IMS seminar aurora
IMS seminar

Maria Hasfeldt and Martin van der Linden, PhD presentations

Welcome to the weekly IMS seminar!

This week Maria Hasfeldt and Martin van der Linden (IMS & Global Humanities
PhD students), will present their PhD projects.

About the seminar

Maria HasfeldtChanges of Heaven: Role of Ch’ŏn (天) and Kyŏng (敬) in the Diagrams of The Mandate of Heaven by the Korean 16th-Century Philosopher, T’oegye Yi Hwang

The Korean Neo-Confucian philosopher, T’oegye Yi Hwang (退溪,李滉 1501-1570), based the worldview developed in the Discussion of the Diagrams of the Mandate of Heaven (天命圖說, Ch’ŏn Myŏng To Sŏl), around the fundamental cosmological concept, Ch’ŏn (天). Together with the self-cultivation of Kyŏng (敬), Ch’ŏn changes its position throughout the diagrams. This paper will investigate the changing position of Ch’ŏn and its relationship with Kyŏng as visualized in the diagrams, as well as look at the concepts’ overall role in the Diagrams of the Mandate of Heaven. Lastly, it shows the transmission of religious themes in T’oegye’s works and in a larger Korean Neo-Confucian context.

The material consists of five visual diagrams and a discussion, which have had little attention compared to the Four-Seven Debate (四七論, Sach’illon), which was composed simultaneously with the diagrams. Despite the little attention, the Diagrams of the Mandate of Heaven offers visual insights into how T’oegye understood and developed his theories, not only during the Four-Seven Debate but also for his later works, especially the Ten Diagrams of Sage Learning (聖學十圖, Sŏng Hak Sh’ip To).

Martin van der Linden, Shinto and Soft Power: Pop-culture diplomacy and the Aesthetics of Religion in the Digital Age

My project aims to study expressions of Shinto (a religion predominantly practiced in Japan) and the "Shintoesque" (popular culture and mass media representations of Shinto) in online environments. The research project is not a general inventory of these environments, but rather centers on specific, theoretically informed, research questions, to identify recurring aesthetic, multimodal, and intermedial patterns and structures particular to digital media, and hypothesize regarding the role these patterns have in the dissemination and circulation of Shinto information online. Such a study has not been done in the field of Shinto Studies before and is thus a welcome first step to mapping information dissemination of religion on the Internet.

The project methodologically oscillates between, small-scale, in-depth aesthetic analysis of online expressions of Shinto and the Shintoesque, informed by multimodal discourse analysis, and large-scale, computer-assisted data collection, data evaluation, and data selection, currently the project is focused on YouTube material. The former method is applied to a limited curated collection of Shinto expression, while the larger scale data collection will act as a map for ideological investigation and further research.

How to participate in the seminar

It is possible to attend the seminar both from Dacke in Växjö and via zoom. Contact us at if you want to participate via zoom, or sign up for our external email list to receive automatic updates on our events (zoom link and additional information are sent out one week in advance).


Photo: 'Aurora - Connecting Senses’, Cristina Pop-Tiron & Signe Kjær Jensen

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