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The Dharma Master Chongsan of Won Buddhism
Analects and Writings
The Dharma Master Chongsan of Won Buddhism
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Chongsan - Author
Bongkil Chung - Translated with an introduction and notes by
SUNY series in Korean Studies
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 342 pages
Release Date: January 2012
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-4023-1

Price: $32.95 
Paperback - 342 pages
Release Date: January 2013
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-4024-8

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The first English translations of the writings of Chŏngsan (1900–62), who codified the central doctrines of Won Buddhism.

Won Buddhism emerged in early twentieth-century Korea after a long period of anti-Buddhist repression. It is a syncretic tradition, a form of Buddhism strongly influenced by the Chŏson dynasty’s Neo-Confucian ethical heritage and by Daoism. Seeking to deliver sentient beings from suffering and to create a just and ethical world, Won Buddhism stresses practical application of the dharma and service. It offers a vision of people as one family, morally perfected.

This book provides the first English translations of the writings of Chŏngsan (1900–62), the second dharma master of Won Buddhism, who codified the new religion’s central doctrines. The translations here include Chŏngsan’s discussion of Buddha-nature, described as a mind-seal and symbolized by the Irwŏnsang (a unitary circle); his synthesis of Confucian moral and political programs with Buddhist notions of emancipation from birth and death; and his expositions on realizing the ideal of all people as one family.

“The introductory chapter offers a succinct overview of the history and, more particularly, the main themes of Chŏngsan’s systematizing teachings. The translation itself is carefully crafted and impresses by its engaging and accessible style. This work is an important contribution and a ‘must-read’ for everyone interested in East Asian Buddhism and Korean religions.” — Religious Studies Review

“Chung’s book is an important addition to the small existing oeuvre on the Won Buddhist tradition of Korea. This is an elegant, accessible, and carefully annotated translation of a seminal work.” — Robert Buswell, editor of Religions of Korea in Practice

Bongkil Chung is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Florida International University. His books include The Scriptures of Won Buddhism: A Translation of the Wŏnbulgyo Kyojŏn with Introduction and An Introduction to Won Buddhism.

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Table of Contents


Abbreviations and Conventions

The Life of Chŏngsan
The Central Doctrine of Won Buddhism
The Thought of Chŏngsan
Concluding Remarks


Part One: The Canon of the World (Sejŏn)

1. General Introduction

2. Education

3. Family

4. Religious Faith

5. Society

6. The Nation

7. The World

8. Rest

9. Nirvāņa

10. An Outline

Part Two: The Dharma Words (Pŏbŏ)

I. Aspiration and Planning

II. Taking Care of the Fundamentals

III. Fundamental Principles

IV. Exposition of Scriptures

V. Exhortations for the Practice of the Way

VI. Moral Culture

VII. On Being Diligent and Truthful

VIII. Edification in Response to Capacities

IX. Dharma Admonitions

X. The Destiny of the Way

XI. On the Korean National Destiny

XII. On Birth and Death

XIII. The Last Instructions

Part Three: Other Selected Writings

I. On Irwŏnsang

II. Truth, Faith, and Practice of Irwŏnsang

III. Ode to the Consummate Enlightenment

Chinese Character Glossary
Glossary of Terms
Selected Bibliography

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