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Trial and Error in Modernist Reforms: Korean Buddhism under Colonial Rule

Publisher: , 2009.
Link to online store *

From the publisher’s website:

This book examines the Korean Buddhist reform movement and how the modern construct of Buddhism developed under colonial rule. Park argues that Korean Buddhists reconstructed Buddhism as socially active and nationally viable by responding to, negotiating with, and resisting the influence of Western modernity and the Japanese colonial government. The need to survive led to an expansion of Korean Buddhism into social realms; simultaneously, the new enterprise created difficulty in maintaining monastic traditions. This situation provides a case study of Buddhist adaptation and struggle to develop forms of “modernity” in a colonial context.

Pori Park is associate professor of religious studies at Arizona State University. Her research examines the intersection between Buddhism, colonialism, modernity, nationalism, and globalization.


  1. Rebound: From Oppression to Emulation of New Models
  2. Caught In-Between: Korean Reactions to Japanese Buddhism and Colonial Policies on Buddhism
  3. Modernizing Buddhism: Buddhist Reforms before the March First Movement
  4. Confusion, Compromise, and Resistance: Buddhist Reforms after the March First Movement
  5. A Vision for Social Salvation: Han Yongun’s Integration of Sŏn and Kyo

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* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.