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Dualism of the Confucianism and Religious Belief in Cho-sun Dynasty

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2009, (44), pp.303-328
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : June 22, 2009
  • Accepted : July 28, 2009

Heesun Cho 1

1성균관대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Confucianism was pursued and Buddhism was banned from the beginning of the establishment of Chosun Dynasty. But Buddhistic and totemic services were still involved for the purpose of blessing the royal family at rituals as well as at adverse moments of the nation. Not only on the national level, but also in private households these services were placed tightly in the custom throughout the Dynasty. Moreover, the documents in the royal chronicles on the regulations prohibiting Buddhism had been considerably reduced form King Seongjong(성종) to the end of the Dynasty. It was even recorded that the last King Sunjo(순조) attended the big Buddhistic events. As a result, Confucianization in terms of banning Buddhistic and totemic services can be considered to have been failed in years long period of Chosun Dynasty. The factors brought about the religious dualism of Confucian culture in this era can be summarized as follows. First, in contrast to Buddhism and totemism, Confucianism couldn’t appeal women as a religion due to the lack of an aspect on life after death. Second, Buddhism and totemism functioned as belief and tonic to women for their own self-development who were shunned in the Confucian patriarchal society. Third, it can be pointed out that patriarchs joined in totemism for the familial blessing in order to practice out the filial piety to their parents. Finally, the kings of Chosun Dynasty couldn’t firmly prohibit Buddhism and totemism as a native culture under the compliance with the will of the former kings.

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