First Seoul International Consultation:
Christianity and Shamanism

Chapter 2

Korean Shamanism Mu )

Cha Ok Soong

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Table of Contents

Korean Shamanism Mu )

  1. Opening Remarks.
  2. Structure and Principles of the Kuts.
  3. Narim Kut:
    1. The Rite that Initiates a Charismatic Shaman.
    2. Roles of the Shaman.
  4. Meaning of the Chaesu Kut: the shrine as a place of harmony and restoration.
  5. Meaning of the Kut for the Village: the shrine as a place of festival.
  6. Meaning of the Woowhan Kut: the shrine as a place of complaint.
  7. Meaning of the Nuk Kut: a kut for the living as well as the dead.
  8. Closing Remarks.

(1)

Opening Remarks

Many Christians tend to be absolutely negative without making an effort to understand what shamanism (mu) is. That is why they tend to blame shamanism whenever any strange or negative phenomenon arises from their religions. It is also why they call ministers who deviate from the orthodox way shamans (mudang), and any negative aspects of their religions shamanistic. In particular, it is common to say that even praying for a blessing in their religions has resulted from shamanism. However, it can be seen that asking for a blessing is emphasized by all religions including shamanism, since this is one of the basic desires of human beings. The question exists about what kind of blessing or attribute they pray for. In the structure and principles of shamanism, there is a harmony of various features; so that one receives the blessing that shamanism gives when harmony, having been lost between spirits and people, and between people and people, is restored.

Now is a time to reach a correct understanding about shamanism, which has been distorted through contempt for too long. Therefore, I would like to examine the role of the shaman with regard to the Naerim kut (initiation rite of shaman), and ask whether this role is so negative. I should take this opportunity to obtain more accurate ideas about the shaman, and furthermore to reflect on the Korean churches in relation to the functions of the kuts (shamanistic rituals performed for a specific purpose).

Shamanism is one of the oldest religions in Korea. It started in ancient times and has stayed in existence, mixing with other religions such as Buddhism. In the early Chosun Dynasty, shamanism was driven to become a religion for the marginalized under disdain and suppression; and it finally came to be oppressed itself during the period of Japanese colonization. The rituals were disrupted, and shamans were arrested by the Japanese police in the middle of the kuts. After independence from Japan, a blind yearning for the rational and scientific thought of the West became a standard by which our traditional religions, including shamanism, were assessed and criticized. Later, as the new movement swept the nation in the 1970s, shamanism suffered severe insults. These have continued until today, repeatedly masking and hiding a real identity.

It has been ten years since I began to be concerned about shamanism as a scholar of religious study. I have gone to shrines and shamanistic rituals (kuts) performed around Seoul to observe them. I have endeavored to describe the structure, principles and functions of kuts, and to describe all that I have observed at the shrines. I have found it difficult to observe and explain after seeing that there is something that cannot be analyzed in shamanism. All religions contain something beyond objective analysis. I cannot help but confess how difficult it has become for me to study religions since I began to meet in person with, and to experience, those who work for traditional religions such as shamanism. The more I learn, the harder this becomes. I wish to share with you what I have recorded and felt at the shrines.

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(2)

Structure & Principles of the Kuts

The structure and principles of shamanism involve balance. A shaman puts on a sacred costume and dances to music in front of a table set up for specific spirits at each kut. The shaman delivers the spirits' message to the clients after she/he communicates with the spirits. Regular clients enjoy the benefit of meeting with the spirits through the medium of the shaman. At this time, the problems of clients are solved, and their lost balance is regained. To restore balance through the unification (unity) of heaven, earth, and people is the goal of the kut.

There are several kinds of kuts as follows: first, the Naerim kut, the rite to initiate a charismatic shaman; second, the Nuk kut, the rite that leads the spirit of a dead person into paradise; third, the Woowban kut to heal illness; fourth, the Daedong kut to pray for the well-being and cooperation of a village; fifth, the Poongnong kut to ask for a good harvest; sixth, the Yetam kut to proclaim a family event and banquet such as that of a wedding or a family member's sixtieth birthday; seventh, the Chunshin kut to pray for a family's happiness.

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(3)

Narim Kut

(3.a)

The Rite that Initiates a Charismatic Shaman

Here, I wish to explain the role and experience of the shamans during the Naerim kut (the initiation rite of a charismatic shaman). This is what I have observed and recorded at the shrines where the ritual is performed and also at the house of a well-known Korean shaman Kim Kum Wha.

