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Evolutionary Adaptation of Korean Divination to Religious Markets

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A Case Study of Three Divination Communities in the Seoul Metropolitan Area

image of Asian Journal of Social Science

Although divination is admittedly the oldest religious tradition constructed in human societies, there are few sociological researches on divination. This article explains different features of three divination communities in the Seoul Metropolitan Area (SMA) in contemporary Korea and then analyses their theoretical significance and implication in terms of religious market theory. Different patterns of competition that each divination community faces in a religiously pluralistic market are influenced by a religio-economic rationality and a socio-structural limitation specific to each niche market. However, a new relationship between local diviners and the municipal government is made with the construction of a “divination valley”: a divination community to encourage religious competition and innovation as well as to attract more city tourists as a local cultural property. Based on the evolution of divination communities, the paper applies the notion of “elective affinity” to the relationship between religious diversity and a polytheistic rationality in the context of contemporary Korean religious market.

Affiliations: 1: Kyung Hee University

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/content/journals/10.1163/15685314-04504009
2017-01-01
2017-11-23

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