Life, Medicine, and Religion in Korea and Southeast Asia

Life, Medicine, and Religion in Korea and Southeast Asia

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Room 202, Rosenkranz Hall & Room 101, 230 Prospect Street See map

 The 5th Yale-Ewha Conference invites a group of eight scholars working on the interconnection of life, medicine, and religion in Korea and Southeast Asia. Following upon last year’s conference which focused on ecology and environmental issues, this conference turns to the topic of life, religion, and medicine. Special attention will be given to the following issues: how religions define the word “life as well as the meaning of life; the ethical frameworks religions develop for living this life; the ways in which religions exhort human beings to understand their existence; what religions teach about transforming oneself, uphold or embody the ideals of that religion; the connection between medicine and life in achieving religious ideals; specific medical practices from religious traditions implemented in the modern era that maximize human potential physically, psychologically, soteriologically, and salvifically. Scholars will provide insights on the complexities of these questions by drawing from their expertise in literature, history, and medical science. Through in-depth conversations, the conference will ultimately imagine a theoretical framework in which to locate the role of religion in the relationship between life and medicine in the increasingly secularized societies of Korea and Southeast Asia.


Erik Braun (University of Virginia), “Seeing through Mindfulness: Bare Attention, Brain States, and the Formation of the Self.”

Julia Cassaniti (Washington State University), “Moving Bodies, Moving Time: Implications of Impermanence for Medical and Religious Practice in Southeast Asia”

Jinhee Kim (Ewha Womans University), “The Problem of ‘Life’ in Literary Theory of the Early Twentieth Century”

Hwansoo Kim (Religious Studies, Yale University), “Chinese Lay Buddhist Yu Guanbin (1891–1933) and his Medicine Buddhism in Republican China.”

Seonhee Kim (Ewha Womans University), “From B. Hobson (1816–1873)’s Treatise on Physiology to Choi Han-ki’s the Study of Gi: The Influx of Western Medical Science into the 19th Century Joseon and the Extension of Confucianism”

Youn-mi Kim (Ewha Womans University), “Body inside Body: Used Garments and Living Statues in Korean Buddhism.”

Hyon Ju Lee (Ewha Womans University), “Vaccinations and missionaries in late 19th to mid 20th century.”

C. Michele Thompson (Southeast Asian history, Southern Connecticut State University), “The Life of the Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Physician Tuệ Tĩnh: Medicine, Religion, and the Environment in 14th Century Ðai Việt (Vietnam).”

Co-sponsors: Ewha Institute for the Humanities, Hansaeyes24 Foundation
Korea, Transregional, Southeast Asia