London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Buddhism in Koryo: A Royal Religion

In this volume, we catch glimpses of Buddhism in the Koryo period at its height. It was a time when the religion made significant contributions to the development of Korean culture. Art and literature flourished under the support of the central government. Monasteries of great beauty were constructed, and the monastic community was productive in … [Read More]

The Zen Monastic Experience: Buddhist Practice in Contemporary Korea

Publisher description: Robert Buswell, a Buddhist scholar who spent five years as a Zen monk in Korea, draws on personal experience in this insightful account of day-to-day Zen monastic practice. In discussing the activities of the postulants, the meditation monks, the teachers and administrators, and the support monks of the monastery of Songgwang-sa, Buswell reveals … [Read More]

Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen

From the publisher’s website: Chinul (1158–1210) was the founder of the Korean tradition of Zen. He provides one of the most lucid and accessible accounts of Zen practice and meditation to be found anywhere in East Asian literature. Tracing Back the Radiance, an abridgment of Buswell’s Korean Approach to Zen: The Collected Works of Chinul, combines an extensive introduction … [Read More]

Assimilation of Buddhism in Korea: Religious Maturity and Innovation in the Silla Dynasty

From the publisher’s website: The unified Silla dynasty period (669-935 AD) that followed the Three Kingdom period in Korea was a time when Buddhism was being assimilated into the Korean culture and taking on certain aspects not borrowed from China. Buddhist specialists will be interested to see the ways in which the various schools were … [Read More]


Mandala, as the title suggests, deals with Buddhist themes. A depiction of the ten years Kim spent as a Buddhist monk and his eventual return to the secular world, the text addresses the conflict between individual enlightenment and redemption of the humankind as a whole. Ultimately, the author comes to the paradoxical conclusion that ‘finding … [Read More]

Korea – a religious history

This is an historical survey of all the religious traditions of Korea in relation to the socio-cultural trends of seven different periods of Korean history. The book includes a discussion of the history of the study of religion in Korea, a chronological description of Korean folk religion including shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, … [Read More]

Introduction of Buddhism to Korea: New Cultural Patterns

From the publisher’s website: A collection of articles dealing with the introduction of Buddhism in Korea and its subsequent spread from there to Japan. The studies contained in this volume cover the Three Kingdom period. Contents Preface Introduction of Buddhism to Korea – Ahn Kye-hyen The Reception of Buddhism in Korea and Its Impact on … [Read More]

Love’s Silence and Other Poems

Yong-un Han (1879-1944) is recognised as Korea’s finest Buddhist poet of the twentieth century and also one of the country’s most influential political activists in the struggle against Japanese imperialism. Yong-un Han’s Buddhist insights and political passion combine to give his poetry great spiritual power. He describes the complexities of love as beginning in the … [Read More]

Hye Ch’o Diary: A Memoir of the Pilgrimage to the Five Regions of India

From the publisher’s website: The first English translation of the travel diary of a Korean Buddhist monk who traveled from his homeland to India in the eighth century. While the Chinese Buddhist pilgrims have been much studied, Hye Cho’s pilgrimage has not been given the consideration it deserves. His description of the Silk Road communities, … [Read More]

Chinul: The Founder of the Korean Son Tradition

From the publisher’s website: Chinul (1158-1210) is regarded as one of the greatest Son(Zen) monks in Korea. It was his innovation and reform of the meditation school of Korean Buddhism which determined the development of the monastic tradition of Korea. The present form of Buddhism in his homeland owes much to his endeavors more than seven centuries ago. Included in this … [Read More]

The Korean approach to Zen: the collected works of Chinul

LKL says: this title, one of the Unesco collection of representative Korean works, is out of print. You can find it it major university libraries. The 468-page volume contains all of Chinul’s works, translated with an introduction by Robert E Buswell Jr. The reviewer on Goodreads found it hard going but important. The volume was … [Read More]