Offers alternative approaches to the study of colonial and postcolonial Korean Buddhism, suggesting new directions for scholarship.
New Perspectives in Modern Korean Buddhism moves beyond nationalistic, modernist, and ethnocentric historiographies of modern Korean Buddhism by carefully examining individuals' lived experiences, the institutional dimensions of Korean Buddhism, and its place in transnational conversations. Drawing upon rich archives as well as historical, anthropological, and literary approaches, the book examines four themes that have gained attention in recent years: perennial existential concerns and the persistent relevance of religious practice; the role of female Buddhists; clerical marriage and scandals; and engagement with secular society. The book reveals the limits of metanarratives, such as those of colonialism, nationalism, and modernity, in understanding the complex and contested identities of both monastics and laity, thus demanding that we diversify the methods by which we articulate the history of modern Korean Buddhism.
Hwansoo Ilmee Kim is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University and the author of The Korean Buddhist Empire: A Transnational History, 1910–1945. Jin Y. Park is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at American University. She is the author of Women and Buddhist Philosophy: Engaging Zen Master Kim Iryŏp and the editor of Makers of Modern Korean Buddhism, also published by SUNY Press.
"…a welcome addition to studies on Buddhism in Korea … This is a cogent collection of essays that cover a wide range of interconnected subjects and offer some fresh perspectives on discourses on Korean Buddhism using novel research methods." — Journal of Buddhist Ethics
"Every scholar can find their niche within these chapters. Whether this book inspires a new scholar in the field or becomes a key reference for a senior scholar, it pushes Korean Buddhist studies into the future with fresh insights and groundbreaking ideas." — Seoul Journal of Korean Studies
"This book will be a great resource for students and specialists seeking to understand modern and contemporary Korean Buddhism. It covers a broader range of topics than any other monograph on the subject, and provides much more material on the role of women in the preservation of Korean Buddhism." — Richard McBride, Brigham Young University