The Narim kut is an initiation ritual. In other words, it is a rite of passage that is held at a turning point in one's life. Most charismatic shamans (mudangs) suffer from a mysterious illness known as shinbyung, regardless of one's sex or social position. The initiates try to be healed, but they get healthy only after accepting their fate of becoming a shaman (mudang) and then undergoing an initiation rite. Kim Yeol Kue speaks of the initiation rite as follows: the process of becoming a charismatic shaman is to intensify the suffering mind of the initiates and to transform their affliction and pain by calling upon and answering to the spirits. Through the initiation rite, neophytes become professional shamans and public persons. Shamans play the same roles as ministers of other religions do, save for the process of becoming a professional shaman through the Naerim kut. Nonetheless, shamanism has been treated contemptuously for a long time. At this point in time, I expect that we may come to more correct judgments about shamanism while looking at it from an objective point of view beyond biased prejudices.

In the past, three kinds of kuts, the Heoju kut, the Naerim kut and the Sotul kut, had to be performed for someone to become a shaman. The Heoju kut (also known as the Heotton kut or Heochim kut) was meant to defeat evil spirits and to purify the mind and body. The Naerim kut was performed three months after the Heoju kut to receive a great god or a pure spirit. A trainee who underwent the Naerim kut, led by an experienced shaman, spent many years learning how to perform the rituals and to become a great shaman. After many years when she/he finished learning the desired behavior of a shaman, including the style of performance of rituals, the new shaman underwent the Sotul kut to announce her/him as a great shaman. It is reported that a new professional shaman would finally be produced only when she/he finished undergoing these three types of kuts; and the relationship between a shinoemoni (a great shaman) and the shinddal (a neophyte, a trainee) would then be recognized. It is a trend to perform the three kuts simultaneously now; so, I shall look into the details of becoming a shaman in the Naerim kut during which a great shaman delivers the spirits' message to the trainee through songs, and puts her/his hair up while delivering the shaman's paraphernalia into the possession of the new shaman.

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(3.b)

Roles of the Shaman:
 
Priest, Prophet, Healer, Reconciler

The paraphernalia of the performance are important and sacred tools for the shamans. Neophytes become professional shamans by obtaining these accessories, such as the bell and the fan. Through songs, before delivering the fan and bell, the great shaman (shinoemoni) teaches how burdensome and lonely the way of shaman is, and teaches what a shaman's proper attitude and behavior must be.

Let us go to help and take care of the poor people wherever they are. Let us love people and even enemies although it is a one-sided love. ... Take courage again, and cheer up, when you are exhausted. Overcome all sorrow and ordeals. Look ahead into the future, and keep the right way in your mind. Think big and carefully. When you are very tired, you might fall down. However, you must stand up again even if you keep falling down. You will arrive at your own place some day if you go on, even after failing down. Come closer to me. Come on. Are you all set? Get it.

The song, quoted just above, shows how hard the way of a shaman is. We find that a great shaman teaches a trainee to take the right way and to take care of people although this is hard to do. The new shaman starts a new life with the initiation process. She/he is taught to forgive even those who, before an initiation ceremony, were enemies.

Kim Kum Wha underwent the initiation ceremony at seventeen years of age from her grandmother, a famous great shaman from Whanghae province. The grandmother looked at her granddaughter and went on weeping while performing the initiation rite. She and her granddaughter both cried loudly. The grandmother then witnessed to her experience as follows:

This is it. To love and tolerate someone by removing pent-up rancor: this is good. To comfort and to understand each other: this is this nice. I cleared up a seventeen-year-old's rancor and sorrow. I would never hate anybody, anything. ... I should live on taking care of people. I would stop hating and bothering anyone. Oh, my god, may god help and protect me. My younger days' blue sorrow, hunger, pain, hatred seem to be washed away with my flowing tears. My family members as well as my neighbors weep together in each other's arms.

The great shaman also delivers the spirits' messages that express the role and function of the shaman, and the great shaman does this very clearly while putting the new shaman's hair up during the initiation ceremony. The Shineomoni (great shaman) talks to the shinddal (neophyte), saying the following while putting her hair up and sprinkling water with a pine twig over her hair:

The holy spirit gives you all pure water: take it easy and eliminate all greed from yourself. You have to remove evil ideas from yourself, and concentrate on caring for people with a right and warm attitude. Teach the ignorant, and be a friend of the lonesome; feed the hungry and heal the sick . . .

