This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Albert Park. They speak about the religious landscape in ancient Korea, the places for Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, Daoism, and Shamanism, the rise and relative falls of these religions/philosophies, the early arrival of Catholicism and the values that it represented for a changing nation, the amalgamation of religions into the popular movement ‘Tonghak’, the crushing of this religion by Japan during the Tonghak Peasant Rebellion (1894), the arrival of Protestantism, the new explanatory role it played in people’s lives, the new ethics and value placed on capitalism that it brought with it, and the way in which it has changed the religious, social and economic landscape of Korea.
Albert Park is the Bank of America Associate Professor of Pacific Basin Studies at Claremont McKenna College. As a historian of modern Korea and East Asia, his current research project focuses on the roots of environmentalism in modern Korean history and its relationship to locality and local autonomy. Albert is the Co-Principal Investigator of EnviroLab Asia - a Henry Luce Foundation - funded initiative at the Claremont Colleges ($1.4 million award) that carries out research on environmental issues in Asia through a cross disciplinary lens. Pertinent to this podcast, he is also the author of ‘Building a Heaven on Earth: Religion, Activism and Protest in Japanese Occupied Korea’ and is the co-editor of ‘Encountering Modernity: Christianity and East Asia’.
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