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Sample Research Reports # 2
Below is just a short, 1 page excerpt from a research report we created in 1999 about Korean Shamanism. Remember: We've prepared tens of thousands of reports..created by dozens of researchers & writers..each one.. is completely different!!!

Korean Shamanism and Syncretism

By Kathie Easter, for The Paper Store - March, 1999

   Within the rich cultural heritage of Korea, religious practice reflects a wide variety of influences. A strong belief in the spiritual power of Shamans that persists to the present reflects the older indigenous religious beliefs of the Korean people. However, as Lew points out, Buddhism also became a national religion during the Untied Silia period of Korea's history (59). When a major religion, such as Buddhism, is adopted within a new culture a process called "syncretism" often occurs. This is when the new religion adapts itself to the fundamental religious "ethos of the culture to which it has been transmitted" (Grayson 199). In regards to Korean history, Grayson feels that Buddhism made superficial accommodations with the indigenous beliefs of the Koreans in what is understood to be the process of religious syncretism (199).

    An example of this sort of shamanistic syncretism can be seen in the case of Buddhist temples where the sansin-gak (mountain god shrine), the samsin-gak (three spirit shrine), or the ch'ilsong-gak (seven star "pole star" spirit shine) have become part of the layout of the temple precinct (Grayson 199). These shrines, which are indicative of the older shamanistically oriented religion, have become subsidiary shines within the Buddhist temple complex (Grayson 199).

   While it can be argued that the syncretistic quality of Buddhist faith in Korea did not abandon the core beliefs of Buddhism, it is also, nevertheless, true that shamanistic practices still flourish. To be a shaman is still a viable way to earn a living in present day Korea. For example, whenever Chinj, a young Korean woman, had her fortune told, the shamans she consulted assured her that she, too, was destined to be a shaman (Kendall 40). While her family was, at first, appalled at the prospect, Chinj's mother and sister eventually went deeply into debt to pay for her apprenticeship and initiation as a shaman in a ceremony known as a "kut" (Kendall 40).

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