UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Pilgrims and progress : the production of religious experience in a Korean religion Bell, Kirsten


Since its inception, Chondogyo has self-consciously maintained an identity as a “new” and “modern” Korean religion. These claims have seen ongoing efforts to rationalize religious practice and theology and purge the movement of “anti-modern,” “superstitious” elements. This article explores the differing receptions of pilgrimage and ecstatic trance within the organization: the two major forms of embodied religious experience in Chondogyo. While the former has been actively promoted as a “legitimate” (and modern) form of religious experience, the latter is treated with ambivalence and is often connected with backward superstition. Through a comparison of these practices, I explore the ways in which they intersect with, bolster and challenge conceptions of Korean modernity.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada