Journal of Daesoon Thought and the Religions of East Asia
The Daesoon Academy of Sciences


Carole M. CUSACK1
1The University of Sydney, Australia

© Copyright 2024 The Daesoon Academy of Sciences. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Mar 31, 2024

This is the sixth issue of Journal of Daesoon Thought and the Religions of East Asia in our fourth year of publication. It feels that the culture the publisher Daejin Academy of Sciences (DAOS) and the Editorial Board have sought to build through this new publication and the annual JDTREA Conference that serves as an incubator for articles featured in JDTREA have matured. JDTREA continues to build a global readership with interest in Asian religions, new religions from Asia now found in the West, and the Korean new religion Daesoon Jinrihoe. In particular, we are committed to bringing the work of Asian scholars, which to date has not been that prominent for Anglophone scholars, to a far greater audience.

As has become JDTREA tradition, this issue contains six articles, three of which are about aspects of Daesoon Jinrihoe and three of which examine broader topics in Asian religions. The first article is by Cha Seonkeun (Daejin University, Korea) and is titled “God Always Find a Way”: The Crisis of Civilization and Its Overcoming through the Worldview of Daesoon Jinrihoe” This research focuses on civilizational crises, both historical and contemporary, and argues that religion can play a role in aiding humans to overcome such upheavals. This perspective is illustrated by an analysis of the key Daesoon Jinrihoe theological doctrine of “grievance resolution for mutual beneficence.” The second contribution is by Zhang Shuqing (Nanjing University, China). This article is titled “Writing Miracles and Denominational Establishment: On the Belief Narratives about the Ancestor of Quanzhen Daoism” and investigates the image of the ancestor of Quanzhen Daoism from a narrative perspective, also evaluating the influence of this image on the development of Quanzhen Daoism in terms of belief, genealogy, and the compilation of sacred history.

Next is Dominic Rutana's (SWPS University, Poland) examination of attitudes to animal rights, broadly conceived of, in “Ethical Obligations of Humankind towards Animals and Its Implications for Korean Religions: Focusing on Korean Buddhism and Daesoon Thought.” Using two normative ethical theories – virtue ethics and the ethics of care – Rutana examines potential solutions to the issue of discrimination against non-human animals in contemporary society and traces its implications for Korean religions. The fourth article is “Messianism in Civilizational History: Transformation of the Buddhist Messiah via the Maitreya Symbol” by Dinh Hong Hai (Vietnam National University-Hanoi City, Vietnam). This research examines current global disasters (wars, the climate crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic) and evaluates theological ideas of the end times and the anticipated messiah in Buddhism.

Next is Grace J. Song's (Won Institute of Graduate Studies, USA) “Won Buddhism in America: Exploring Ways to Balance Tradition and Innovation.” This is a lively and interesting account of the fifty-year history of Won Buddhism in the United States, which has a strong sociological slant. The shift from a Korean religion taking root in America to a Korean-origin religion that has become thoroughly Americanised is one found in many migrant religions in colonial countries like the United States, Australia, and Canada, for example. The final research contribution is by Xu Mingqian (National Chengchi University, Taiwan), and is titled “Death Cannot Be Seen: The Mortuary Rites of a Contemporary Monastic.” This is a fascinating analysis of the expectations of a religious community when a revered leader dies. The religion is Buddhism and the leader is Venerable Hsing Yun (1927–2023), the founder of Fo Guang Shan; the article ranges over time and across signs of holiness and rituals accompanying death, the transformation of a living leader into an otherworldly being.

The journal issue is completed by reviews supplied by the Review Editor, Professor Holly Folk (Western Washington University). As ever, gratitude is due to Bae Kyuhan, Lee Gyungwon, Jason Greenberger, and Choi Wonhyuk from Daejin University, and to the authors and referees who made this issue happen. It is a pleasure to complete the third volume of JDTREA, and I hope that this issue will be of use to scholars around the world.