King Chŏngjo, an Enlightened Despot in Early Modern Korea

Publisher description: The first detailed analysis in English of monarchy and governance in Korea during King Chŏngjo’s reign. Were the countries of Europe the only ones that were “early modern”? Was Asia’s early modernity cut short by colonialism? Scholars examining early modern Eurasia have not yet fully explored the relationships between absolute rule and political […]

Religious and Philosophical Traditions of Korea

From the publisher’s website: Religious and Philosophical Traditions of Korea addresses a wide range of traditions, serving as a guide to those interested in Buddhism, Confucianism, Shamanism, Christianity and many others. It brings readers along a journey from the past to the present, moving beyond the confines of the Korean peninsula. In this book Kevin N. […]

Efficacious Underworld: The Evolution of Ten Kings Paintings in Medieval China and Korea

From the publisher’s website: The Ten Kings hanging scrolls at Tokyo’s Seikadō Bunko Art Museum are among the most resplendent renderings of the Buddhist purgatory extant, but their origin and significance have yet to be fully explored. Cheeyun Kwon unfurls this exquisite set of scrolls within the existing Ten Kings painting tradition while investigating textual, […]

Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection

From the publisher’s website: From the author of the phenomenal multi-million copy bestseller The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down “Hearing the words ‘be good to yourself first, then to others’ was like being struck by lightning.” Many of us respond to the pressures of life by turning inwards and ignoring problems, sometimes […]

The Scriptures of Won Buddhism: A Translation of Wonbulgyo kyojon with Introduction

From the publisher’s website: “Professor Chung has drawn on all the tools in his scholarly arsenal to convey the flavor and meaning of the original Korean texts. Written vernacular Korean was still very much a work in progress during the early twentieth century and the meaning of the Korean texts is not always clear-cut, even […]

Korean Confucianism: The Philosophy and Politics of Toegye and Yulgok

From the publisher’s website: This book explores Neo-Confucianism and its relationship to politics by examining the life and work of the two iconic figures of the Joseon dynasty Yi Hwang (1501-1570, Toegye) and Yi I (1536-1584, Yulgok). Neo-Confucianism became state orthodoxy in 1392, and remained in place for over five centuries until the end of […]

The Korean Buddhist Empire: A Transnational History, 1910–1945

From the publisher’s website: In the first part of the twentieth century, Korean Buddhists, despite living under colonial rule, reconfigured sacred objects, festivals, urban temples, propagation—and even their own identities—to modernize and elevate Korean Buddhism. By focusing on six case studies, this book highlights the centrality of transnational relationships in the transformation of colonial Korean […]

From the Mountains to the Cities: A History of Buddhist Propagation in Modern Korea

From the publisher’s website: At the start of the twentieth century, the Korean Buddhist tradition was arguably at the lowest point in its 1,500-year history in the peninsula. Discriminatory policies and punitive measures imposed on the monastic community during the Chosŏn dynasty (1392–1910) had severely weakened Buddhist institutions. Prior to 1895, monastics were prohibited by […]

A History of Korean Christianity

From the publisher’s website: With a third of South Koreans now identifying themselves as Christian, Christian churches play an increasingly prominent role in the social and political events of the Korean peninsula. Sebastian C. H. Kim and Kirsteen Kim’s comprehensive and timely history of different Christian denominations in Korea includes surveys of the Catholic, Orthodox […]

Buddhas and Ancestors: Religion and Wealth in Fourteenth-Century Korea

Publisher description: Two issues central to the transition from the Koryo to the Choson dynasty in fourteenth-century Korea were social differences in ruling elites and the decline of Buddhism, which had been the state religion. In this revisionist history, Juhn Ahn challenges the long-accepted Confucian critique that Buddhism had become so powerful and corrupt that […]

The Paintings of Korean Shaman Gods: History, Relevance and Role as Religious Icons

From the publisher’s website: This is the first comprehensive, fully illustrated study of Korean shaman gods to be published in English; it includes 130 full-colour plates of shaman gods, many dating back to the eighteenth century. In addition to the plate section, the volume comprises three texts: An illustrated introductory chapter by Christina Han on […]

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to be Calm in a Busy World

From the publisher’s website: THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER, WITH OVER THREE MILLION COPIES SOLD AROUND THE WORLD ‘Is it the world that’s busy, or my mind?’ The world moves fast, but that doesn’t mean we have to. In this timely guide to mindfulness, Haemin Sunim, a Buddhist monk born in Korea and educated in the United […]

Hyecho’s Journey: The World of Buddhism

From the publisher’s website: In the year 721, a young Buddhist monk named Hyecho set out from the kingdom of Silla, on the Korean peninsula, on what would become one of the most extraordinary journeys in history. Sailing first to China, Hyecho continued to what is today Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran, […]

New God, New Nation: Protestants and Self-Reconstruction Nationalism in Korea 1896-1937

From the publisher’s website: The history of modern Korea reveals a search for cultural identity through nationalism. At the close of the 19th century, the kingdom of Korea became a battleground between China, Japan and Russia. While Korean traditionalists and modernist factions vied for power, the country increasingly fell prey to Japanese colonial designs, culminating […]

Catholics and Anti-Catholicism in Chosŏn Korea

From the publisher’s website: Korea’s first significant encounter with the West occurred in the last quarter of the eighteenth century when a Korean Catholic community emerged on the peninsula. Decades of persecution followed, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Korean Catholics. Don Baker provides an invaluable analysis of late-Chosŏn (1392–1897) thought, politics, and society […]

Women and Buddhist Philosophy: Engaging Zen Master Kim Iryŏp

From the publisher’s website: Why and how do women engage with Buddhism and philosophy? The present volume aims to answer these questions by examining the life and philosophy of a Korean Zen Buddhist nun, Kim Iryŏp (1896–1971). The daughter of a pastor, Iryŏp began questioning Christian doctrine as a teenager. In a few years, she […]