Building a Buddhist Empire: The Reprinting and Distribution of the Koryŏ Canon in and beyond Colonial Korea (1910-1945)

Le 11 mai 2017

Hwansoo Kim
(Duke University, professeur invité de l’EHESS)

présente une conférence intitulée

« Building a Buddhist Empire: The Reprinting and Distribution of the Koryŏ Canon in and beyond Colonial Korea (1910-1945) »

de 14h00 à 16h00

à l’Université Paris Diderot (Salle 481C)
5, rue Thomas Mann 75013 Paris.

Résumé

In this talk, I will discuss the powerful political, religious, and diplomatic symbolism historically embodied by the material form of Buddhist Canons—like the Koryŏ Canon. The power of the Koryŏ Canon as an object is not unique to Canons generally nor to the modern period. I argue that the Canon’s powerful symbolism did not fade but rather intensified in the modern period. To understand the power of the Canon in the modern period, I will look at it through a transnational lens, examining its influence in both religious and ostensibly secular contexts. Reprints of the Koryŏ Canon, for example, were on permanent exhibit in museums for public viewing, and with the rise of Orientalist scholarship on Buddhism also gained prominence as objects of scholarly research. These more secular aspects of the colonial-era valorization of the Koryŏ Canon can best be seen in the two printing projects the colonial government implemented in 1915 and 1937, and in their effect on the understanding of the nature of the Canon. I will demonstrate that these projects, sponsored in response to the colonizing, nationalizing, and globalizing discourses on the Canon, further attest to the persistent importance of religion—manifested in a material form—for modernity, nationalism, and imperialism.

 


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