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Eastern Learning and the Heavenly WayThe Tonghak and Chondogyo Movements and the Twilight of Korean Independence$
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Carl Young

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838881

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838881.001.0001

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Administrative Centralization and Leadership Struggles in Ch’ŏndogyo, 1906–1908

Administrative Centralization and Leadership Struggles in Ch’ŏndogyo, 1906–1908

(p.113) Chapter 5 Administrative Centralization and Leadership Struggles in Ch’ŏndogyo, 1906–1908
Eastern Learning and the Heavenly Way

Carl F. Young

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter contends that Tonghak's transition to Ch'ŏndogyo is an example of the challenges and opportunities faced by a religion attempting to maintain and increase its hold on modern society. Ch'ŏndogyo reformed its doctrine and ritual to better mesh with changing trends brought forth by modernity. These reforms needed a firm guiding hand, however, to maintain effective cohesion. Government persecution, Son Pyŏng-hŭi's exile, and the growth of his deputy Yi Yong-gu's power as a result of his leadership of the Ilchinhoe had increasingly frayed organizational unity. Further developments, however, brought new organizational opportunities for Ch'ŏndogyo, among them Son's return from Japan and his pursuance a policy of centralization and bureaucratization to recapture full leadership of his nascent movement and lead it to greater independence from politics.

Keywords:   Tonghak, Ch'ŏndogyo, leadership struggles, administrative centralization, bureaucratization, Son Pyŏng-hŭi, modernity, organizational opportunities, organizational unity

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