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Buddhist-Led Rural Community Rebuilding in the Republic of Korea from the Indra’s Net Perspective

Jungho Suh ()
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Jungho Suh: Geography, Environment and Population, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 16, 1-15

Abstract: This paper zeros in on Buddhist-led community rebuilding with a special reference to Sannae District in Namwon, Jeonbuk Province in the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Until the 1990s, the district witnessed the traditional sense of community rapidly disappearing along with tidal rural-urban migration and agricultural industrialisation. Since the late 1990s, Silsang-sa , an about 1200-year-old Buddhist monastery located in the rural district, has strived to help revitalise the rural community. Reverend Tobŏp, the head monk of the monastery, brought attention to the overarching Buddhist doctrines of ‘dependent arising’ and ‘Indra’s Net’ that every phenomenon arises only in relation to others. To start with, in 1998 Reverend Tobŏp set up an organic agriculture training camp on Silsang-sa Farm for prospective rural migrants. In 2001, he established Silsang-sa Small School , which is an alternative secondary school with Buddhist ecology and economics included in the curriculum. Owing to increasing in-migration, Sannae District has gradually evolved into a socially and economically vibrant and sustainable community in which a variety of social clubs and commercial cooperatives have burgeoned.

Keywords: rural sustainability; Buddhist ecology; Silsang-sa; dependent arising; Indra’s Net (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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