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Martha G. Newman, Chair BUR 529, Mailcode A3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-7737

Spring 2008

R S 352 • 4-Ritual & Religion in Korea-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
44520 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
wel 3.422

Course Description

This course will examine major religious traditions of Korea, focusing on recent history and contemporary practice rather than origins, early development, or textual basis. Major topics will include shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, new religions and civic ritual, each of which will be considered from a variety of anthropological, sociological, and historical angles. We will also explore the relation between religion and politics during Korea's colonial (1910-1945) and post-colonial eras. In the process, we shall seek also to ask a variety of broad empirical and conceptual questions. How have religions in Korea been understood and used by various parties, and with what consequences? Is "religion" a universal concept? Is Korean shamanism shamanism? Can religion help explain political or economic change?


Grading Policy

30% is based two small (4-5 pp. each) papers
25% is based on a longer (6-8 pp.) final independent paper
5% on précis towards final paper
20% on short (1 p) response papers
20% on attendance, participation, and in-class writings


Donald Clark, Living Dangerously in Korea: The Western Experience 1900-1950
Laurel Kendall, Shamans, Housewives, and Other Restless Spirits
Robert Buswell, The Zen Monastic Experience
Roger and Dawnhee Yim Janelli, Ancestor Worship and Korean Society


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