Reliģiski-filozofiski raksti, XXX
Latvijas Universitāte. Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūts
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Many distinct aspects of Korean spirituality and education in the context of cross-cultural communication were discussed at the 2nd online conference of the Baltic Association for Korean Studies (BAKS), which was held at the University of Latvia on 26 and 27 November 2020. The international conference organised by the University of Latvia covered a wide range of topics that sparked discussions among researchers, teaching staff and students: Korea’s national religious movements, which invite comparison to the national romanticism of 19th-century Eastern Europe or 20th-century neopaganism in the Baltics; the effect of Christianity on Korean literature, which is reminiscent of the Moravian mission to Latvia and Estonia; issues of Korean expat identity, which helps us to understand the plight of people swept up in waves of emigration from the Baltic states; a comparison of historical interpretations in Korea and Lithuania as an interesting example of similar views of the past in Europe and East Asia; recommendations for teaching the Korean language at European universities as a tool for communication and a carrier of cultural information; the role of pop culture in the context of complex geopolitical relations; the integration of ancient cultural heritage into contemporary literature; the synthesis of local and foreign traditions in philosophy. The speakers represented a range of disciplines in the humanities from history to linguistics and literature, to accentuate the need for an interdisciplinary approach to comparative studies of culture. The reports are available in the form of research articles in this special issue of the journal, which presents analogies between the societies of East Asia and Europe in a new light for a better understanding of the “similarities and “differences” and perhaps a forecast of the future of humanity from the dual vantage points of Korea and the Baltics.