Abstract
This article examines how the model of sect-cult development in antiquity helps us understand Paul’s discussion of Jewish traditions in the Letter to the Romans. In the traditional Augustinian–Lutheran scholarship, Romans has often been interpreted within the binary framework of Judaism and Christianity, [...] Read more.
This article examines how the model of sect-cult development in antiquity helps us understand Paul’s discussion of Jewish traditions in the Letter to the Romans. In the traditional Augustinian–Lutheran scholarship, Romans has often been interpreted within the binary framework of Judaism and Christianity, as Paul showcasing one of the earliest examples of Christian opposition to Judaism. Based on the recent studies on Second Temple Judaism and the modified model of sect-cult reflecting the ancient context, I argue that Romans reveals internal conflicts between cultic and sectarian tendencies present among early churches of the first century C.E. The cultic tendency is reflected in Roman gentile believers’ assimilation of the Jewish tradition with the Greco–Roman virtue of self-mastery and their growing separation from Judaism. Paul, on the other hand, tries to establish the unity between believing gentiles and Israel as exhibiting his sectarian understanding of the gospel and the gentile mission. By placing Romans in the trajectory of sect-cult development of an early church, we stop reading it as a text that justifies the Christian antagonism to Judaism, but as a text that shows an early apostle’s passionate effort to create a unified people of God in the hope for the final salvation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond)
Open AccessArticle
Syncretism, Harmonization, and Mutual Appropriation between Buddhism and Confucianism in Pre-Joseon Korea
Religions 2020, 11(5), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11050231 - 08 May 2020
Abstract
Following the introduction of Buddhism to China, various strategies of accommodation with Chinese culture were developed, all amounting to some form of syncretism with Chinese religions, mainly Confucianism. Buddhism in pre-modern Korea displayed similar forms of interaction with Confucianism. This article aims to [...] Read more.
Following the introduction of Buddhism to China, various strategies of accommodation with Chinese culture were developed, all amounting to some form of syncretism with Chinese religions, mainly Confucianism. Buddhism in pre-modern Korea displayed similar forms of interaction with Confucianism. This article aims to critique the notion that such interactions were merely forms of “harmonization”, finding common ground between the traditions. If one religion borrows from another or adopts the message of another religion, it will be affected to some degree, which is why the concept of syncretism is a better tool of analysis. This article concludes that there was a strong official support in Goryeo Korea towards the genuine convergence of Confucianism and Buddhism. Since Buddhism, as a result, took on many of the tasks carried out by Confucianism in China, the reaction against Buddhism by a reinvigorated Confucianism from the late fourteenth century onward was much stronger than in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond)
Open AccessArticle
Similar but Superior: Rhetoric of Coexistence Employed by Religions in Jeju Island, Korea
Religions 2020, 11(4), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11040198 - 18 Apr 2020
Abstract
Religions in Jeju, South Korea, have sometimes been in conflict with each other, but have generally coexisted peacefully. In a situation where diverse religions share an island that is isolated from the mainland, they have emphasized that they are similar yet superior to [...] Read more.
Religions in Jeju, South Korea, have sometimes been in conflict with each other, but have generally coexisted peacefully. In a situation where diverse religions share an island that is isolated from the mainland, they have emphasized that they are similar yet superior to their rivals. Religions that were imported to Jeju, including Confucianism, Buddhism, and Christianity, have tried to make themselves look familiar to Jeju people on the basis of people’s knowledge of preexisting religions. These religions sometimes embraced rituals of preexisting religions to which people were strongly attached. The Jeju indigenous religion has also acknowledged that the ideas and practices of Buddhism and Confucianism have remarkable similarities to those of its own. Simultaneously, each religion in Jeju has claimed its superiority over others. Religions in Jeju have argued that other religions’ partial truth and limited value are in sharp contrast with the complete truth and superior value of their own. They have asserted that only they can provide the proper way of keeping the order of the universe or attaining salvation of human beings. This common rhetoric that “my religion is similar but superior to other religions” has been repeated in Jeju, in order to persuade people outside the religion to accept or at least approve it on the one hand, and to maintain the peaceful coexistence with other religions on the other hand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond)
Open AccessArticle
An Aristotelian Interpretation of Bojo Jinul and an Enhanced Moral Grounding
Religions 2020, 11(4), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11040193 - 16 Apr 2020
Abstract
This paper explores the eclecticism of Bojo Jinul (1158–1210 CE), who is arguably the most influential historic figure in establishing and developing the Buddhist monastic institution of Korea. As a great harmonizer of the conflicting Buddhist trends in the late Goryeo period, Jinul [...] Read more.
