London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Doctrine and Practice in Medieval Korean Buddhism: The Collected Works of Ŭich’ŏn

From the publisher’s website: Ŭich’ŏn (1055-1101) is recognized as a Buddhist master of great stature in the East Asian tradition. Born a prince in the medieval Korean state of Koryŏ (960-1279), he traveled to Song China (960-1279) to study Buddhism and later compiled and published the first collection of East Asian exegetical texts. According to … [Read More]

Korean Religions in Relation: Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity

From the publisher’s website: Examines Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity in Korea, focusing on their mutual accommodation, exclusion, conflict, and assimilation. Instead of simply being another survey of the three dominant religions in contemporary Korea—Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity—this unique book studies them in relation to each other in terms of assimilation, accommodation, conflict, and exclusion. The … [Read More]

Numinous Awareness is Never Dark: The Korean Buddhist Master Chinul’s Excerpts on Zen Practice

From the publisher’s website: Numinous Awareness Is Never Dark examines the issue of whether enlightenment in Zen Buddhism is sudden or gradual—that is, something intrinsic to the mind that is achieved in a sudden flash of insight or something extrinsic to it that must be developed through a sequential series of practices. This “sudden/gradual issue” was … [Read More]

For Nirvana: 108 Zen Sijo Poems

From the publisher’s website: For Nirvana features exceptional examples of the poet Cho Oh-Hyun’s award-winning work. Cho Oh-Hyun was born in Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province, Korea, and has lived in retreat in the mountains since becoming a novice monk at the age of seven. Writing under the Buddhist name Musan, he has composed hundreds of poems … [Read More]

Solitary Sage: The Profound Life, Wisdom and Legacy of Korea’s “Go-un” Choi Chi-won

From the back cover: The ‘Lonely Cloud Scholar’ Go-un Choi Chi-won (857 – ?) is one of Korea’s most interesting and iconic historical figures. He can be considered a sort of hero of traditional Korean culture, particularly its Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Following a remarkably successful career as a brilliant Confucian government official in Tang … [Read More]

Korea’s Great Buddhist-Confucian Debate: The Treatises of Chŏng Tojŏn (Sambong) and Hamhŏ Tŭkt’ong (Kihwa)

This volume makes available in English the seminal treatises in Korea’s greatest interreligious debate of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. On Mind, Material Force, and Principle and An Array of Critiques of Buddhism by Confucian statesman Chŏng Tojŏn (1342–1398) and Exposition of Orthodoxy by Sŏn monk Kihwa (1376–1433) are presented here with extensive annotation. A substantial introduction provides a summary and … [Read More]

A Handbook of Korean Zen Practice: A Mirror on the Sŏn School of Buddhism

From the publisher’s website: Sŏn (Japanese Zen) has been the dominant form of Buddhism in Korea from medieval times to the present. A Handbook of Korean Zen Practice: A Mirror on the Sŏn School of Buddhism (Sŏn’ga kwigam) was the most popular guide for Sŏn practice and life ever published in Korea and helped restore Buddhism to … [Read More]

Reflections of a Zen Buddhist Nun

From the publisher’s website: The life and work of Kim Iryŏp (1896–1971) bear witness to Korea’s encounter with modernity. A prolific writer, Iryŏp reflected on identity and existential loneliness in her poems, short stories, and autobiographical essays. As a pioneering feminist intellectual, she dedicated herself to gender issues and understanding the changing role of women … [Read More]

An Encyclopedia of Korean Buddhism

Extract from the authors’ Preface: When it comes to the composition of this encyclopedia, nearly all parts relevant to Buddhism are contained: history, tradition, temples, architecture, paintings, sculptures, crafts, music, dance, tea, rituals, practice, Buddhist cultural terms, and so forth. It is not easy for about 560 items to accommodate the various kinds of Korean … [Read More]

Empire of the Dharma: Korean and Japanese Buddhism, 1877–1912

From the publisher’s website: Empire of the Dharma explores the dynamic relationship between Korean and Japanese Buddhists in the years leading up to the Japanese annexation of Korea. Conventional narratives cast this relationship in politicized terms, with Korean Buddhists portrayed as complicit in the “religious annexation” of the peninsula. However, this view fails to account for … [Read More]

The Dharma Master Chongsan of Won Buddhism: Analects and Writings

From the publisher’s website: The first English translations of the writings of Chŏngsan (1900–62), who codified the central doctrines of Won Buddhism. Won Buddhism emerged in early twentieth-century Korea after a long period of anti-Buddhist repression. It is a syncretic tradition, a form of Buddhism strongly influenced by the Chŏson dynasty’s Neo-Confucian ethical heritage and … [Read More]

Korean Buddhist Nuns and Laywomen: Hidden Histories, Enduring Vitality

From the publisher’s website: Explores the roles of Korean Buddhist nuns and laywomen from the fourth century to the present. Uncovering hidden histories, this book focuses on Korean Buddhist nuns and laywomen from the fourth century to the present. Today, South Korea’s Buddhist nuns have a thriving monastic community under their own control, and they … [Read More]

Ch’oui Uisun: The Liberal Son Master and Engaged Artist in Late Choson Korea

From the publisher’s website: Scholars of Choson Korea tend to view Buddhism negatively, or at best ignore it, and at present there is a lack of research on this crucial topic. Through appreciation of the life and thought of Ch’oui Uisun (1786-1866), this study is an attempt to recover and supplement the intellectual history of … [Read More]

Makers of Modern Korean Buddhism

An overview of Korean Buddhism and its major figures in the modern period. The first book in English devoted exclusively to modern Korean Buddhism, this work provides a comprehensive exploration for scholars, students, and serious readers. Makers of Modern Korean Buddhism focuses on three key areas: Buddhist reform, Zen revival, and the interrelationship of religion, history, and … [Read More]

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

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 … [Read More]

One Korean’s Approach to Buddhism: The Mom/Momjit Paradigm

From the publisher’s website: Insights into the experience and philosophy of Buddhism from a Korean perspective. This book presents the author’s lifelong study and practice of Buddhism from a Korean perspective. With depth, sensitivity, and candor, Sung Bae Park discusses his country’s contribution to Mahayana Buddhism and also shares his personal experience. A monk in … [Read More]