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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Gendered Response to Modernity: Kim Iryeop and Buddhism

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2005, v.45 no.1, pp.114-141

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Abstract

This essay examines the role of gender in Korean Buddhism’s encounter with modernity. I argue that different roles society has imposed on different genders resulted in different experiences of modernization. In the case of Kim Iryeop, a representative female intellectual who lived during the first half of the twentieth century in Korea, it was Buddhist philosophy—especially the Buddhist view of the self—that provided her a philosophical foundation in her search for identity and liberation from the traditional view of women. An investigation of Kim Iryeop’s Buddhism demands a reconsideration of the so far accepted postulation of the binary of modernity and tradition—Buddhism, in this case. Kim Iryeop’s Buddhism also brings to our attention the patriarchal nature of our understanding of modern Korean Buddhism, in which the Buddhist encounter with modernity has been portrayed as focusing exclusively on male Buddhist leaders and gender-neutral issues. Finally, Kim Iryreop’s Buddhism offers us an example of how Buddhist philosophy can contribute to the contemporary discourse on feminism, providing the possibility for creating a new Buddhist, feminist theory.

keywords
Nnew theory of chastity modern self Buddhist self great free being Buddhist feminism

Reference

1.

Bancroft, Anne, (1987) Women in Buddhism(In Women in the World’s Religions: Past and Present), New York: Paragon House

2.

Barnes, Nancy Schuster, (1987) Buddhism(in Women in World Religions), Albany: State University of New York Press

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Buswell, Robert, Jr, (1998) Imagining ‘Korean Buddhism’: The Invention of a National Religious Tradition(In Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity), Korea Research Monograph

4.

Ch’oe, Hye-sil, (2000) Sinyeoseongdeul-eun mueot-eul kkumkkueonneun-ga?=What Were New Women Dreaming of?, Seoul, Korea: Thinking Tree

Korea Journal