Buddhism In Ancient Korea: The Impact

1876 words - 8 pages

Religion has been the reason for big changes in development in many cultures for many centuries. As religions grow within a society, inventions and social communication changes but these religions can take over the political power holding the society. The main religions introduced during Korea’s past are Shamanism, Daoism, and Confucianism, and Buddhism. Buddhism is the religion that changed the society of Korea the most in the ancient times. As Buddhism spread in Korea, great inventions were made, the power hold of Korea started leaning the religion, and the social beliefs changed. These changes had positive results in Korea, and helped Korea to become a proud country. Just like many other religions, it has have effect and it still has effect on many cultures. Buddhism is the religion that affected ancient Korea the most; to expand territory, claim power, unite kingdoms, and many other things.
Shamanism, a very complex religion, is known to be one of the oldest religions still carried out. “The term shamanism comes from the Manchu-Tungus word šaman. The noun is formed from the verb ša- ‘to know’; thus, a shaman is literally “one who knows.””(Britannica p2). Even though Shamanism has been present for a long time, the exact time period and what started this religion is still unknown. Shamanism is religious phenomenon centered on the shaman, a person believed to achieve various powers through trance or ecstatic religious experience. In this religion, objects in the world are believed to possess a soul. Man is also believed to have a soul that never dies, so when a person dies,
their body would be laid with his or head toward the east, the direction of the sunrise, because they thought “good” spirits like the sun would bring good luck to the human but the evil spirits will bring misfortune. Shaman, called mudang in Korea, is believed to be an intermediary who has connection with the spiritual world in which where the dead soul goes. Shaman is considered capable of curing sickness, assure a safe passage to the next world, avert bad lucks, and resolve tensions and conflicts that might be existing between the living and the dead. When Shamanism was introduced in Korea in the ancient times, people carried out this religion with worship to thousands of spirits and demons that are believed to dwell in every object in the natural world. In the ancient times, Shamanism was a religion of fear and superstition, unknowing religion with lots of questions. “It is a scary and unpredictable religion.”(Sook) Shamanism can also be thought as a religion that had a great impact towards the society in ancient Korea resulting lots of people still believers in Korea in the modern days. It was and still is important part of many Korean’s life as many will seek Shamanism when they are worried, curious, or think they are being chased by the souls. It have remained strong and impacted the society a lot but no impact have been made that resulted the order of society to...

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