ABSTRACT

This chapter focuses on Venerable Pomnyun and his Jungto Society, a lay-oriented Buddhist activist organization in South Korea. By examining the Jungto Society’s Buddhist roots and its Engaged Buddhist activities, the chapter illustrates Pomnyun’s Buddhist vision of an ideal society and world. The chapter starts with a vignette to capture Pomnyun’s public profile in South Korea, followed by a brief outline of the history of the Jungto Society. Then, it examines the Jungto Society’s major operations in order to understand Pomnyun’s vision of the ideal society— “a world where individuals are happy, societies are peaceful, and nature is preserved”—and analyzes how his talks and publications advance these ideas. The chapter ends with critical discussion of how Pomnyun’s vision has been perceived in South Korean society at large.