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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

An Illustrated Guide to Korean Mythology

From the publisher’s website: This highly engaging volume by one of Korea’s leading scholars of comparative mythology – the the first study of its kind in English – provides a valuable introduction to centuries-old beliefs, myths and folk tales relating to Cosmology and Flood, Birth and Agriculture, Messengers of the Underworld, Shamans, Disease, Good Fortune, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

The Shaman Sorceress

Based on Kim’s story The Portrait of a Shaman, it tells the story of Eulhwa, a female shaman, whose son tries to save her from her world of spirits and demigods and convert her to his own Christian beliefs. The conflict between mother and son, with its shattering conclusion, reflects the deeper conflict between the […]

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. […]