Cultural Blending in Korean Death Rites examines the cultural encounter of Confucianism and Christianity with particular reference to death rites in Korea. As its overarching interpretive framework, this book employs the idea of the ‘total social phenomenon', a concept first introduced by the French anthropologist Marcel Mauss (1872-1950).
From the perspective of the total social phenomenon, this book utilizes a combination of theological, historical, sociological and anthropological approaches, and explores Korean death rites by classifying them into three categories: ritual before death (Bible copying), ritual at death (funerary rites),and ritual after death (ancestral ritual). It focuses on Christian practices as they epitomize the complex interplay of Confucianism and Christianity. By drawing on a total social phenomenon approach to the empirical case of Korean death rites, Chang-Won Park contributes to the advancement of theory and method in religious studies.