Considering the above, we may state again that shamans assume a role that is similar to that of priests or ministers in their own ministries.

The Noktaki (a process of fortune-telling to foretell the new shaman's future) informs us about the shaman's functions, what a shaman must do. For Noktaki, seven sets of bowls are laid out on a table at the left corner of the shrine. The bowls contain pure water, rice, ashen water, money, white beans, fodder, and water from washing the rice. The pure water, the source of life, symbolizes all purity. Ash is a material that purifies the polluted, and it means that she/he will becomes famous in all directions. The rice indicates that she/he will become a good shaman who heals and takes care of people. The water from washing the rice is meant to wash away impurity of thoughts. The white beans and the fodder signify richness, wealth, obtained by feeding those to cows. If the initiate chooses the bowl with clean water, the senior shamans are pleased; whereas they are not if she chooses money.

What the process in the Noktaki tell us is that the shaman must fulfill the functions of feeding and healing people, through the help of sacred spirits, by getting rid of greed, and by purifying the mind and body.

Kim Kum Wha's proclamation, or confession, expresses the function of shamans:

In fact, I am not interested in how well I can tell fortunes, presenting the future of clients. I want only to be a shaman who leads people into the right way. The shaman is one who integrates the divisions of this world, who heals and gives comfort to the suffering.

When I asked her to tell me about her happiest moment, she said:

I have been so happy when I have treated the aged who lack relatives, when I have looked after them, giving them warm meals. The joy that I have gained by sharing something with others is a priceless treasure.

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(4)

The Meaning of the Chaesu Kut:
 
The Kutgang (the shrine) as a Place of Harmony and Restoration

The Chaesu kut is a ritual of thanksgiving and propitiation that is performed in January or October, once every three years. People sacrifice some of the year's grain to the gods, and placate them at this time. The Chaesu kut is comprised of twelve phases, or stages, in all. The regular Chaesu kut is divided primarily into a kut for the family and another for the village. If a village has experienced a year of famine, the villagers will offer a ritual praying for the well-being of the village, and they will do this in order to obtain food from wealthy families to feed the hungry. In irregular instances, the kut is performed when unexpected profits or troubles occur.

It is said that in the past a family would discuss with their elders to decide what type of ritual (kut) the family would perform, and to choose the date when they would perform it at the end of the harvest. The hostess of the family would bring water from a well near the village into her house, and would begin to brew rice wine with the clean water after taking a deep bath. A pine twig would be set in the end of a rafter of the house to point eastward, to defeat evil spirits; and yellow earth would be spread by the front gate. The members of the family would be careful so as not to get themselves into any trouble as the date of the kut approached. They would make cotton clothes; they would prepare flowers to decorate the ritual table; and they would collect the best fruits of the harvest to sacrifice to the gods. Reportedly, other housewives of the village would help the client's family by preparing food after washing themselves. They would also be very careful in their own words and deeds to show their piety to the client. Our ancestors seem to have given priority to the kutmore so than to other events of congratulations or condolence for neighbors and friends. Even at the kutof a family, the villagers would come together to share the joy or sorrow of the client. Many people would flock to the kutpan (the shrine) for the Chaesu kut; and the kutpan was the place where villagers would discuss all sorts of matters. Women, in particular, would stay up all night talking. Furthermore, this was a day when even enemies would stop fighting, and a place where even they would get along.

Unlike days of old, money does almost everything nowadays. If a client gives money to a shaman, the shaman will prepare all the necessary elements for the ritual table on behalf of the client. The atmosphere of the shrine that was once very busy and active is comparatively inactive and cold now. Despite this, the cooperation and solidarity of the village still shows through the kut, because the shrine remains a real place in their life where socio-psychological ill-feelings are overcome.

Now, I should like to examine the essential meaning of the Cheasu kut. People wish to gain an experience through which their problems will be solved, and blessings will be gained, through the kut. Their problems can be solved only as harmony is restored. As I have mentioned above, the structure and principle of the kut is balance. Normal clients meet with spirits, and listen to them, through the medium of shaman while carrying out the kut. Then and there, they experience a balance that is accomplished through the unification of heaven, earth, people. This is the goal of the kut. They may say that they are seeking luck, or this may be said about them; but let us ask what this luck might be. Park Il Young insists that the word luck or fortune should not be understood in the limited meaning of good luck in matters of money, health and longevity, but as a salvation that is given when imbalance is remedied, when balance once lost is restored.

