Spirit Power: Politics and Religion in Korea’s American Century

Synopsis not yet available Heonik Kwon is Senior Research Fellow of Social Anthropology at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, and currently part of the Mega Asia research group at Seoul National University Asia Center. His previous works include After the Korean War: An Intimate History (Cambridge, 2020), The Other Cold War (Columbia, 2010), and Ghosts […]

Balancing Communities: Nation, State, and Protestant Christianity in Korea, 1884–1942

From the publisher’s website: Starting in 1884 with the arrival of the first resident Protestant missionary in Korea and ending with the expulsion of missionaries from the peninsula by the Japanese colonial government in 1942, Balancing Communities examines how the competing demands of communal identities and memberships shaped the early history of Protestantism in Korea. In so […]

The God Susanoo and Korea in Japan’s Cultural Memory: Ancient Myths and Modern Empire

From the publisher’s website: This book discusses how ancient Japanese mythology was utilized during the colonial period to justify the annexation of Korea to Japan, with special focus on the god Susanoo. Described as an ambivalent figure and wanderer between the worlds, Susanoo served as a foil to set off the sun goddess, who played […]

The Moral and Religious Thought of Yi Hwang (Toegye): A Study of Korean Neo-Confucian Ethics and Spirituality

From the publisher’s website: This book presents Yi Hwang (1501–1570)—better known by his pen name, Toegye—Korea’s most eminent Confucian philosopher. It is a pioneering study of Toegye’s moral and religious thought that discusses his holistic ideas and experiences as a scholar, thinker, and spiritual practitioner, thereby deepening or enriching our modern understanding of Confucianism as […]

Contemporary Korean Shamanism: From Ritual to Digital

From the publisher’s website: Once viewed as an embarrassing superstition, the theatrical religious performances of Korean shamans—who communicate with the dead, divine the future, and become possessed—are going mainstream. Attitudes toward Korean shamanism are changing as shamanic traditions appear in staged rituals, museums, films, and television programs, as well as on the internet. Contemporary Korean […]

Glossolalia and the Problem of Language

From the publisher’s website: Speaking in tongues, also known as glossolalia, has long been a subject of curiosity as well as vigorous theological debate. A worldwide phenomenon that spans multiple Christian traditions, glossolalia is both celebrated as a supernatural gift and condemned as semiotic alchemy. For some it is mystical speech that exceeds what words can […]

Neo-Confucianism and Science in Korea: Humanity and Nature, 1706-1814

From the publisher’s website: Historians of late premodern Korea have tended to regard it as a hermit kingdom, isolated from its neighbours and the wider world. In fact, as Ro argues in this book, Korean intellectuals were heavily influenced by both Chinese Neo-Confucianism and the European Enlightenment in the late 18th and 19th centuries. In […]

The Great Synthesis of Wang Yangming Neo-Confucianism in Korea: The Chonon (Testament) by Chong Chedu (Hagok)

From the publisher’s website: Translated, edited, and introduced by Edward Y. J. Chung, The Great Synthesis of Wang Yangming Neo-Confucianism in Korea: The Chonŏn (Testament) by Chŏng Chedu (Hagok), is the first study in a Western language of Chŏng Chedu (Hagok, 1649–1736) and Korean Wang Yangming Neo-Confucianism. Hagok was an eminent philosopher who established the unorthodox Yangming school […]

Aspiring to Enlightenment: Pure Land Buddhism in Silla Korea

From the publisher’s website: Centered on the practice of seeking rebirth in the Pure Land paradise Sukhāvatī, the Amitābha cult has been the dominant form of Buddhism in Korea since the middle of the Silla period (ca. 300–935). In Aspiring to Enlightenment, Richard McBride combines analyses of scriptural, exegetical, hagiographical, epigraphical, art historical, and literary materials to […]

Body and Ki in GiCheon – Practices of Self-Cultivation in Contemporary Korea

This is the first English language book that studies contemporary practices of self-cultivation in South Korea called ki suryŏn (氣修練 training related to ki – “life energy”), reinvented in modernity similarly to Indian yoga and Chinese qigong. I focus on GiCheon, one of the ki suryŏn practices. By Victoria Ten (Jeon Yeon Hwa) https://www.ergon-shop.de/titel/body-and-ki-in-gicheon-id-89162/

Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-Era Korea

From the publisher’s website: Hyaeweol Choi examines the formation of modern gender relations in Korea from a transnational perspective. Diverging from a conventional understanding of ‘secularization’ as a defining feature of modernity, Choi argues that Protestant Christianity, introduced to Korea in the late nineteenth century, was crucial in shaping modern gender ideology, reforming domestic practices […]

Monastic Education in Korea: Teaching Monks about Buddhism in the Modern Age

From the publisher’s website: What do Buddhist monks learn about Buddhism? Which part of their enormous canonical and non-canonical literature do they choose to focus on as the required curriculum in their training, and what do they elect to leave out? The cultural depository of Buddhism includes some four thousand canonical texts, hundreds of other […]

Shinra Myōjin and Buddhist Networks of the East Asian “Mediterranean”

From the publisher’s website: This ambitious work offers a transnational account of the deity Shinra Myōjin, the “god of Silla” worshipped in medieval Japanese Buddhism from the eleventh to sixteenth centuries. Sujung Kim challenges the long-held understanding of Shinra Myōjin as a protective deity of the Tendai Jimon school, showing how its worship emerged and […]

The Shaman’s Wages: Trading in Ritual on Cheju Island

From the publisher’s website: Breaking from previous scholarship on Korean shamanism, which focuses on mansin of mainland Korea, The Shaman’s Wages offers the first in-depth study of simbang, hereditary shamans on Cheju Island off the peninsula’s southwest coast. In this engaging ethnography enriched by extensive historical research, Kyoim Yun explores the prevalent and persistent ambivalence toward practitioners, whose services have […]

Hanyang Kut: Korean Shaman Ritual Music from Seoul

From the publisher’s website: This volume, first published in 2002, presents a sophisticated analysis of the musical instruments, repertoires, musicians and ensembles, and symbolism of the ritual music of Shamans of Seoul, Korea. Placed firmly in a social and historical context, it shows that Shamanism, considered superstition by many today, is alive and well in […]

Religions of Old Korea

From the publisher’s website: This book, first published in 1932, was written by a Western expert on Korea, and was the first to thoroughly investigate and document the old religious practices of Korea. No book like this could be written again from original sources, for all of the data has passed away, and archival records […]