Pilgrims and Progress The Production of Religious Experience in a Korean Religion

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Since its inception, Chondogyo has self-consciously maintained an identity as a “new” and “modern” Korean religion. These claims have seen ongoing efforts to rationalize religious practice and theology and purge the movement of “anti-modern,” “superstitious” elements. This article explores the differing receptions of pilgrimage and ecstatic trance within the organization: the two major forms of embodied religious experience in Chondogyo. While the former has been actively promoted as a “legitimate” (and modern) form of religious experience, the latter is treated with ambivalence and is often connected with backward superstition. Through a comparison of these practices, I explore the ways in which they intersect with, bolster and challenge conceptions of Korean modernity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-102
JournalNova Religio
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

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