Complex problems taking place at each stage of life result from an imbalance, shamanism says. Fortune, longevity and fame follow from the restoration of balance. The spirits' message delivered by a shaman during a kut describes this principle of the kut very well indeed:

The god of water will take care of you since you use water sparsely; and the god of the mountain will help you because you are economical with wood. Moreover, you will enjoy wealth and honor in your life thanks to filial piety.

This is not asking only for blessing, but also for good fortune" that can be obtained by the restoration of broken relationships. It is significant when the blessing that shamanism seeks is shared with others. After the kut has finished, ritual food as well as well-wishes are distributed equally to neighbors and on-lookers. Just sharing the ritual food itself is a benevolent act and a grace of god.

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(5)

The Meaning of the Kut for the Village:
 
The Shrine as a Place of Festival

The kut for the village is a festival for all the community, where villagers can wash away their ill feeling and strengthen their cooperation. The kut for the village plays a key role in breathing vitality into monotonous daily life, and encouraging villagers to maintain bonds of unity. There is fun, vitality and taste in the carnival for those who work hard. In such a kutpan (shrine), the clients, neighbors and on-lookers treat each other to food, and they dance and sing together regardless of sex or age or social position. In this sense, the kut is an open ritual to pray for blessing, and to share joys and sorrows together with pleasure.

The shrine is a place where a pious rite is performed as well as a meeting place and a pleasure ground. According to Moon Moo Byung, the kutpan is a place where people meet spirits, meet people, and meet a history that is dotted with poverty and hardship. . . . The kutpan is a resting place and a workplace. It is a field of the life of the Minjung. It is, furthermore, a venue where community members collect their thoughts.

The kut for the village carries a meaning of liberation in that it is a ritual passage and a group activity (or movement) meant to abandon the dark days of the community and leap into a world of new light. The kut shows here the power of liberation that encompasses heavy ritual with pleasure (fun), covers labor with play, relieves the oppressive feeling of labor, and embodies the sacredness of the rite in this world. The kut is meant to liberate people from the bondage of disaster and illness through ritual: the kut, in some sense, is meant to untie the tied. The kutpan is a place of life where many bad feelings are released, where great joy is achieved, and where a liberation is realized. It would be impossible to obtain this kind of great joy without communal solidarity.

Hyung Young Hak says that the Minjung can overcome deep-rooted han (grudge, hatred, or hardship) through play at an upgraded and sublime level. This experience is linked with a promise of hope and reformation. This factor of reformation is possible only when it is embodied in wit.

It is difficult to understand and overcome han, or pain, uprightly if the culture of play is not well developed. When play is suppressed, the desire for fun is expressed instead through unwholesome social phenomena; and tumultuous vigor then overwhelms healthy vitality in our society. Play has a nature and a vitality that can embody solemnity, seriousness and sacredness in this world. Play dramatized by humor and laughter is included in a kut when the main stages of the kut are over. Witty remarks and benedictions come forward, in place of the performance of the songs and dances that are used to call the spirits in the kut.

In a particular kut that I observed, a public performance for the older generation was given even during every phase, and the residents joined in. They removed deep-rooted han, anger and suffering; they regained balance; and they prayed for the prosperity and the well-being of the new year, all while serving the kut.

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(6)

The Meaning of the Woowhan Kut:
 
The Shrine as a Place of Complaint

The Woowhan kut has the same structure as the Chaesu kut. A goal of the Woowhan kut is to heal illness, but it is sometimes performed with the Chaesu kut.Those who have not been healed even by modern medicine will approach this kutpan; and a client's right and wrong deeds may be disclosed through the process of discovering the causes of a client's mysterious illness, so that the illness is healed through reconciliation between the client and the spirit.

The history of a family of the client may be revealed step by step while the kut is held. Nowadays, some are reluctant to conduct the kut in public for this reason. However, the kutpan is not only a place where wrong and right are distinguished and exposed, but also a field where balance, once broken between the living and the dead, and between the living and the living, is restored as they forgive each other. The Woowhan kut exposes events that have been forgotten or facts that have been hidden.

