Ch'ǒndogyo

An indigenous Korean religion founded by Ch'oe Suun (1824-1864) as an attempt to directly appeal to the religious consciousness of the Korean people. Chondogyo was a reaction against Christianity and the traditional religions of Korea although it nevertheless contains elements of Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, shamanism, and Roman Catholicism. The Chondogyo scriptures are the writings of the three founders.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
30959
Names
Ch'ǒndogyo
Chondogyo
Ch'ǒndo-gyo
Ch'ǒndo-kyo
Religion of the Heavenly Way
Sect of the Way of Heaven
Eastern Learning
Tonghak

More Definitions

An indigenous Korean religion founded by Ch'oe Suun (1824-1864) as an attempt to directly appeal to the religious consciousness of the Korean people. Chondogyo was a reaction against Christianity and the traditional religions of Korea although it nevertheless contains elements of Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, shamanism, and Roman Catholicism. After Suun was executed by the government, his successors Ch'oe Si-hyong and Son Piyong-hi fostered the movement until it grew to become a major Korean religion. The Chondogyo scriptures are the writings of the three founders. The religion views humans as bearers of divinity and as such, humans must treat one another 'as God.' Chondogyo stresses the universality of God and calls for a cooperative kingdom of God on earth based on faith, simplicity, steadfastness, and sincerity. There is no concept of eternal reward because the religion's aim is solely to bring righteousness and peace to the world. There are five recommended practices: chanting of a formula every night at nine o'clock; the use of water as a symbol of purity; attending a Sunday worship service; offering rice to the church on a regular basis; and praying in different ways. Chondogyo had an important role in modernizing Korea after 1894. It also opposed Japanese imperialism after 1919 and did not acquiesce to communism in North Korea after 1945. By the late 20th century, there were approximately 3 million members.

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Bibliography

  1. 1.  The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, 300264462. The J. Paul Getty Trust.