Tonghak

(redirected from Ch'ondogyo)

Tonghak

 

the teaching of the Tonghak religious sect, which developed in Korea in the second half of the 19th century. The teaching was formulated by the impoverished yangban (aristocrat) Choe Che-u (1824–64) and gained popularity in southern Korea in the early 1860’s. Directed against feudal oppression and the official ideology of Confucianism, Tonghak included elements of Buddhism, the teachings of Lao-Tzu, and Christianity. It acknowledged the identity of human beings with a higher being and the right of all people to equality on earth.

From the 1860’s to the 1880’s, organizations of the Tonghak sect were formed throughout Korea. Under their influence, the peasant movements of the second half of the 19th century—including the most important movement, the Peasant Uprising of 1893–94—sought the establishment of equality and of freedom of religion.

References in periodicals archive ?
More specifically, this work focuses on the social activism of the YMCA, Presbyterian Church, and Ch'ondogyo (an indigenous Korean religion) in the rural areas as they attempted to "combat poverty, social inequality, and cultural dislocation while building a new heaven on earth where Koreans could experience material stability and spiritual enlightenment" (225).
Those who are not acquainted with Korean history will benefit from the introductory history to Christianity in Korea, the Japanese colonization of the peninsula, as well as the origins of the Ch'ondogyo religion.
According to Park, the YMCA, Presbyterian Church, and Ch'ondogyo faith each blamed capitalism, materialism, and modernization for the spiritual alienation and disorder of rural Korea.
Their remnant became the eclectic Ch'ondogyo religion in 1905, which now has 3 million followers in South Korea.
Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, shamanism, Ch'ondogyo, and other religions have all played their respective roles.
Ch'ondogyo was founded by Ch'oe Che-u (1824-1864), and was an outgrowth of the Tonghak (eastern learning) movement.
Furthermore, Christianity was also quickly involved in this triple process of syncretism, as the T ai Ping Rebellion in China, the "Kirishitan Remnants" in Japan, and the Ch'ondogyo sect in Korea, amply demonstrate.
However, like Christianity, Ch'ondogyo, a syncretic religious movement influenced by Catholic teaching, suffered from Japanese oppression because of its strong nationalist orientation and messianism.