Daejongism (Korean: 대종교, translit. 大倧敎 Daejonggyo or Taejongkyo, "religion of the Divine Progenitor" or "great ancestral religion":192) or Dangunism (Korean: 단군교, translit. 檀君敎 Dangungyo or Tangunkyo, "religion of Dangun") is the name of a number of religious movements within the framework of Korean shamanism, focused on the worship of Dangun (or Tangun). There are around seventeen of these groups, the main one of which was founded in Seoul in 1909 by Na Cheol (나철, 1864-1916).
Dangunists believe their mythos to be the authentic Korean native religion, that was already around as Gosindo (古神道, "way of the Ancestral God" or "ancient way of God") at the time of the first Mongol invasions of Korea, and that was revived as "Daejongism" (Daejonggyo) just at the start of the Japanese occupation. The religion was suppressed during the Japanese rule.
The religion believes in one God manifested in three persons, whose earthly incarnation was the legendary king Dangun, who ruled over a Korean empire around 5000 years ago. Its main tenet is that the Koreans have their own God and they have no need to worship foreign gods. Its emphasis is on the national identity and unity of the Korean people (known as minjok) and as such has been associated with Korean nationalism (and sometimes ultranationalism).:193
Daejongism does not focus so much on institutions or rituals but rather on central doctrines and associated mythologies, so that it is more definable as a creed or a faith system rather than an organized religion. In the decade of 1910-1920, it had its major growth, reaching an estimated following of 400,000. Its popularity was largely due to its efforts on behalf of Korean independence. Once this aim was achieved, its membership declined, although Daejongism acquired a reputation for its educational and scholarly institutions, which published in particular monumental works about Korea's struggle for independence and Daejongism's contribution to it. A 1995 census found that fewer than 10,000 Koreans claimed to follow the religion., although Korean census figures systematically underestimate the number of followers of new religions, who are often reluctant to indicate their religious affiliation.
Central to the faith is the belief in Haneullim, the triad of Gods of Korean culture: the creator (Hanim/Hwanin), the teacher (Hanung/Hwanung) and the ruler (Dangun/Hanbaegŏm). Dangun, the leader of the Korean nation, is thought to be the third, and human, manifestation of Haneullim ("God of Heaven") or Haneul ("Heaven"). His physical mother was Ungnye (熊女) a bear transformed into a woman.
After his earthly reign, Dangun ascended to Heaven. Semantically, Haneul connotes three Gods: God-Father as the creator of the universe, God-Teacher as the mentor of universal nature and God-King as ruler of creation.
The faith is embodied in three sacred texts. Believers claim that they date back to the time of Dangun, or even earlier, and this claim, although disputed by scholars, is also accepted by many Koreans who do not belong to Daejongism. The three texts are the Ch'ónbugong (The Classic of the Seal of Heaven), a narrative of the origins of the world, the Samil sin'go (The Teachings of the Triune God), a theological statement, and the Ch'amjóngyóng (The Classic of the Wise One), a manual of ethics. A number of scholars believe that these books were compiled in the first two decades of the 20th century, based on visions and revelation the founder of Daejongism, Na Cheol (1863-1916), claimed to have received
Daejongism is also well known for its teaching of breathing techniques, known in the West as part of the so-called internal alchemy (Neidan in Taoism). Daejongism's techniques focus on the '"sea of energy," which is also often referred to as the cinnabar field or the elixir field (tanjón).The tanjon is a field rich in the vital energy Qi and the religion offers techniques to draw on this field and circulate the energy through the human body. These techniques became extremely popular in the 1970s and generated a new interest in Daejongism and its school of internal alchemy, known as Kich'ónmun.
Na Cheol, known for his role as a leader of the Korean independence movement from Japanese rule, founded the religion in 1909 as its "great teacher" (tosagyo) and named it first "Dangunism" (Dangungyo, Dangun religion) and then a year later "Daejongism" (Daejonggyo).:192
He said that it was a revival of Goshindo (古神道, "way of the Ancestral God"), the belief in the trinitarian god that was worshipped in ancient Korea. Some scholars have suggested the affinity to Christianity, though the ethical basis of the religion is similar to Confucianism.
