This outline of Korea’s civilisation is a cultural history that examines the ways the Korean people over the past two millennia understood the world and viewed their place in society. In the traditional era, the interaction between several broad religious and philosophical traditions and social institutions, state interests and, at times, external pressures, provides the framework of the story. In the modern era, the chief concern is with the rapid and momentous cultural changes that have occurred over the past one and a half centuries in the idea and spread of education, the rise in influence of students, the development of mass culture, the redefinition of gender, and the continuing importance of religion.
Kenneth Wells, Ph.D. (1985), Australian National University, is a Research Fellow at the University of Auckland. He has published monographs and numerous articles on Korean history, including
New God, New Nation: Protestants and Self-Reconstruction Nationalism in Korea,1896-1937 (Allen & Unwin, 1991).
University students undertaking Korean history or civilisation courses and their instructors, high-school teachers, and the educated public interested in Korea.