조선후기 왕실원당(王室願堂)의 사회적 기능 = The Types and Functions of the Royal Buddhist Shrine(王室願堂) in late Joseon Dynasty
The Royal Buddhist Shrine(王室願堂) is a temple that a donator is involved in foundation, restoration and donation of it almost monopolistically, and manages the temple and offer a prayer. The Royal Buddhist Shrine is a term that has been shown only in Korean history book since Shilla(新羅) period.
In this paper, the topics will be existing types of royal buddhist society and buddhism in late Joseon Dynasty. The Royal Buddhist Shrine is a temple of praying a blessing. In a wide meaning, The Royal Buddhist Shrine is a temple that pray a blessing for the royal family. In a narrow sense, it is a temple that deifies The royal family's memorial tablets and holds a memorial service of the royal family. I define the Royal Buddhist Shrine as a temple that is supported by the royal family financially and given immunity from taxation and exempted from public labor.
Since Sung Confucianism had became the doctrine of the founding country in Joseon Dynasty, Buddhist society became withered and the social function of Buddhism became small. Joseon noble men(士大夫) excluded Buddhism and Joseon government took the slaves and lands of Buddhist temples.
However, nevertheless the governmental policy, royal family held various Buddhist functions continuously. So in early Joseon Dynasty, the temples being located in Kyongkido(京畿道) and very famous mountains performed royal Buddhist rituals being designated as the Royal Buddhist Shrine and Suryuksa(水陸社). Though most national Buddhist rituals were abolished, the Royal Buddhist shrine survived until the late Joseon Dynasty. Yet there were some changes of the type and characteristics in the royal temples.
In this paper, I thought about the type and character of the Royal Buddhist Shrine. The first chapter says about the foundation background and present condition of the Royal Buddhist Shrine.
The second chapter divides the Royal Buddhist Shrine into three types according to foundation purposes. The first type is a temple that protects tombs of the king and his relations. Another is one that keeps the navel cord of the king and princes. Thirdly, the other is a special one that is located in a capital city.
The third chapter says about functions of the Royal Buddhist Shrine in late Joseon Dynasty. In the late Joseon Dynasty, the Royal Buddhist Shrine was founded continuously. It shows the social characteristics of Buddhism at that time. In spite of the policies of suppressing Buddhism, the Royal Buddhist Shrine was protected by the royal family and government. It is because the royal family needed temples to charge buddhist rituals and sources to levy taxes. So the functions of Wondang are divided into religious one and economical one.
At first, the Royal Buddhist Shrine is a institution to worship ancestors. Buddhist Shrine had functioned as a facility to worship prior kings and queens since the period of the Three Kingdoms, however in the late Joseon Dynasty, it was mainly founded for the relations of king that could not been laid in the royal Ancestors Shrine, according to the confucius order of rank.
Secondly, the Royal Buddhist Shrine took charge of Buddhist rituals of the royal family. Independently of national policy that suppress Buddhism, the royal family believed in Buddhism persistently. So they needed a temple to undertake their Buddhist rituals. In the late Joseon Dynasty, national Buddhist rituals were abolished, but the Royal Buddhist Shrine was continuously founded. This shows the social status of Buddhism that prays for one's welfare in the future life and pays a tribute to spirituals.
Thirdly, the Royal Buddhist Shrine is a base of royal finance. The royal family could reduce expenses of Buddhist rituals through appointment of a temple as the Royal Buddhist Shrine, and could collect taxes from it. Temples also were delighted with being appointed as the Royal Buddhist Shrine, because they could get out of the exploitation of Confucian scholars.
As we could see from the above, the Royal Buddhist Shrine in the late Joseon dynasty, could survive because of the royal family’s belief in Buddhism and needs of the nation.
In this journal, the main points are background of founding, types and functions of the Royal Buddhist Shrine. In addition to this, changes of the Royal Buddhist Shrine shows the characteristics of Buddhism in late Joseon Dynasty.
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