The importance of Dangun was influenced by Shin Chaeho's A New Reading of History, and Dangun was emphasised over another legendary figure, Jizi (Kija), who was said to not be Korean in origin.:192 Na claimed that the Goshindo religion was approximately 4300 years of age, which would make it Korea's oldest religion.
After the annexation of Korea in 1910 by the Empire of Japan, the new religion was spread in Manchuria by Na, where it set up schools and social centers, and became a focus of the Korean independence movement.:193 Na committed suicide at a shrine on Mount Kuwŏl in 1916, saying that he had guilt over his failures and was martyring himself for the sake of his religion, God and people.
Leaders of the religion after Na include his successor Kim Kyohong,:50 and An Ho-Sang. The teachings of Dangun were said by Kim in his "History of the Divine Dangun's People" to be the sin gyo or "divine teaching", and he said that various Korean religions, such as that of Wang Kon, were continuations of the sin gyo, but that these beliefs had been suppressed under the Mongols, Buddhism, and Confucianism.:194 The main task of the religion was chunggwang ("lighting anew"), meaning reviving the memory of Dangun.:198
A particularly controversial issue concerns the roots in Daejongism of the global physical exercise and spirituality system known as Body & Brain, Dahnhak, or Dahn Yoga, founded by Korean master of martial arts and author Ilchi Lee. While "Body and Brain" does not normally emphasize its connection with Daejongism, scholars see it as one of many schools teaching a form of internal alchemy based on the techniques Daejongism popularized. According to American scholar of Korean religion Don Baker, "not only-did Dahn claim that its techniques were the same practices that Tàn'gun [Dangun] taught when he ruled over the first Korean kingdom; it also heralded the three Tàn'gun-era sacred texts of Taejonggyo [Daejongism] as authentic scripture." Only when the movement became international, references to Dangun and Daejongism were downplayed, although the Daejongism symbol was embroidered on the original uniforms given to Dahnhak students in America and the organization "erected a large outdoor statue of Tan'gun near [its] Sedona [Arizona] headquarters." Baker states that references to Daejongism, although not made explicit, remain easy to detect for those familiar with the Korean religion.
In philosophy, the concept of The Absolute, also known as The (Unconditioned) Ultimate, The Wholly Other, The Supreme Being, The Absolute/Ultimate Reality, and other names, is the thing, being, entity, power, force, reality, presence, law, principle, etc. that possesses maximal ontological status, existential ranking, existential greatness, or existentiality. In layman's terms, this is the one that is, in one way or another, the greatest, truest, or most real being.
There are many conceptions of The Absolute in various fields and subjects, such as philosophy, religion, spiritual traditions, mathematics, and even natural science. The nature of these conceptions can range from "merely" encompassing all physical existence, nature, or reality, to being completely unconditioned existentially, transcending all concepts, notions, and types, kinds, and categories of being.
The Absolute is often thought of as causing to come into being manifestations that interact with lower or lesser forms of being. This is either done passively, through emanations, or actively, through avatars and incarnations. These existential manifestations, which themselves can possess transcendent attributes, only contain minuscule or infinitesimal portions of the true essence of The Absolute.
The term itself was not in use in ancient or medieval philosophy, but closely related to the description of God as Actus purus (Pure Actuality) in scholasticism. It was introduced in modern philosophy, notably by Hegel, for "the sum of all being, actual and potential".
