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Title: Death rites in Korea : the Confucian-Christian interplay
Author: Park, Chang-Won
ISNI:       0000 0001 3467 4861
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2008
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This study examines Christian death rites in modem Korea in the light of the complex interplay of Confucian and Christian values. It is based on the fact that Korea, once the most thoroughly Confucianized state in East Asia, has become one of the most dynamic Christian countries in the world within the space of a century. The study uncovers the ways in which Korean Christians, in their death rites, have struggled to balance 'religious piety to God' and 'filial duty to ancestors', which represent core Christian and Confucian values respectively. They cannot simply choose the one at the expense of the other as both are integral to their identity. This study innovatively classifies death rites into three categories: ritual before death (bible-copying), ritual at death (funerary rites), and ritual after death (ancestral ritual). After presenting historical and contemporary data of the three death rites, the study provides two different types of analysis: one is a historical-theological analysis and the other sociological-anthropological. Drawing upon historical and theological perspectives, it reveals the underlying principle of complex phenomena surrounding the three death rites. The thesis then explores these death rites in terms of three sociological and anthropological theoretical themes, viz. embodiment, exchange, and material culture. The three death rites are viewed as a 'total social phenomenon', a concept derived from Marcel Mauss' study and employed here as an overarching interpretive framework.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available