This paper examines the influence of Christianity in the formation of new Buddhism and the reformation agenda of traditional Buddhism during the first half of the twentieth century in Korea. By new Buddhism, I am specifically referring to WÅn Buddhism (åä½æ), established by Sotâaesan Pak Chungbin å°å¤ªå±± æ´éå½¬ (1891â1943) in 1916. Since its foundation, WÅn Buddhism has grown into one of the four major religious groups in South Korea, along with traditional Buddhism, Catholicism, and Protestantism. The paper begins by reviewing some of major issues in the Buddhist reform movements and WÅn Buddhism. It then goes on to detail the formalistic similarities between WÅn Buddhism and Christianity. The next section examines the visible influences of traditional East Asian religions in WÅn Buddhism. In its final part, the paper considers Sotâaesanâs approaches to different religious traditions and the eclectic nature of WÅn Buddhism as a possible model for an interreligious dialogue, to include Buddhist-Christian dialogue.
Journal of Korean Religions – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jun 6, 2014