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

The Christian and Buddhist Environmental Movements in Contemporary Korea: Common Efforts and Their Limitations

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2014, v.54 no.4, pp.52-79
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2014.54.4.52

(Univ. of Oxford)
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Abstract

Scholars of Korean religions have commonly held the view that Christianity and Buddhismhave deliberately tried to exclude one another as they struggled to win popularfavor over the previous three decades of radical socio-economic change in Korea. Theauthors of this article argue that, contrary to the existing view, the two religions havebeen broadening a common ground of understanding and creating an allied actionfront. At the core of this positive engagement has been the environmental movement. Christian and Buddhist environmental activists have set a model agenda and viableaction plans, and share a conception of the meaning of life and human happinessrevolving around various environmental issues. To show how the environmentalmovement has brought the two parties closer, this article examines how ecologicalconcerns emerged within the two religions in the first place, explores the ways theymanaged to cooperate on concrete environmental issues, and assesses the extent towhich those common efforts have been successful. It concludes with the implications ofsuch cooperation for the present and future relationship between Korean Buddhismand Christianity.

keywords
Korean religion environmental movement nuclear issue religious ecology Korean Buddhism Korean Christianity religious dialogue environmental politics

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