S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Religious Studies (종교학과) 종교학연구(Journal of Religious Studies) 종교학연구(Journal of Religious Studies) 30집(2012)
조선후기 민간의 불교문화: 불승(佛僧), 단신(檀信), 제장(祭場)
Popular Buddhist Culture in late Joseon: Monks, Devotees, and Ritual Place
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 종교학연구회
- 종교학연구, Vol.30, pp. 19-53
- 민간불교문화; 불승; 佛僧; 휴정; 休靜; 유정; 惟政; 처경; 處瓊; 여환; 呂還; 단신; 檀信; 제장; 祭場; 산신각; 山神閣; 칠성각; 七星閣; 사찰계; 寺刹契; popular buddhist culture; religious specialists; Hyujeong; Yujeong; Cheokyoung; Yeohwan; believers; religious place; San-shin-gak; mountain-god shrine; Chil-seon
- This paper attempts to understand how Buddhist culture could keep surviving and prevailing in popular society of the late Joseon period. In order to explain the cultural durability and adaptability of Buddhism in late Joseon, I will pay attention to three aspects: religious specialists(佛僧), believers(檀信), and religious place(祭場). Firstly, despite the fact that Buddhist suffered from religious suppression by Confucian, some monks who led monk soldiers against the Japanese invaders were officially ritualized as a national loyalist monk. But other monks who weakened and superseded the then kingship were executed on charges of treason against the Yi dynasty but were finally worshiped as a deity for the masses. In-between national and popular dimension, religious influence and leadership of Buddhist monks remained undiminished in the late Joseon period. Second, religious clients of Buddhism in late Joseon were composed of all social stratum from royal family to lower class. The Buddhist devotees burned with religious passion as well as gave financial support to Buddhist society and culture. Especially, self activities of temple fraternities had Buddhism overcome the tremendous religious and economic difficulties. Lastly, Buddhist temples and shrines invigorated the popular spirituality and faith in late Joseon. Statistically, as compared to the situation of the early Joseon period, the total number of extant Buddhist temple increased in latter half of Joseon dynasty. Most of great temples went down but small temples grew steadily. In spite of the gloomy atmosphere, surviving temples met properly the devotees` religious demands. For example, to match the masses` religious expectations, San-shin-gak(山神閣, mountain-god shrine) or Chil-seong-gak(七星閣, seven stars shrine) began to build around the 17th century, and became more common into the 19th century.
조선후기의 불교를 쇠망사의 관점에서 이해하는 불교학의 일방적인 패러다임에 대한 반성이 일고 있으며,1) 민간의 불교신앙과 의례에 대한 탐색에 있어서 그 강도가 더 거세지고 있는 게 사실이다. 조선후기의 불교는 조선조 숭유억불의 상식을 통해 예견되는 외형과는 달리, 나름대로 국가 혹은 대중들의 욕구에 부응했고, 변화된 환경에 적절한 적응력을 키워왔음을 입증하려는 시도들이 이러한 흐름에서 나왔다. 민간 차원의 불교적 역량과 적응력은 세 가지 차원(승려, 신앙인, 공간)에서 판단될 수 있을 것이다. 즉 불교계의 주체(佛僧)가 건재했는지, 불승을 따르는 신앙 공동체(檀信)의 종교적 열망이 계속되었는지, 그리고 불교문화의 기반이자 물질화된 공간인 제장이 제 구실을 했는지의 여부가 그 관건이 될 수 있을 것이다.