Abstract

Abstract:

The publishing of texts is a historical phenomenon with many social, political, intellectual, and cultural implications. In contrast to previous studies, this article adopts a quantitative method of examining the number of Buddhist texts published in each century and categorizing the texts according to their characteristics. Moreover, the entire Chosŏn period is not characterized by anti-Buddhist state policies; rather, the shifting conditions of the temples are considered over the course of the centuries. Moreover, I consider the diverse factors that may have impacted the publication of Buddhist texts. Based on these methods, the findings contrast starkly with what has heretofore been understood about Chosŏn Buddhism over the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Based on a social and historical perspective, this study finds that the state policy on Buddhism and the publication output of Buddhist texts were entirely unrelated. Based on an examination of temple published texts, it is found that Chosŏn temples selectively adopted from previous traditions, while after the Imjin Wars Buddhist institutions and culture came to be reformulated. Lastly, it is demonstrated how the temple publication of Buddhist texts was a precursor to the later popularization of book culture, the wide dissemination of texts, and the expansion of readership.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2167-2040
Print ISSN
2093-7288
Pages
pp. 17-43
Launched on MUSE
2020-11-21
Open Access
No
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