CANCELED - Lost Graves and Recycled Mourning Sheds: How the Late Koryo; Elite Took the Drama out of Afterlife

Thu April 23rd 2020, 4:30 - 6:00pm
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Stanford Global Studies Division, Center for East Asian Studies
East Asia (Lathrop) Library, Room 224, 518 Memorial Way
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CANCELED - Lost Graves and Recycled Mourning Sheds: How the Late Koryo; Elite Took the Drama out of Afterlife

Speaker: Juhn Ahn

About the talk:

Almost three decades ago, the desecration of a pair of graves near the border with North Korea led to discovery of the “lost” grave of assistant chancellor Kwŏn Chun (1281-1352). What Kwŏn’s elegantly decorated grave revealed was a world where the elite used their wealth to infuse the afterlife with a sense of individual drama. But this world, like Kwŏn’s grave and the Buddhist monastery that guarded it, was lost. It was replaced by a world regulated strictly by standardized "Confucian" ritual where the ancestors of families of equal social standing occupied the same, indistinguishable postmortem space. In this new world of standardized family rituals it made more sense to follow the example of assistant chancellor Yun T’aek (1289-1370) who deemed it appropriate to honor his ancestors in a recycled mourning shed. This talk will explain the historical conditions that led to this remarkable transformation.

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.

About the speaker:

Juhn Y. Ahn is Associate Professor of Buddhist and Korean Studies at the University of Michigan and the author of Buddhas and Ancestors: Religion and Wealth in Fourteenth-Century Korea (University of Washington Press, 2018), Transgression in Korea: Beyond Resistance and Control (University of Michigan Press, 2018), and Gongan Collections I, Collected Works of Korean Buddhism, Vol. 7-1 (Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, 2012). His current research focuses on the economic history of Korea during the Koryŏ period (918-1392), reading practices in Song-dynasty (960-1279) Chan Buddhism, and the cultural history of weather and wealth during the Chosŏn period (1392-1910) in Korea.

This event is part of the Korean Humanities at Stanford Lecture Series.

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