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Miracles in Korea

Translated by Dal-Yong Kim

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Dal-Yong Kim

Miracles in Korea is a collection of thirty-eight stories about Korean mountain wizards, Taoist hermits with supernatural powers, divine Taoists, and divine beings, who enjoy perennial youth, longevity, and immortality, and sometimes ascend to heaven. Its author, Hong Manjong (1643-1725), drew upon A Survey of the Geography of Korea and several unauthorized chronicles and compiled the stories in chronological order from the Ancient Joseon Age (2333 B.C.-346) to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Jeong Dugyeong drew up the «Preface» to this collection, Song Siyeol wrote the «Postscript», and Hong Manjong’s adopted son added some anecdotes. Hong Manjong showed that the idea of a mountain wizard and Taoist thought had always existed as underlying presences within Korean history. He implicitly argued against the widespread belief that they failed to develop religious denominations or cultural sects. Miracles in Korea enumerates a large number of anecdotal details in illustration of the idea of mountain wizardry and presents the idea as an inherent traditional form of Korean spirituality that later merged with Taoist thought.

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