HARVARD EAST ASIAN MONOGRAPHS
Cover: The Power of the Buddhas in HARDCOVER

Harvard East Asian Monographs 303

The Power of the Buddhas

The Politics of Buddhism during the Koryo Dynasty (918 - 1392)

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$49.95 • £39.95 • €45.00

ISBN 9780674031883

Publication Date: 09/30/2008

Text

486 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

2 maps, 3 line illustrations, 11 tables

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard East Asian Monographs

World, subsidiary rights restricted

Buddhism in medieval Korea is characterized as “State Protection Buddhism,” a religion whose primary purpose was to rally support (supernatural and popular) for and legitimate the state. In this view, the state used Buddhism to engender compliance with its goals. A closer look, however, reveals that Buddhism was a canvas on which people projected many religious and secular concerns and desires.

This study is an attempt to specify Buddhism’s place in Koryo and to ascertain to what extent and in what areas Buddhism functioned as a state religion. Was state support the main reason for Buddhism’s dominance in Koryo? How actively did the state seek to promote religious ideals? What was the strength of Buddhism as an institution and the nature of its relationship to the state? What role did Confucianism, the other state ideology, play in Koryo? This study argues that Buddhism provided most of the symbols and rituals, and some of the beliefs, that constructed an aura of legitimacy, but that there was no single ideological system underlying the Koryo dynasty’s legitimating strategies.

Awards & Accolades

  • 2010 James B. Palais Prize, Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies
Poems of the First Buddhist Women: A Translation of the Therigatha, translated by Charles Hallisey, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene