Buddhism in Korea

1.Discuss the relationship between indigenous Korean tradition(shamanism) and Buddhism. How did Buddhism incorporate the native tradition in its system and practice, or vice versa(i.e., Buddhism as incorporated in Korean shamanistic practice)?

2. Discuss the debate/conflict between Buddhism and Confucianism in Korea as reflected in the writings of Korean Buddhist and Confucian intellectuals. What are the main points of Confucianists in their critique of Buddhism? Do you think the Confucian views are valid?

3. Choose two or three ancient Korean Buddhist thinkers and discuss in detail their main teachings/doctrines based on their writings. Do you find any common ideas/concerns shared by them?

4.Discuss the relationship between the state and the sangha (Buddhist community/order) in Korea. How did the attitudes of the state toward Buddhism change over time?

5. Discuss the characteristics of Korean Buddhism as a state-protecting religion(“State-protecting Buddhism”). How has Buddhism played a role in defending the nation in the specific political/historical contexts of Korea?

6. What do you think is the most interesing or radical school/doctrine/teaching in Korean Buddhism and why? How does the school/doctrine/teaching embody some fundamental teaching of Buddhism (esp. Mahayana Buddhism)?

7. In what sense is it true/wrong (or both) to say that Buddhism has been revived in modern Korea?

8. How has modern Korean Buddhism, in its practice and thought, embodied or altered traditional Buddhist teaching? In what sense is the practical/thought still Buddhist (or non-Buddhist)?

9. Discuss the relationship of Buddhism and Christianity in modern Korean society. How do the two religions recognize and try to embrace each other? What do you think are irreconcilable tensions/conflicts between the two in their doctrines/practices?

10. Discuss the role of art (painting, sculpture, architecture, music, dance, and etc.) In Korean Buddhism. How has Buddhist art played important roles in the development/preservation/spread of Korean Buddhism?