The term has since also been adopted in perennial philosophy.Dangun
Dangun (단군; 檀君; [tan.ɡun]) or Dangun Wanggeom (단군왕검; 檀君王儉; [tan.ɡun waŋ.ɡʌm]) was the legendary founder and god-king of Gojoseon, the first Korean kingdom, around present-day Liaoning, Manchuria, and the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. He is said to be the "grandson of heaven" and "son of a bear", and to have founded the kingdom in 2333 BC. The earliest recorded version of the Dangun legend appears in the 13th-century Samguk Yusa, which cites China's Book of Wei and Korea's lost historical record Gogi (고기, 古記).Gasin faith
In Korean shamanism, Gasin (Hangul: 가신; Hanja: 家神, literally House's God) are a branch of deities believed to protect the various objects and rooms of the house, such as jangdok or the kitchen. The Gasin faith is the faith based on worshipping these deities. The worshipping of the Gasin form a central and integral part of Korean shamanism.Gut (ritual)
Gut, kut or goot (굿) are the rites performed by Korean shamans, involving offerings and sacrifices to gods, spirits and ancestors. They are characterised by rhythmic movements, songs, oracles and prayers. These rites are meant to create welfare, promoting commitment between the spirits and mankind. The major categories of rites are the naerim-gut, the dodang-gut and the ssitgim-gut.
Through song and dance, the shaman begs the gods to intervene in the fortune of men. The shaman wears a very colourful costume and normally speaks in ecstasy. During a rite, the shaman changes his or her costume several times. Rituals consist of various phases, called gori.Korean mythology
Korean mythology (in Korean: 한국 신화 (韓國神話)) are the stories passed down by word of mouth over thousands of years on the Korean Peninsula and only written down in historical times. These stories serve as creation myths about the world and origin myths about nature or the social world. Korean myths are often localized and concern specific villages or clans.The earliest Korean myths predate Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist beliefs and are instead rooted in Korean shamanism. Rituals that glorify shamanistic gods are central to the retelling of Korean shamanistic myths.Many ancient Korean shamanistic myths were lost following the rise of Confucianism, which stressed pragmatism and rationalism. Only a fraction of Korean myths believed to have existed in ancient times were ultimately documented by Confucian and Buddhist scholars, many of whom modified the stories to fit within their own belief systems.Korean shamanism
Korean shamanism, also known as Shinism (Hangul 신교, Hanja 神敎; Shingyo or Shinkyo, "religion of the spirits/gods") or Shindo (Hangul: 신토; Hanja: 神道, "way of the spirits/gods") or Shinism or Muism, is the polytheistic and animistic ethnic religion of Korea which date back to prehistory and consist in the worship of gods (신 shin) and ancestors (조상 josang). When referring specifically to the shamanic practice (Hangul: 무속, Hanja: 巫俗; musog or musok), the term Muism (Hangul:무교, Hanja: 巫敎; Mugyo or Mukyo, "religion of the mu (shamans)") is used.The general word for "shaman" in Korean language is mu (Hangul: 무, Hanja: 巫). In contemporary terminology, they are called mudang (무당, 巫堂) if female or baksu if male, although other terms are used locally. The Korean word mu is synonymous of the Chinese word wu 巫, which defines both male and female shamans. The role of the mudang is to act as intermediary between the spirits or gods and humanity in order to solve hitches in the development of life, through the practice of gut rituals.Central to Korean shamanism is the belief in many different gods, supernatural beings and ancestor worship. The mu are described as chosen persons.Muism is related to Chinese Wuism, Japanese Shinto and to the Siberian, Mongolian, and Manchurian shamanic traditions. According to some scholars, the Korean ancestral king and later mountain god Dangun is related to the north Asian sky god Tengri ("Heaven"). Hereditary shamans, who are typical of South Korea, are called tangol (당골) or tangur-ari, a word considered related to the Siberian word Tengri (gods or spirits). Mudang are similar to Japanese miko and Ryukyuan yuta. Korean shamanism has influenced some Korean new religions, such as Cheondoism and Jeungsanism, and some Christian churches in Korea make use of practices rooted in shamanism.List of religions and spiritual traditions
While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a