This paper explores the eclecticism of Bojo Jinul (1158–1210 CE), who is arguably the most influential historic figure in establishing and developing the Buddhist monastic institution of Korea. As a great harmonizer of the conflicting Buddhist trends in the late Goryeo period, Jinul not only shaped the foundation of the traditional monastic discipline balanced between theory and practice but also made Korean Buddhist thoughts known to a larger part of East Asia. I revisit the eclecticism of Bojo Jinul on harmonizing the two conflicting understandings of enlightenment represented by Seon (Cha’n) and Gyo (Hwaeom study) schools: the former stressing sudden enlightenment by sitting mediation and oral transmission of dharma and the latter stressing gradual cultivation by the formal training of textual and doctrinal understanding specifically on the Hwaeom Sutra. Utilizing the metaphysics of Aristotle, I confirm the logical validity of his eclecticism and address some of its moral implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond)
Open AccessArticle
Biblical Rhetoric of Separatism and Universalism and Its Intolerant Consequences
Religions 2020, 11(4), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11040176 - 09 Apr 2020
Abstract
The long history of the Jewish and Christian use of separatist rhetoric and universal ideals reveals their negative consequences. The Hebrew Bible’s rhetoric about Israel as a people separated from the Egyptians and Canaanites is connected to Israel’s purity practices in Leviticus 18 [...] Read more.
The long history of the Jewish and Christian use of separatist rhetoric and universal ideals reveals their negative consequences. The Hebrew Bible’s rhetoric about Israel as a people separated from the Egyptians and Canaanites is connected to Israel’s purity practices in Leviticus 18 and 20. Later communities wielding greater political power, however, employed this same anti-Canaanite pollution rhetoric in their efforts to colonize many different parts of the world. Separatist rhetoric was used to protect small Jewish communities in the early Second Temple period. The Christian New Testament rejected many of these purity practices in order to makes its mission more inclusive and universal. However, its denigration of concerns for purification as typically “Jewish” fueled intolerance of Jews in the form of Christian anti-Semitism. The violent history of both separatist and universalist rhetoric provides a cautionary tale about the consequences of using cultural and religious comparisons for community formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond)
Open AccessArticle
Confucian Exemplars and Catholic Saints as Models for Women in Nineteenth-Century Korea
Religions 2020, 11(3), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11030151 - 24 Mar 2020
Abstract
Women in Joseon Korea (1392–1910) were held to high standards of virtue, which were propagated through didactic texts such as the “Chaste and Obedient Biographies” volume of Lienü Zhuan, the Chinese classic featuring biographies of exemplary women. Joseon women who converted to [...] Read more.
Women in Joseon Korea (1392–1910) were held to high standards of virtue, which were propagated through didactic texts such as the “Chaste and Obedient Biographies” volume of Lienü Zhuan, the Chinese classic featuring biographies of exemplary women. Joseon women who converted to Catholicism were also educated in standards of Catholic virtue, often through the biographies of saints, which shared with the Confucian exemplar stories an emphasis on faithfulness and self-sacrifice. Yet, the differences between Confucian and Catholic standards of virtue were great enough to elicit persecution of Catholics throughout the nineteenth century. Therefore conversion would have involved evaluating one set of standards against the other and determining that Catholicism was worth the price of social marginalization and persecution. Through a comparison of the Confucian exemplar stories and Catholic saints’ stories, this paper explores how Catholic standards of virtue might have motivated conversion of Joseon women to Catholicism. This comparison highlights aspects of the saints’ stories that offered lifestyle choices unavailable to women in traditional Joseon society and suggests that portrayals of the saints’ confidence in the face of human and natural oppressors could also have provided inspiration to ease the price of conversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conflict and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond)
Back to TopTop