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The Religious order and ‘Sects’ of Silla Buddhism - A Study on the Establishment Theory of Sects in the Middle of Silla Dynasty -

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2017, (125), pp.165-196
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Kwangyeon Park 1

1동국대학교 불교문화연구원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article is a review of Chae Sang-sik (蔡尙植)'s viewpoints as a part of analyzing the advance studies on the establishment of Korean Buddhist sects. At the first, Chae Sang-sik’s criticism was raised against Heo Heung-sik (許興植) insisted on the late Silla and early Goryo period establishment theory of Korean Buddhist sects. Chae Sang-sik claimed the Unified Silla period as the starting point of the middle period in Korea, and as an indicator of that theory, he suggested the formation of Buddhist order, the deepening of the scholarship of Buddhism and the generalization to the general public. He claimed that the Buddhist sects were established with the formation of the Buddhist order. He defined the sects as “group in which certain ideas have a system of teaching, ritual, and faith separately and shared his ideas with the whole class through temples”. However, groups with this independent system in the Buddhist order of Silla did not appear at any time. Rather, the early Uisang lineage, which was somewhat free from the control of the Buddhist order, had the requirements of a “sect” that conformed to the definition of Chae Sang-sik. But the appearance of the early Uisang lineage was exceptional in the whole situation of the Silla Buddhist system in the late 7th to early 8th century, and in the middle of the 8th century it went into the capital city, Gyeongju and assimilated to the central Buddhist order. It is quite questionable that the early appearance of Uisang lineage was kept in that period. In conclusion, I think the ‘sects’ that Chae Sang-sik claimed did not exist during middle period of Silla Kingdom.

Citation status

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This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.