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By Chang-Won Park

ISBN-10: 1441117490

ISBN-13: 9781441117496

Cultural mixing in Korean loss of life Rites examines the cultural stumble upon of Confucianism and Christianity with specific connection with demise rites in Korea. As its overarching interpretive framework, this publication employs the assumption of the ‘total social phenomenon', an idea first brought via the French anthropologist Marcel Mauss (1872-1950).

From the viewpoint of the full social phenomenon, this booklet makes use of a mix of theological, historic, sociological and anthropological ways, and explores Korean dying rites via classifying them into 3 different types: ritual before loss of life (Bible copying), ritual at loss of life (funerary rites),and ritual after dying (ancestral ritual). It makes a speciality of Christian practices as they epitomize the advanced interaction of Confucianism and Christianity. by means of drawing on a complete social phenomenon method of the empirical case of Korean dying rites, Chang-Won Park contributes to the development of concept and process in spiritual studies.

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Additional resources for Cultural Blending in Korean Death Rites: New Interpretive Approaches

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In other words, triangulation was in operation when the data and their reality were compared. Second, triangulation was also employed when various analyses were attempted on the selected data, for instance, when examining historical and contemporary data on each of the three death rituals in the light of the interplay of Confucianism and Christianity. The method was also applied to the process of exploring various phenomena surrounding death rituals in terms of the theoretical perspectives of embodiment, exchange and material culture.

Theoretical Insights Gofman seems to exaggerate when he identifies the concept of the ‘total social phenomenon’ with key concepts in sociology such as ‘social class’ and ‘alienation’ in terms of later theoretical development and influence. 6 However, he seems right when he emphasizes the incomplete and vague nature of those concepts as a stimulus for subsequent scholars’ thinking. This has certainly been the case for my study. Despite, or rather because of, its vagueness and incompleteness, the concept of the total social phenomenon has been a constant source of insight into various issues in approaching the chosen three death rites.

E. separation, transition and incorporation. When the practice begins, an ordinary blank book is separated from other ordinary blank books; while the bible is being copied over several years, the book experiences a long process of transition from an ordinary status to a sacred one; after the copying is completed, the hand-written copy of the bible is incorporated into family life with a special meaning attached to it. In an ideal context, we observe that the daily practice of bible-copying also entails different aspects of three phases: people experience separation from the engagement with daily concerns when they start copying the bible; while copying, they undergo a process of transition in terms of the state of mind and body; and, after finishing a session of bible-copying for the day, they come back to their daily routine with a renewed attitude to life.

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Cultural Blending in Korean Death Rites: New Interpretive Approaches by Chang-Won Park


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