The present volume includes chapters describing the origins, faith and practice of the three main “new religions” of Korea—Cheondo-gyo, Uaejong-gyo and Won-Buddhism—written by members of each, as well as general chapters considering them from a sociological viewpoint, and a Christian perspective. The book ends with a transcript of an open exchange between senior members of the religions.
The relationship between these competing spiritual powers, the new religions on the one hand and Christianity on the other, has not been purely negative. They have continued to stimulate each other to find new ways to approach those confused by the fast-moving, ever-changing world of new images and paradigms.
The essays that have been brought together in this volume seek to understand how the great variety of elements that go into the Korean religious landscape today might collaborate in the wider efforts of Korea to that is upon us all.
KIM Sung-hae, a historian of religion specializing Chinese Religions, is Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Sogang Jesuit University in Seoul, Korea, and is a member of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill. Her books include The Righteous and the Sage: A Comparative Study on the Ideal Images of Man in Biblical Israel and Classical China (in English, 1985), Zen Buddhism and Christianity (in Korean, 1996), and Encounter of East Asian Tradition and Christianity (in Korean, 1999).
James W. HEISIG is a permanent fellow of the Nanzan Institute in Nagoya, Japan, where he has been for the past thirty years. His recent books include Philosophers of Nothingness (2001), Dialogues at One Inch above the Ground (2003), and El gemelo de Jesús: Un alumbramiento al budismo (2007).