Kim Sung Rye confirms in his article that shamanism on Cheju Island has helped to provide historical discourse. A Minjung uprising broke out on Cheju Island on April 3, 1948, resulting from an ideological dispute between the Left and the Right. This resulted in heavy losses throughout the island. The occurrence could not be discussed in public for forty years. Any mention or reminder of the uprising became taboo. The event was nearly forgotten. The memory was passed merely from mouth to mouth, and was recalled only by dream or in a kut. Kim Sung Rye describes the following as such an instance:

There was a young adult who was at death's door because of a mysterious illness, unidentified even by contemporary medicine. So, his aunt took him to a famous shaman from Cheju Island. The night before they arrived, the Cheju shaman saw a couple in a dream: one member of the couple was bleeding from the mouth, the other was bleeding at the chest. When the ailing young adult and his aunt arrived, the shaman told them about what she had seen in the dream, adding that the young adult's parents had been killed by a gun and a bamboo spear respectively. The shaman had learned this by communicating with the spirits of the dead parents.

A kut was held to release the han of dead spirits, and to lead them into paradise; and the young adult got well. The hidden fact of history came to be disclosed through the kut. Kim describes the ritual as one through which the spirits of the dead people led their children and others into some knowledge about the history of their lives and deaths through the medium of a shaman; and Kim describes this as an historical discourse through which the history of the violence and terror involved in the deaths became known to the public, and the memory was restored.

Although shamans have been generally criticized as if they do not guarantee the social elements of life and do ignore historical aspects, we have seen that the kut for the village fulfills social functions in promoting well-being and preventing disaster of the community by strengthening their solidarity. Furthermore, we see now that a kutcan restore historical memory. In this example, the shamanistic discourse reminded the people about the April 3rd Minjung uprising, which is all the more significant because this reminder involved a potential resistance against the political world that had suppressed the facts.

Shamanism thus functions as a vehicle that speaks up and speaks out to divulge facts. We have seen other functions in this example also: the releasing of the han of the spirits of the dead who are guided to a good place when hidden facts are disclosed; and furthermore the healing of illness among the living through the restoration of their relationship with the spirits of the dead.

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(7)

Meaning of the Nuk Kut:
 
A Kut for the Living as well as the Dead

What shows the limitations of the human being so very clearly is that no-one can avoid death. Death might appear to mean the end of life. All religions, however, do not consider death to be the end of life, but see it as another starting point or another possibility. If we understand that being born brings new possibilities beyond instinctual limitations, then we can say that dying is another process of going into new possibilities. Death is not the end of life in shamanism. In shamanism, life and death, or this world and the other world, exist in a singular line, unlike the Western dualistic world ideology. To the extent that the next world exists in continuity from the present world, Korean people take death as a part of life.

Our ancestors believed that the spirits of the dead are led into a paradise where they find eternal rest through the Nuk kut (the rite for the spirits of the dead). Known by a somewhat different name in each region, the Nuk kut is a rite that prepares a way for the spirits of the dead and helps them go to heaven. It was believed that peace and prosperity would be with a family only when the spirits of their dead could enter into a good place. Therefore, the Nuk kut is a rite for the dead as well as a ritual for those remaining in this world.

The purpose of the Nuk kut is to release the han that the dead had when they were alive, and to help them leave this world without regret. It functions to assist the living in accepting the fact that a loved one is dead and to assist the living in returning to their daily lives as well. The Nuk kut provides several chances at every phase throughout the ritual to help the living realize again and again that the loved one has died.

The first phase is the Sachae Geori, which is held to win the favor of the angel of death who assumes the role of taking the dead to the king in charge of heaven. The second is the Malmi Geori where the song of Princess Bari is sung to guide the dead into paradise. The third is the Doryung Geori that prays that Princess Bari will take the dead to a good place. The whole family of the dead participate in all phases with candlelight, incense pouches, and special clothes. The Nuk kut is very important even for the living indeed, because it helps to release the han of the dead, helps the dead go to a good place, and helps to cut the deep attachments with the living.

The clients believe that the dead can enter into heaven through the Nuk kut. This is religious meaning of the Nuk kut that has been expressed in statements such as these that follow:

I feel very good after observing a Nuk kut because of the belief that the dead one will go to a good place through the Nuk kut. I would not be able to concentrate on my work and feel at ease about things unless the kut was held. Now, let me go back to my daily life at rest too.

