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Korean Shamanism: The Cultural Paradox
Published by Routledge
Title first published in 2003. Shamanism has a contradictory position within the Korean cultural system, leading to the periodical suppression of shamanism yet also, paradoxically, ensuring its survival throughout Korean history. This book examines the place of shamans within contemporary society as a cultural practice in which people make use of shamanic ritual and disputing the prevalent view that shamanism is 'popular culture', a 'women's religion' or 'performing arts'. Directly confronting the prejudice against shamans and their paradoxical situation in a modern society such as Korea, this book reveals the cultural discrepancy between two worlds in Korean culture, the ordinary world and the shamanic world, showing that these two worlds cannot be reconciled. This unique study of shamanism offers a significant contribution to growing studies in indigenous anthropology and indigenous religions, and provides a captivating read for a wide range of readers through retelling the stories-never-to-be-told involving shamanic ritual.
Contents: Preface; Introduction; Shamanism in trouble; Ritual without audience; Two faces of Korean culture; A practice of cultural rebellion; Against Shamanism; National living treasure; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
Reviewer: Paul Doolan
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