A change of dynasties often attracts the attention of scholars and historians, who typically generate a plethora of theories and explanations for the change. Because this type of dynastic change was comparatively rare in Korea's history, the fourteenth-century transition from Koryŏ (918–1392) to Chosŏn (1392–1910) truly stands out as a unique moment in the country's history. It was also enormously consequential to the history of Korean Buddhism. Increasingly sharp criticisms were leveled at the Buddhist establishment in the late Koryŏ period, with attacks coming from a small but growing number of scholar-officials who were apparently influenced by the neo-Confucian teachings that had been recently introduced from China. With the inauguration of a new dynasty, and as the ranks of these reformist officials grew and their political power expanded, a process ensued of eradicating state support of Buddhism and curtailing the religion's power and prestige. Especially noteworthy was a gradual shift...

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