Current Status and Tasks of Religious Liberal Arts Education: Focusing on the Case of Dongguk University curriculum

Eunyoung Kim1,*   

1Dongguk University


College liberal art is a basic higher education and has an important influence on life after graduation. However, the liberal arts education of Korean colleges has lost its original educational meaning and has not found its direction for a long time. Besides, liberal arts education related to religion at the university is facing multi-layered difficulties by adding human rights issues such as religious freedom. The purpose of this study was to analyze the status of religious education based on the current status of liberal arts education at Dongguk University, a leading Buddhist institution in Korean Buddhism, and to reflect on the fundamental role of the college and to suggest desirable directions for improvement.

The declaration of values for liberal arts education at Dongguk University began with the establishment of the Dharma College in 2014 and the revision of related regulations in 2018. The regulation also states that the founding philosophy based on Buddhism should be reflected in liberal arts education. However, the fact that some subjects in some areas are related to Buddhism does not mean that liberal arts education as a whole embodies the founding philosophy. Although the purpose of the reorganization, which was conducted several times, was not closely linked to religious education, various subjects of convergence have recently been introduced.

In the future, based on the hwajaeng (和諍) thought, the Council for Strengthening Religious Education was formed to suggest that religious institutional education for Buddhist universities should be established. As a concrete measure, Buddhist education as liberal art will be provided to cultivate students as a hwajaeng-style talent of Buddhism as a universal religion. It is hoped that the Buddhist school will complete the new model of the liberal arts curriculum that embodies religious specificity. And it will demonstrate the creative convergence of religious specialties and universality of education.

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