14 Mar 2024 11:30


Sala A - Palazzo Vendramin dei Carmini, Venice


14 March 2024, 11.00-13.00
Sala A - Palazzo Vendramin dei Carmini
Tomasz Sleziak
Ruhr-University Bochum
Posthuman aspects of Confucianism vis-a-vis “new” Korean religions

In modern South Korea, religious beliefs are professed by a percentage of society approximately equal to the segment of the populace declaring religious indifference or atheism. Among the declared religions, the “mainstream” ones such as Buddhism or Christianity dominate, while other religious movements are outwardly secondary in popularity. Nevertheless, the vibrancy of the philosophical and metaphysical discourse may be owed not only to the doctrinal differences between the declared religious and non-religious positions, but also to their shared notions, origins in Korea’s social history, and the characteristics of the Peninsula itself. In particular, to this day we can witness conceptual tensions between the Neo-Confucianism practiced by Korean elites from the twelfth until the early twentieth century, and the so-called newly emergent religions, which predominantly sprouted among the lower social strata near the end of Joseon dynasty. These tensions have indeed been reflecting the ones between “high” and “low” cultures, but at the same time they collectively represent a reflection of Korean attitudes towards the widely-perceived changes within this world and personal as well as collective transcendence. It is here that we precisely encounter Posthumanism, influential in rural “shamanist” communities and royal palaces alike. Geographic arrangements, ideas of the afterlife or of the improvement of the here-and-now and varying types of social leadership are among the key factors universally influential throughout the pre-modern Korean society and deeply impacting the modern religious activities. Moreover, the interactions with the real or assumed Other – be it the fauna and flora, ancestral spirits or the otherworldly creatures – have also simultaneously influenced positions on Posthuman transcendence by the Neo-Confucian yangban and the alternative perspectives espoused by the non-elites. In this development- and growth-centric discussion of Confucianism and new religions we will take these factors into account.


4 April 2024, 16.00-18.00
Sala A - Palazzo Vendramin dei Carmini
Shalon Park
Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Brushtalk Confessions: Nineteenth-Century Korean Catholic Women Writings

18 April 2024, 16.00-18.00
Sala A - Palazzo Vendramin dei Carmini
Jaehoon Jung
Kyungpook National University
Cultural Perspectives on the Distinctive Features of Korean History

2 May 2024, TBA
Yongwook Chung
Seoul National University
The Korean War and Cultural Cold War

16 May 2024, 16.00-18.00
Sangjun Lee
City University of Hong Kong
Kwan Yin, Songstress, and Spies: South Korean Cinema’s Encounter with Sinophone Cinemas in Southeast Asia


The events are organized within the PRIN 2022 project “Making Korea a Religiously Plural Society? Historical, Legal, and Social Approaches” (2022S23SZZ - CUP H53D23000310001)

Organized by

Department of Asian and North African Studies (Hyojin LEE)


Poster / Programme 857 KB
Poster - Tomasz Sleziak 495 KB

Search in the agenda