Conférence : « Practicing Buddhism in the Mid-Nineteenth Century »

Woodblock print of a rosary (yŏmju) with 108 beads © Boudewijn Walraven.


Le 28 septembre 2017, Prof. Boudewijn Walraven, professeur invité à la Sungkyunkwan University, Séoul, anime le XIIe Seoul Colloquium on Korean Studies, organisé par le Centre de l’EFEO à Séoul en collaboration avec la Seoul Branch de la Royal Asiatic Society et l’Asiatic Research Institute de la Korea University, autour du thème « Practicing Buddhism in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. »


Asiatic Research Institute, Korea University (Room number 310)  



The study of late Chosŏn Buddhism (roughly 1600-1900) has long been neglected by researchers. Recently the situation has much improved, and there is also more attention to practice as opposed to doctrinal studies. In this talk, which is very much a report on work in progress, I will talk about this change and particularly about a greater concern with what a recent book by Fabio Rambelli calls « Buddhist Materiality. » My personal interest is above all how certain objects functioned in the relations between clergy and ordinary believers. The focus of attention will be a large print dating back to 1857, for which the woodblock was carved at Pongŭnsa, that depicts a rosary (yŏmju) with 108 beads and assigns a particular meaning to each of them.

Prof. Boudewijn Walraven has been a professor of Korean Studies at Leiden University in The Netherlands and is currently a visiting professor of Sungkyunkwan University. His main research interests are religious practice (particularly Shamanism and Buddhism) and the anthropology of historiography. Recent articles have been about an 18th-century book intended for the propagation of the invocation of the Buddha Amitabha and the use of narrative poems (kasa) to express political opinions in the Chosŏn period.

Source : EFEO.


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