I performed the Nuk kut because I believe that my parents would pass into an easy death through it. I take it for granted that I should observe the Nuk kut when I hear it said where life starts and ends.

I thought how I might unloose the han my parents; and I feel quite relieved now that I have observed the kut for my parents. My parents died when my youngest brother was two years old. How deplorable that was.

We can affirm through the stories of their experiences that clients do feel relieved after having the kut, because they believe that the deceased have gone to a good place. Furthermore, we can see that the living accept the death of the loved one as a reality and become determined to have a full life themselves after the kut.

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(8)

Closing Remarks

I have reflected on shamanism on the basis of the performance of the kut rather than from an historical overview. I have pointed out that there is balance in the structured principles of the kut, and that the purpose of the kut is to restore balance through the unity of heaven, earth and people.

When we heed the insights given above, I believe that we can understand why shamanism has survived until now. Human beings want to be blessed ever more. Shamanism teaches that blessings come only as balance is restored. The kut is a sacred ritual presented for gods as well as a play-ground for people. Specifically, the kutpan is a point where gods meet with people and also where people meet with people. People pray for each others' blessings, and share food and dance together; they release han, they regain their relationships that had been broken, and they regain a balance that had been lost, while they perform the kut. Even the activity of sharing blessings together is conducted, coordinated, in the kut.Through attention to shamanism, we can catch a glimpse into the Korean religious disposition.

What I would like to emphasize again is that shamanism is not a religion that only asks for blessing, and that the disposition to pray for blessings does not come from shamanism alone. The basic principle is balance.

While Christianity prays in the name of Jesus Christ, we will find unorthodox dogmas and phenomena in Christianity. It is not right for us to say that things heretical or unorthodox in the churches or in Christianity have come from shamanism.

What the Church usually stresses is individual faith for one's self and blessing through power in the name of Jesus. This neglects the fact that he was born as a son of a poor carpenter, he lived his whole life for the marginalized and the abandoned, and he was crucified to save sinners. Anything else is not orthodox Christianity. Although it might not be the proper Christian disposition, the desire to avoid disaster, to obtain ever more blessings, and to live comfortably is an overwhelming disposition among people. The question is not whether people seek blessings. The question exists about the kind of blessings one seeks and about the characteristics of the blessings for which one prays.

Let me refer to the titles of the prayers known to have been offered by members of a numerous six-hundred membership at the Easter Sunday Worship Service in 1995:

  • Prayer for the well-being and health of their family (35 instances).
  • Prayer for profound faith of the family (11).
  • Prayer for health and prosperity of their business (8).
  • Prayer of gratitude for answers to prayers (2).
  • Prayer for gratitude for a son's discharge from military service (1).
  • Prayer for the success of a doctorial dissertation (1).

These are titles of prayers offered at Easter. Shall we find individual church members praying for matters relevant to Easter, or asking for the security and peace of neighbors and nations? Furthermore, I have checked the weekly bulletins published from 1994 to May 1995, in order to ascertain the titles of prayers recorded in the announcement columns. The prayers that these members asked in church were for prosperous business, health, happiness of family, advancement in children's career, and so on. All these prayers are limited to personal affairs. Why should we think of our own prayers for ourselves and our families to be holy and right while we speak ill of others' similar prayers? We should reflect on the kinds of prayers that we do offer.

To ask for blessings and receive blessings is not bad. In shamanism, the blessing that is given for the restoration of relationships and of balance is a blessing that lasts long when it is shared with neighbors. This is not so different from Christianity. The blessing that God grants can be embodied in our life when it is implemented as love and concern for our neighbors and for the marginalized, and when its joy is shared with them. It would be best if Christians would devote their life to others, including the alienated in this society, just as Jesus Christ made the sacrifice to deliver humankind from sin by being crucified.

Seo Kwang Sun argues that the vitality and liberty of shamanism can be a cultural factor to revive the movement of the Spirit in Christianity. I agree with him. The Korean religious disposition should be clarified so that Christianity may be reborn and may take its root in this real ground, getting rid of the criticism that Christianity is too bureaucratic and too ceremonial. I would like to make a careful suggestion that the church is then likely to be converted into a field of life, a place to restore the peace and balance of its community and to inspire vitality into itself. If we stick to the Church as it is at present, without a clear knowledge of our people's religious tendencies, then an outer and artificial Christianity will continue to march on into the future.
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