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Representation of the Ruler in Buddhist Inscriptions of Early Koryo

Representation of the Ruler in Buddhist Inscriptions of Early Koryo This article traces the legacy of Buddhist kingship in the early Koryo period. T'aejo (r. 918-943), the founder of the Koryo dynasty (918-1392), was keen to follow in the footsteps of Silla kings and use Buddhist symbols of power. He also set great store on attracting eminent monks, granting them special favors and titles, and overseeing the construction of stelae inscriptions to commemorate them. These inscriptions also feature the king prominently and illuminate his relation to Buddhism. Although the king is not explicitly identified as a Buddhist ruler, the Buddhist dharma features as an integral element of kingship. In this universe, the worldly authority, personified by the king, always coexists with and depends on a spiritual counterpart, personified by the royal or state preceptor. One effect of this was that the authority of a ruler was never complete without a preceptor to validate and correct the royal power. Thus a great deal of ritual power was invested in these preceptors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Korean Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Representation of the Ruler in Buddhist Inscriptions of Early Koryo

Korean Studies , Volume 26 (2) – Dec 3, 2002

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1529
Publisher site
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Abstract

This article traces the legacy of Buddhist kingship in the early Koryo period. T'aejo (r. 918-943), the founder of the Koryo dynasty (918-1392), was keen to follow in the footsteps of Silla kings and use Buddhist symbols of power. He also set great store on attracting eminent monks, granting them special favors and titles, and overseeing the construction of stelae inscriptions to commemorate them. These inscriptions also feature the king prominently and illuminate his relation to Buddhism. Although the king is not explicitly identified as a Buddhist ruler, the Buddhist dharma features as an integral element of kingship. In this universe, the worldly authority, personified by the king, always coexists with and depends on a spiritual counterpart, personified by the royal or state preceptor. One effect of this was that the authority of a ruler was never complete without a preceptor to validate and correct the royal power. Thus a great deal of ritual power was invested in these preceptors.

Journal

Korean StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Dec 3, 2002

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