Han Yongun’s Buddhist Socialism in the 1920s-1930s by Pak Noja

The paper deals with Han Yongun’s (1879-1944) attitude towards the radical movements of socialist (Communist or anarchist) persuasion in 1920-30s’ Korea. Socialism had strong appeal for a large sector of the educated youth at that period: some of the younger monks or lay Buddhists are known to have become radical activists, while larger number had sympathies towards the “new currents of thought”, as radical views were euphemistically called. But both dogmatically stiff negative attitudes of the orthodox Communists towards all religions, Buddhism included, and low level of the understanding of Marxists theory among the monks and lay Buddhists hindered deeper contacts between Buddhists and socialism. Han Yongun attempted to overcome these hindrances, putting forward his theory of “Buddhist socialism.”

By Vladimir Tikhonova (Pak Noja)

Full Text: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.694.8875&rep=rep1&type=pdf

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