This article examines how the Korean Daoism of the 19th century developed from three religious organizations: Three key elements will be examined in this study: the expansion of the worship of Guanwoo, the importance of gangpil and gameung, and the publication of Daoist books through the religious organization Musangdan. This article will firstly examine how Guanwoo belief was systemized by the Joseon government and show its prevalence in the 19th century. It will secondly call attention to the importance of gangpil and gameung. Thirdly, it will look at the publication of a wide range of Daoist scriptures in the Joseon dynasty. In the 20th century, new Korean religions required a heightened racial consciousness and a stronger national identity. Among the new religions, “Daejongyo,” which was active in the resistance movement against Japan in Manchuria during the period of Japanese colonial rule, is a representative example. New religions, namely, ethno-national faiths, made Guanwoo the major God and actively accepted the use of spells and talismans. These characteristics imply that new religions should receive attention as a continuation of folk Daoism in the late Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), and not as a new type of religion which suddenly appeared. The origins of new religions in the latter era of the Joseon dynasty can be found in folk Daoism. They then continued to develop over the latter part of the Joseon dynasty and the early 20th century, while their folk Daoist heritage also continued to exert a great effect on the ideological and ritualistic composition of each new religion.
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