Korean Magical Medicine: Healing Talismans in Korean Buddhism


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


Religious Studies


The primary goal of my book project, titled Korean Magical Medicine: Healing Talismans in Korean Buddhism, is to understand what socio-cultural, religious, medicinal, and material roles talismans played in the life of ordinary people in pre-modern Korea. Believers engaged with talismans through various ritual actions, from wearing them or performing chants with them, to placing them over affected body parts or even ingesting them. The book argues that one of the most profound and lasting imprints of Korean Buddhist practice was healing, and that healing talismans carried out a paramount role in sustaining and systematizing Korean Buddhism during the Choson period.