Article

Korean Millennial Movements

Robert Pearson Flaherty

in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195301052
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195301052.003.0017

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Korean Millennial Movements

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This article examines some of the main contributors to millennialism in a Korean context. The Korean millennial legacy is a synthesis of diverse influences such as Buddhism, Christianity, and various new-age religions based on pre-Christian Korean myths. These, coupled with various movements of discontent emerging from confusion in the society, have found expression in millennialist movements. This article states that Korean Buddhism believes the Maitreya to have been born to a Brahmin in Varanasi and a disciple of the first Buddha, Shakyamuni. The Donghak revolution (1894) was based on certain millennial assumptions. This article discusses the words of its founder Choe Je-u about the arrival of the “SangJe”, the Jade ruler of the universe to salvage the world. The religion finally revolted against Japanese imperialists and the Korean royalty. Korean Christianity drew heavily from the concept of the pre-tribulation rapture of the chosen ones.

Keywords: Korean millennial legacy; Shakyamuni; Donghak; SangJe; Joseon; millennialist movements

Article.  9675 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Comparative Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Buddhism ; Christianity

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