[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic." A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system", but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural) or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.Some academics studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.Misin tapa undong
The movement to overthrow the worship of gods (Hangul: 미신 타파 운동 misin tapa undong), also described as movement to overthrow superstition, as 미신 misin is also translated after the movement, was a series of waves of demonisation and attempted violent uprooting of Korean shamanism and folk religion that took place in the period between the late 19th century and the 1980s. In modern Korean language, misin has the meaning of "illusory" or "false spiritual beliefs", and implies that gods and ancestors do not exist. This term was adopted from Japanese in the late 19th century, and largely emphasised by Christian missionaries to target Korean indigenous religion.Waves of misin tapa undong started in the 1890s with the rise of influence of Protestant preachers in Korea, and culminated during the New Community Movement of the 20th century, in South Korea. These movements destroyed most of the indigenous cults and shrines of folk religion, which were largely replaced by Christianity.Mu (shaman)
Mu 무 is an ancient Korean word defining a shaman, that is to say intermediary between spirits, gods and men, in the Korean traditional religion. Korean shamans hold rituals called gut (literally "good") for the welfare of the individuals and the society. In modern Korea different terms are used to define shamans, including mudang (mostly for females), baksu (only for males), tangol (for hereditary shamans) and musogin ("people who do shamanism", used in the context of organised shamanism).Religion in South Korea
Religion in South Korea is characterized by the fact that a majority of South Koreans (56.1%, as of the 2015 national census) have no formal affiliation with a religion or follow Korean folk religion. Among those who are members of a religious organisation, Protestantism represents (19.7%) of the total population, Buddhism (15.5%), and Catholicism (7.9%). A small percentage of South Koreans (0.8% in total) are members of other religions, including Won Buddhism, Confucianism, Cheondoism, Daesun Jinrihoe, Daejongism, Jeungsanism, and Orthodox Christianity.Buddhism was influential in ancient times and Christianity had influenced large segments of the population in the 18th and 19th century, yet they grew rapidly in membership only by the mid-20th century, as part of the profound transformations that South Korean society went through in the past century. But they have shown some decline from the year 2000 onwards. Native shamanic religions (i.e. Sindo) remain popular and could represent a large part of the unaffiliated. Indeed, according to a 2012 survey, only 15% of the population declared themselves to be not religious in the sense of "atheism". According to the 2015 census, the proportion of the unaffiliated is higher among the youth, about 65% among the 20-years old.Korea entered the 20th century with an already ingrained Christian presence and a vast majority of the population practicing native religion (Sindo). The latter never gained the high status of a national religious culture comparable to Chinese folk religion and Japan's Shinto; this weakness of Korean Sindo was among the reasons that left a free hand to an early and thorough rooting of Christianity. The population also took part in Confucianising rites and held private ancestor worship. Organised religions and philosophies belonged to the ruling elites, and the long patronage exerted by the Chinese empire led these elites to embrace a particularly strict Confucianism (i.e. Korean Confucianism). Korean Buddhism, despite an erstwhile rich tradition, at the dawn of the 20th century was virtually extinct as a religious institution, after 500 years of suppression under the Joseon kingdom. Christianity had antecedents in the Korean peninsula as early as the 18th century, when the philosophical school of Seohak supported the religion. With the fall of the Joseon in the last decades of the 19th century, Koreans largely embraced Christianity, since the monarchy itself and the intellectuals looked to Western models to modernise the country and endorsed the work of Catholic and Protestant missionaries. During Japanese colonisation in the first half of the 20th century, the identification of Christianity with Korean nationalism was further strengthened, as the Japanese tried to merge native Sindo with their State Shinto.
