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퇴옹 성철의 현실 참여 문제 一考=Socially Engaged Matters of Seongcheol in a Period of Conflict
Author 박경준 (著)=Park, Kyoung-joon (au.)
Source 선문화연구=禪文化硏究=Studies of Seon Culture
Volumev.17 n.0 만해 용운스님 70주기 추모특집
Pages291 - 314
PublisherThe Korean Institute of Buddhist Seon
Publisher Url
LocationKorea [韓國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
Note저자정보: 동국대학교 불교학부 교수
Keyword성철=Seongcheol; 민중불교=Minjung Buddhism; 현실참여=Social Engagement; 수행자=Practitioner; 사회적 회향=Social Dedication of Merit; 간접적 참여=Indirect Participation
Abstract1980년대는 실로 격동의 시기였고 갈등의 시기였다. 현실 참여를 지향하는 민중불교가 불교의 새로운 흐름으로 자리매김했던 시대에, 퇴옹의 행보는 어떠했는지를 알아보고 그와 관련된 문제에 대해 살피는 것이 본 논문의 중심 과제이다.
퇴옹은 출가수행자로서 그 청빈한 삶과 투철한 수행 때문에 개인적으로는 불교인뿐만 아니라 대한민국 국민의 존경을 받았다. 하지만 13년간 대한불교조계종 종정이라는 불교계 최고의 공적 위치에서 있으면서 민중의 고통과 정치적 현실을 외면한, 역사의식이 결핍된 인물로 비판받기도 한다. 퇴옹은 국가적으로나 교단적으로 참으로 혼란스런 갈등의 시대를 살았다. 국가적으로는 5.18광주민주항쟁과 쿠데타로 인한 고난이, 불교적으로는 10.27법난의 시련이 있었으며, 특히 1980년대에는 민중불교라는 새로운 불교운동이 전국적으로 확산되었다. 이러한 격동의 시대상황에도 불구하고 퇴옹은 오히려 출가자로서의 본분을 지키는 것이 최선이라는 신념과 수행자의 참모습을 구현하여 추락한 불교계의 위상을 높이려는 사명감을 견지했던 것으로 생각된다.
겉으로 드러난 은둔적인 삶의 모습과는 달리, 퇴옹은 늘상 대중과의 소통을 위해 노력했고 수행과 기도불공의 사회적 회향을 중시했다. 그가 출가자로서 계율을 철저히 지키고 불자들에게 내적인 수행을 강조하여 가르쳤던 것은 출가자로서의 사회적 의무와 책무를 다하려는 사회의식의 발로 때문으로 판단되며, 그의 행적은 은둔과 회피라기보다는 오히려 간접적 참여였고 소극적(개인표현지향형) 사회운동에 속한다고 추정된다. “산은 산이요, 물은 물이로다”라는 법어도 불교적 또는 선적 진리만이 아니라 정치적 메시지를 담고 있는 중의적(重意的) 표현의 산물이라고 볼 수도 있다.

In the 1980s Korea underwent a period of conflict and turbulence, during which Minjung Buddhism (Buddhism for the masses or engaged Buddhism) rose to the forefront as a new social ideology(social thought). The purpose of this paper is to explore how, during this period, Master Toeong Seongcheol (1912~1993) served as an exemplar of Buddhist practices and though, and whether or not his approach was problematic.
A renouncer monk, Toeong Seongcheol has been respected not only by Buddhist monks and laity, but also by Koreans in general, due to his lifelong pursuit of simple living and his enthusiastic practice. Moreover, he served for thirteen years as both the Seventh and Eight Patriarch of the Jogye Order. Nevertheless, he has been often criticized because he avoided directly addressing political issues and he is thought to have ignored people’s suffering despite having lived and served in an era of extraordinary conflict, both nationally and within the Korean Buddhist community. Thus, in some respects he has been dismissed as a lacking in historical consciousness.
Nationally, the most tragic and disgraceful example of Buddhist community conflict to which Toeong Seongcheol is alleged to have turned a blind eye is the massacre and subsequent sympathetic uprising associated with the Gwangju Democratization Movement in May 1980. In the Buddhist community, there was suppression (‘purification’) of the Buddhist temples and orders by force under the statute known as 10.27 Beopnan beginning in October 1980. In the wake of the crackdown a new movement, Minjung Buddhism, arose and quickly spread throughout the country. Despite the tumultuous era, Toeong Seongcheol emphasized the Buddhist renouncer’s duty to focus on the true figures of Buddhist practitioner as the best way. It seems to me that his practices led him to believe that this primary responsibility was to improve the status of Buddhism under these strains.
On the other hand, in spite of his ostensible seclusion, Toeong Seongcheol regularly communicated with ordinary people to whom he emphasized the social importance of the dedication of merit from practice and prayer including repetition of the name of the Buddha. As a renouncer he strictly adhered to the Vinaya rules and encouraged Buddhists to practice what he considered to be their intrinsic social responsibilities. His religious life seemed to emphasize indirect social engagement rather than either complete seclusion or direct activism-a practice that might best be summarized as a personal expression-oriented approach culminating in a passive social movement. In this respect it might be said that the dharma phrase, “Mountain is mountain, water is water”, is not only true of Buddhism or Seon Buddhism, but political messages as well, and therefore, it seems to be pregnant with double meaning.
Table of contentsⅠ. 머리말 292
Ⅱ. 퇴옹의 불교관 294
Ⅲ. 퇴옹의 현실참여 문제 299
Ⅳ. 맺음말 307
ISSN1975857X (P); 26715708 (E)
Created date2022.07.23
Modified date2022.07.23

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