Religion 1876–1910

Authored by: Albert L. Park

Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean History

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415739313
eBook ISBN: 9781315816722
Adobe ISBN: 9781317811497

10.4324/9781315816722.ch5

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Abstract

Studying the history of religion in Korea is never an easy task. This field of study includes parties affiliated with a specific religion who compete with each other to furnish the authoritative account on the value and influence of religion over time in Korea. Religious parties exhaust their energies to ensure their interpretations of the past become hegemonic in order to authorize and legitimize religious claims and truths in the present. In particular, certain parties, especially those related to Christianity, study Korean religious history as a trajectory of events and developments with a beginning, middle, and end that is preordained by a higher being. Religious parties study the past in this way with the hope of finding the signs that will guide them to their pre determined, brighter future. They rely on history to produce and sustain truths that help shape the contours of religious belief and faith. For these religious parties, historical investigation is a process for crafting a narrative of events and developments that will buttress a specific spiritual cause and enforce religious orthodoxy.

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