Monday, May 9, 2011

Daehaeng Sunim and Kim Dong Hwan's "The Perpetual Today" and "As Your One Thought Becomes Dharma" Performed by the Hanmaum Seonwon Choir

Tomorrow, Korean Buddhists celebrate Vesākha, a.k.a. Buddha's Birthday. We might call the music above an example of reverse inculturation, showing as it does Western Christian influence on local religion. The instruments, besides the piano, may be Korean, but the scale is Western. (This is what real Korean music sounds like — Sarangga Performed by An Suksŏn, Yi Bonggŭn, and Cho Yongsu.) On the Buddhist channel, I've even seen monks with acoustic guitars imitating Contemporary Christian Music™, much to my horror.

For the day, two articles of mine; one on the cordial relationship between Korea's Catholics and Buddhists — 'Tis the Season of Interreligious Dialogue — and another on how the story of the Enlightened One came to Europe in the Middle Ages — The Feast of Saint Bodhisattva.

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

I'm sorry to hear about the Buddhist monks with the guitars. If I had my way, the Vatican would issue an edict banning guitars, tambourines, drums, electric bass guitars, banjos, dobros, steel guitars and synthesizers from all church buildings.

One of the indicators of the collapse of a religion is the degeneration of its music.

2:57 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Pope Ratzinger did say as much, but of course, he's only the Pope, and very few listened. I remember a few weeks after his pronouncement assisting a Filipino mass here in Korea in which electric guitars were employed It was awful, of course.

"One of the indicators of the collapse of a religion is the degeneration of its music." Confucius knew as much, as did the Pagan Greeks, in their wisdom.

2:57 PM  

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