Korean Religious Society

Lewis Lancaster

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195137989
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Korean Religious Society

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Korean religious society is pluralistic in that it includes elements of traditional shamanism, Buddhism, and Christianity. The three strands of religion interact, but Korean religiosity is built on a basis of indigenous nature-oriented beliefs. The earliest sources for studying the religion of ancient Korea indicate that there was worship of the spirits of wind, rain, and clouds. The traditional political structure of Korea was one of clan-centered communities, loosely connected in confederations. The importance of these social groupings can be seen in the worship of certain totemic animals that were identified with specific clans, for example, the horse and the Pak family. Geomancy offered one example of the way in which Buddhism was able to expand some aspects of society. The religions of Korea have all played a role in the emergence of a civil government in South Korea. Shamans are especially important to women who make use of the rituals in daily home-life as well as the public ones.

Keywords: Korea; religious society; shamanism; Buddhism; Christianity; religion; religiosity; shamans; civil government; geomancy

Article.  2482 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Interfaith Relations

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