Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Full Access A Retreat in a South Korean Buddhist Monastery. Becoming a Lay Devotee Through Monastic Life

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

A Retreat in a South Korean Buddhist Monastery. Becoming a Lay Devotee Through Monastic Life

  • PDF
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of European Journal of East Asian Studies

In South Korea, the distance between Buddhist monastics and lay devotees tends to reduce as monasteries and temples multiply in urban areas. Even the remote mountain monasteries have broadened their access to lay visitors. Nowadays monastic and lay Buddhists have more occasions to meet than before and the current intensification of their relationships brings important redefinitions of their respective identities. This paper explores how far this new spatial proximity signifies a rapprochement between monastic and lay Buddhists. Through an ethnographic approach and a participant observation methodology I focus on a one-week retreat for laity in a Buddhist monastery dedicated to meditation. This case study examines the ambiguous goal of this retreat programme that combined two aims: initiating lay practitioners to the monastic lifestyle and the practice of kanhwa son meditation; and establishing a group of lay supporters affiliated to the temple. This temporary monastic experience was directed towards an intense socialisation of the participants to the norms and values of an ascetic lifestyle, blurring some aspects of the border between lay and monastic practices of Buddhism. However, this paper suggests that this transitory rapprochement contributed to both challenge and strengthen the distinction between the renouncers (ch'ulga) and the householders (chaega).

Affiliations: 1: Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) Paris China, Japan, Korea Joint Lab (UMR 8173 CNRS-EHESS);, Email:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Subscribe to Citation alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    European Journal of East Asian Studies — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation