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Publications [#220092] of Hwansoo Kim

Papers Published

  1. H.I. Kim. "Social Stigmas of Buddhist Monastics and the Lack of Lay Buddhist Leadership in Colonial Korea (1910–1945)." Korea Journal 26:2 (December, February, 2014): 269-305.

    One of the key characteristics of Buddhism during the late nineteenth century through the first half of the twentieth century was the rise of lay leadership in all aspects of Buddhist tradition. East Asian Buddhism was no exception to this trend, but the ways, degree, and timing in which this modern phenomenon manifested itself varied, especially in the case of Korean Buddhism, which saw a late arrival of lay leadership. This article addresses the question of why lay Buddhism struggled to emerge as a strong force in Korea compared to China and Japan. Without a doubt, colonialism was a key factor. Japanese rule disrupted the development of the Korean Buddhist sangha. However, another key factor that has been underestimated in the historiography of Korean Buddhism is that Korean monks were socially stigmatized during the colonial period (1910–1945). The rhetoric of stigmatism was so ubiquitous in the personal writings of monks and lay people, as well as in journals and newspapers in colonial Korea, that it begs a closer analysis to determine a correlation between the perception of monks in society at this time and its influence on the development of lay Buddhism in Korea. Thus, I would like to provide a preliminary explanation of this correlation by highlighting three interrelated aspects of Korean monastics in colonial Korea: (1) the stigmatization imposed on Korean monastics during the Neo-Confucian Joseon dynasty; (2) the persistence of these stigmas in the minds of Koreans; and (3) their internalization among Korean monastics themselves.

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