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By Chang-Won Park

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

From the point of view of the full social phenomenon, this e-book makes use of a mix of theological, historic, sociological and anthropological methods, and explores Korean loss of life rites by means of classifying them into 3 different types: ritual before demise (Bible copying), ritual at dying (funerary rites),and ritual after demise (ancestral ritual). It makes a speciality of Christian practices as they epitomize the complicated 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 idea and procedure in spiritual studies.

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

Sample text

I gave a paper on the Korean practice of bible-copying at a conference on spirituality which was held at Lancaster University in January 2006 (C. 18 Until then, the Cultural Blending in Korean Death Rites 20 idea of interpreting the practice as a death ritual had not occurred to me and the conference paper was prepared as an extra to my doctoral research. Soon after the conference, I began to consider the practice of bible-copying among old people as a form of death ritual, a ritual practice in preparation for death.

In the very beginning, I did not know anything about the Korean movement of copying the bible and was only aware that some people were copying the bible as part of their religious practice. I myself was surprised when I discovered the scale and popularity of the movement through my Internet search. This prompted the inclusion in this study of the practice among old people as a chapter on ritual before death. In the absence of existing studies of the movement, online research played a significant role from the discovery of the movement to its inclusion in the present study, with the process being complemented by field research.

G. Ramp, 2006). g. Lévi-Strauss, 1987; Gofman, 1998), perhaps because it could be seen as a conceptual extension of the notion of the ‘social fact’ which was intensively discussed in the Durkheimian circle. However, this study adopts the phrase ‘total social phenomenon’ because Mauss himself uses it in his definitional statement. Mauss, however, did not provide any systematic theory or clear definition of the concept. 3 This shows not so much his inability to construct a well-defined concept as his refusal to construct general theories.

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