Abstract

Ch’ŏndogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way) was active in both the religious and political spheres during the Japanese colonial period between 1910 and 1945. Ch’ŏndogyo believers and organizations were important in the March First Movement of 1919 and various moderate nationalist movements in the 1920s and 1930s. Most of its membership was located in the northern provinces of Korea during this time. The division of the peninsula strongly affected Ch’ŏndogyo in both the northern and southern zones and eventually contributed to the weakening of its religious and social organizations on both sides of the dividing line. This article will focus on developments in Ch’ŏndogyo in what became North Korea, taking into account both internal and external processes. National division led to the creation of separate religious and political organizations in the North and the South because of the increasing difficulties in communication between the two zones. In the North, tensions between those within the religion that favored increasing cooperation with the nascent Communist regime and those that wanted greater religious and political autonomy eventually led to the end of autonomy for Ch’ŏndogyo’s political party, the Ch’ŏndogyo Ch’ŏngudang (Ch’ŏndogyo Young Friends’ Party), and the destruction of its religious institutions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2167-2040
Print ISSN
2093-7288
Pages
pp. 51-66
Launched on MUSE
2013-11-28
Open Access
No
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