There are shamans, known as mudang in Korean, who serve as priests in shamanic ceremonies, and the number of shamans never becomes smaller. Today, many people still resort to shamanist rituals known as kut in Korean to settle their problems. as family beliefs or village beliefs have gradually been weakening, but Korean popular beliefs still have their place, in shamanism, in divination, and in geomancy, adapting to changes of the times. In other words, even now popular beliefs are still part of the meaningful world of the Koreans, influencing their judgment and behavior when they are in trouble. From this viewpoint, this book intends to demonstrate the general aspects of Korean popular beliefs and also shed light on their historical changes and present conditions.
Korean popular beliefs do not remain separated from Korean lives or other religions such as Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity, but related to them. Considering such aspects of Korean popular beliefs, this book focuses on the correlation between Korean popular beliefs and other religions, between Korean popular beliefs and the lives of the Koreans, and between types of Korean popular beliefs rather than each type of Korean popular beliefs in isolation. This way, the book aims to identify the status and meaning that Korean religious beliefs have in Korean lives and culture.
Yong Bhum Yi
Professor of Department of folklore at Andong National University.
Understanding Korean Popular Beliefs Yi, Yong Bhum 1
Part I Categories of Korean Popular Beliefs
Village Beliefs Lee, Kyung Yup 17
Family Popular Beliefs Choi, Jong Seong 55
Shamanism Yi, Yong Bhum 81
Geomantic Beliefs Lee, Kyung Yup 111
Beliefs in Divination Choi, Jong Seong 127
Part II Thematic Approaches to Korean Popular Beliefs
Religious Syncretism and Popular Beliefs Choi, Jong Seong 143
Divinities of Korean Popular Beliefs Yi, Yong Bhum 161
The Current State and Changes of Popular
Beliefs Lee, Kyung Yup 183
The History of Korean Folk Beliefs and
Popular Religion Boudewijn Walraven 201