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South Korea
The two major religions of South Korea
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South Korea: Religion

 

            Myths were the first religion in Korea, long ago.  Those myths though changed when Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism were introduced from China and India.  During the classical Korean age, Buddhism was the main religion of the land because all the great thinkers were Buddhists.  Confucianism also was at large.  During the Choson period, Neo-Confucian thinkers came into play, but were largely criticized.  For Korean Buddhism, the great Buddhist thinker Wonhyo was the historical figure for Buddhism for his contributions to the development of Korean Buddhism.  Latter to Wonhyo, other thinkers attempted to reform Buddhism to fit the social change in Korea.  Unfortunately, after the Hideyoshi invasions during the 16th century, Korean Buddhism retreated to the mountains, completely isolated and in a state of anarchy.  The great thinker of the time, Hyujong, stated that basic teachings of Buddhism and Confucianism were harmonically the same at the philosophical level and the social level. 

Confucianism was introduced to Korea before Buddhism, but did not bloom out until the Neo-Confucian during the Choson period.  Chong To-jon was the thinker who helped with the starting of the Choson Dynasty and Neo-Confucian.  Neo-Confucian was established as the ideology of the Choson Dynasty.  During the late 19th century, at the fall of the Choson Dynasty, another great thinker emerged named Tasan.  Tasan changed the Neo-Confucian and completely reinterpreted the Confucian classics to develop his own theory of Confucianism.  These new ideas he came up with helped to change Confucian in Korea so that it would be better for the people.  Either Buddhist or Confucius, great thinkers in Korea helped with establishment of a better world for all people.