With the division of Korea into two states after 1945, the communist north and the anti-communist south, the majority of the Korean Christian population that had been until then in the northern half of the peninsula, fled to South Korea. It has been estimated that Christians who migrated to the south were more than one million. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, the South Korean state enacted measures to further marginalise indigenous Sindo, at the same time strengthening Christianity and a revival of Buddhism. According to scholars, South Korean censuses do not count believers in indigenous Sindo and underestimate the number of adherents of Sindo sects. Otherwise, statistics compiled by the ARDA estimate that as of 2010, 14.7% of South Koreans practice ethnic religion, 14.2% adhere to new movements, and 10.9% practice Confucianism.According to some observers, the sharp decline of some religions (Catholicism and Buddhism) recorded between the censuses of 2005 and 2015 is due to the change in survey methodology between the two censuses. While the 2005 census was an analysis of the entire population ("whole survey") through traditional data sheets compiled by every family, the 2015 census was largely conducted through the internet and was limited to a sample of about 20% of the South Korean population. It has been argued that the 2015 census penalised the rural population, which is more Buddhist and Catholic and less familiar with the internet, while advantaging the Protestant population, which is more urban and has easier access to the internet. Both the Buddhist and the Catholic communities criticised the 2015 census' results.Samsin Halmoni
Samsin Halmoni (Korean: 三神 할머니 rr: samsin halmeoni) or Samshin Halmoni, the Grandmother Samsin, is the triple goddess of childbirth and fate in Korean mythology.Sinbyeong
Sinbyeong or shinbyong, also called "self-loss", is the possession from a god that a chosen mu (shaman) goes through in the Korean shamanic tradition. It is said to be accompanied by physical pain and psychosis. Believers would assert that the physical and mental symptoms are not subject to medical treatment, but may only be cured through acceptance of and full communion with the spirit.The illness is characterized by a loss of appetite, insomnia, visual and auditory hallucinations. A ritual called a naerim-gut cures this illness, which also serves to induct the new shaman-priest.South Korea
South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone and has a predominantly mountainous terrain. It comprises an estimated 51.4 million residents distributed over 100,363 km2 (38,750 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of around 10 million.
Archaeology indicates that the Korean Peninsula was inhabited by early humans starting from the Lower Paleolithic period (2.6 Ma–300 Ka). The history of Korea begins with the foundation of Gojoseon in 2333 BCE by the mythic king Dangun, but no archaeological evidence and writing was found from this period. The Gija Joseon was purportedly founded in 11th century BCE, and its existence and role has been controversial in the modern era. The written historical record on Gojoseon (Old Joseon) was first mentioned in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea under Unified Silla in CE 668, Korea was subsequently ruled by the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) and the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). It was annexed by the Empire of Japan in 1910. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet and U.S. zones of occupations. A separate election was held in the U.S. zone in 1948 which led to the creation of the Republic of Korea (ROK), while the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) was established in the Soviet zone. The United Nations at the time passed a resolution declaring the ROK to be the only lawful government in Korea.The Korean War began in June 1950 when forces from North Korea invaded South Korea. The war lasted three years and involved the U.S., China, the Soviet Union and several other nations. The border between the two nations remains the most heavily fortified in the world. Under long-time military leader Park Chung-hee, the South Korean economy grew significantly and the country was transformed into a G-20 major economy. Military rule ended in 1987, and the country is now a presidential republic consisting of 17 administrative divisions.
South Korea is a highly developed country and a high-income economy, with a "very high" Human Development Index, ranking 22nd in the world. The country is considered a regional power and is the world's 11th largest economy by nominal GDP and the 12th largest by PPP as of 2010. South Korea is a global leader in the industrial and technological sectors, being the world's 5th largest exporter and 8th largest importer. Its export-driven economy primarily focuses production on electronics, automobiles, ships, machinery, petrochemicals and robotics. South Korea is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, the United Nations, Uniting for Consensus, G20, the WTO and OECD and is a founding member of APEC and the East Asia Summit.Sungmo
Sungmo (崇母, "Holy Mother"), also called Daemo ("Great Mother"), Jamo ("Benevolent Mother"), Sinmo ("Divine Mother"), Nogo ("Ancient Lady"), Chungkyun Moju ("Empress Mother of the Rightful View") and by other names, is a mother goddess in Korean shamanism. She is regarded as the mother or daughter of the Heavenly King and, in some myths, as the mother of all shamans. In other myths, the shamans are rather explained as descendants of Dangun.