South Korea’s Minjung Movement: The Culture and Politics of Dissidence

From the publisher’s website: The minjung (people’s) movement stood at the forefront of the June 1987 nationwide tide that swept away the military in South Korea and opened up space for relatively democratic politics, a more responsible economy, and new directions in culture. This volume is the first in English to grapple specifically with the nature of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Shamanism: The Spirit World of Korea

From the publisher’s website: A series of psychological and anthropological studies about the oldest and the most fascinating religious tradition of Korea. Contents Acknowledgments – R. Guisso Preface – CS. Yu and R. Guisso Korean Shamanism – A Bibliographical Introduction – Kim In-hoe Tr. Yoo Young-sik An Introduction to Korean Shamanism – Chang Chu-kun Tr. […]

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 […]

Folk Art and Magic: Shamanism in Korea

From the dust jacket: Just what are the secrets of Shamanism’s survival in Korea for over five millennia? Even after sixteen centuries of suppression, first by Buddhists for a thousand years, then by Neo-Confucianists who ruled Korea for five centuries, finally by missionaries who regarded this folk faith as “the basest demonology,” Shamanism still persisted […]

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 […]

Korea and her Neighbours: A Narrative of Travel, with an Account of the Recent Vicissitudes and Present Position of the Country

From the back cover of the Pacific Basin Books edition (Kegan Paul, 1985): Isabella Bird’s account of her journeys in Korea in 1898 represents one of the very rare accounts of that country in the latter part of the nineteenth century. At that time Korea was virtually a forbidden land and had only been open […]

Korea – a religious history

From the publisher’s website: 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, […]

Religions of Korea in Practice

From the publisher’s website: Korea has one of the most diverse religious cultures in the world today, with a range and breadth of religious practice virtually unrivaled by any other country. This volume in the Princeton Readings in Religions series is the first anthology in any language, including Korean, to bring together a comprehensive set […]

Healing Rhythms: The World of South Korea’s East Coast Hereditary Shamans

From the publisher’s website: Still today, in South Korea, many people pay for the services of mudang – the intermediaries of Korea’s syncretic folk religion. The majority of mudang are called to the profession by gods; their clients are individuals or small groups and they focus on the use of spirit-power (‘possession’) for diagnosis and […]

Shamans, Housewives and Other Restless Spirits: Women in Korean Ritual Life

From Google books: “I describe in these pages the system of belief and practice I found among women and shamans in and around Enduring Pine Village, Republic of Korea” (author) “This exceptionally well-written book is good reading, not only for specialists but also for beginning students interested in women, Korean culture, and shamanism.” –Journal of […]

Spirit of the Mountains

From the back cover: San-shin (Mountain-spirit, Mountain-god or Spirit of the Mountains) is not yet very well-known in the world, despite being the most central and characteristic figure in traditional Korean culture. It remains uniquely Korean, although depicted with imported Chinese artistic motifs, which are clearly explained in this volume. Its various cultural roles and manifestations […]

Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF: South Korean Popular Religion in Motion

From the publisher’s website: Thirty years ago, anthropologist Laurel Kendall did intensive fieldwork among South Korea’s (mostly female) shamans and their clients as a reflection of village women’s lives. In the intervening decades, South Korea experienced an unprecedented economic, social, political, and material transformation and Korean villages all but disappeared. And the shamans? Kendall attests […]

Mu-ga: The Ritual Songs of the Korean Mudangs

From the publisher’s website: Introduced and Translated by Alan C. Heyman This work is mainly comprised of a translation into English of four complete large-scale Korean Shaman ritual songs transcribed from tape recordings, which, until the present time, have remained either entirely untranslated, or, if otherwise, are only quoted in the form of brief excerpts […]

Korean Shamanism: Revivals, Survivals and Change

Publisher description: A thoroughly readable collection of critical research from prominent scholars in the fields of anthropology, religion, history, and the arts. Koreans, virtually alone in the world, have kept the ancient traditional religion of shamanism alive at a time of massive industrialization, modernization and Westernization. SOAS adds: Chapters developed from presentations at the symposium […]