In 1392 when Choson replaced Koryo from the Korean peninsula, many differences occurred. Since Choson was successor of Koryo, Koryo could have been seen similar to its predecessor in a certain extent, but Choson was a whole new country. Foreign relations, military, society, and religion had all changed especially the religion. The founding of Choson can be interpreted as a religious revolution because reform-minded Confucian scholars wanted to a change.
In Late Koryo, Buddhism had corrupted so much that even one of their own members wrote to fix a decadence in their religion. Confucians scholars blamed the Buddhists’ mismanagement to justify their action of building a new dynasty . The shift of a state from Buddhism to Neo-Confucianism with the transition from Koryo to Choson is well-known, but it needs to be broken down into pieces to observe the changes that occurred. Religious status of late Koryo, religious status of Choson, and impact of changes politically and socially must be carefully observed and will be described in more detail below.
Religious Status of Late Koryo
Buddhism was first introduced to Korean peninsula during the Three Kingdoms period by the foreign monks. By the time of Late Silla, Buddhism had become integral part of the culture and was a state religion of Koryo. Due to people of Koryo choosing to endow temples in concern of operations of the temples, Buddhist establishment obtained large landholdings and an accumulated wealth.