S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.45 (2009)
초기동학의 신학과 의례학
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.45, pp. 159-176
- In the Korean history of religion, the 19th century cannot only be regarded as the period of decline and darkness, during which the traditional society hit its twilight. Although social contradictions and conflicts got exacerbated during the time, both spiritual and practical solutions were actively being sought after in order to overcome hardships. Together with effort put forth by Practical Science, Western Learning, Christianity and other groups, people of Eastern Learning also was proposing creative solutions to the society. In the current scholarship, interest in Eastern Learning has been increasing but its pursuit has been revealing the incongruity between the dogma and rituals. Relatively speaking, studies on the theology of Eastern Learning are abundant but rather meager attention has been paid to its ritual aspects. This thesis attempts to offer an undistorted picture of early Eastern Learning, and further relieve the discordance and imbalance between theology and ritual studies by reinforcing the latter.
This thesis examines the concept of the heavenly god in early Eastern Learning and two ritualistic reactions toward that being: Cheonje(天祭, ritual to heavenly god) and the practice of Sushimjeonggi(守心正氣, keeping the good mind and having the right force). Whereas the former is a sacrifice, the latter is about self-cultivation. In a Confucian society, the ritual to heavenly god of Early Eastern Learning would have been, of course, regarded as an improper ritual and political rebellion but it served as a central ritualistic conduct for worshipping and communicating with the new found sanctity of the heavenly being. On the other hand, Sushimjeonggi was a detailed means to honor and revere the heavenly god with the body and mind. It was a way of an inner self-cultivation, which not only completed one"s morality but also guaranteed and sustained the order of the whole universe. The heavenly god and ritual to heavenly god, and the heavenly god and Sushimjeonggi are themes, which, at the point of contact between the theology and ritual studies, become a path to reveal religious characteristics of early Eastern Learning and its spiritual identity.