Buddhist philosophy, Korean

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G201-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 04, 2022, from

2. Unified Silla period (668–935 ad)

This period was one of religious maturity and innovation; as such, it represented the culmination of Buddhist influence in Korea, both culturally and doctrinally. Buddhism fully blossomed and flourished at this time, reaching heights that it would never see again. On the one hand, influences from China were still felt, as new schools of thought were introduced by Silla monks returning from the Tang dynasty. On the other hand, Korean Buddhist scholarship by such eminent monks as Wônhyo (617–86) played an important role in the development of Chinese Buddhist thought as well. However, unlike the Tang tendency towards sectarianism, Unified Silla leaned towards a synthesis of various aspects of Buddhist thought into a type of interdenominational philosophy, the so-called t’ong pulgyo, or Buddhism of total interpenetration. The syncretic approach of Korean Buddhist philosophy can be best understood under the following headings: the reconciliation of doctrinal disputes, the Silla Hwaom School, the Silla Vijñānavāda School, and the introduction of Sôn (Chan) Buddhism from China.

Citing this article:
Cho, Sungtaek. Unified Silla period (668–935 ad). Buddhist philosophy, Korean, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G201-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2022 Routledge.

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