Traditional Korean thought has been influenced by a number of religious and philosophical thought-systems over the years. As the main influences on life in Korea, often Shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, as well as Taoism are mentioned. These movements have shaped Korean life and thought. See also the article Religion in Korea.
- See main article: Korean Shamanism
Traditional rites and shamanistic practices have developed in Korea for millennia. Throughout Korean history, native shamanism deeply influenced and was influenced by Buddhism and Taoism. In contemporary Korean, a shaman is known as a mudang
Even though belief in Korean shamanism is not as widespread as it once was, the practices are kept alive. The mudang seeks to solve human problems through a connection to the spirits. This can be seen clearly in the various types of gut that are still widely performed.
Korean Buddhist thinkers
- See main articles: Korean Buddhism, Korean Buddhist Temples
refined ideas originally introduced from China into a distinct form. The Three Kingdoms of Korea
introduced Buddhism to Japan, from where it was popularized in the West. Korean Buddhism consists mostly of the Seon lineage, which is derivative of the Chen(Zen
) Buddhism of China and precursor to "zen" Buddhism known in the West through Japan.
Buddhist temples can be found in most parts of Korea and many are considered national treasures.
- See main article: Korean Confucianism
One of the most substantial influences in Korean intellectual history was the introduction of Confucian
thought as part of the cultural exchange
. Today the legacy of Confucianism remains a fundamental part of Korean society
, shaping the moral system, the way of life, social relations between old and young, and high culture, and even survived the modernization of legal system
- See main article: Korean Taoism
is largely shaped by the writings of Lao Tzu
and Chuang Tzu