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Salvation through DissentTonghak Heterodoxy and Early Modern Korea$
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George L. Kallander

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824837167

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824837167.001.0001

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Uncertain Times, Uncertain Means

Uncertain Times, Uncertain Means

Rural Life, Western Ways, and Ch’oe Cheu

(p.28) Chapter 2 Uncertain Times, Uncertain Means
Salvation through Dissent

George L. Kallander

University of Hawai'i Press

Over the course of the nineteenth century, Catholics and Tonghak followers demonstrated the limits of centralized governance and its attempt to regulate religious expression as they continued to spread their teachings and worship in private spaces. While the Catholic community came into a direct conflict with the state, Tonghak hoped to negotiate the laissez-faire policies of King Ch'ŏlchong's reign (r. 1849–1863). In this context, Ch'oe Cheu's early writings offered advice on coping with some of the hardships in the southeast by describing the solutions he had found for himself and his family. In contextualizing Ch'oe Cheu and his 1860 writings, this chapter first deals with the religious, political, and social tensions of the nineteenth century, the conditions of the countryside, and Korea's complex relationship with the West. It then turns to Ch'oe and early Tonghak teachings.

Keywords:   Tonghak teachings, religion, Ch'oe Cheu, religious community, religious expression, state authority, Catholics, Catholicism

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