The temple stay program is a new and prominent Korean tourist attraction in which visitors are invited to many of the major Buddhist monasteries throughout the country to stay for a couple of days and experience the traditional monastic lifestyle. This article will contextualize the temple stay within the history of the Korean heritage industry and inquire into the ways in which the national government and the Buddhist establishment are involved in branding it. It will demonstrate the process in which various new intangible cultural contents are introduced into the monasteries via this program and consequently argue that it involves an important identity transformation of Korean temples, from mainly being spiritual centers of a specific religion to becoming inclusive displays of Korean national heritage. In addition, it will reflect upon the significance of such trends, which add a brand new social function for the Buddhist monasteries of Korea.


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pp. 127-146
Launched on MUSE
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