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Jogye Order names Ven. Jinje as new chief spiritual leader

Ven. Jinje (center) heads to the main sanctuary with other monks after being elected the new spiritual leader, or Jongjeong, of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism on Wednesday. (Yonhap News)
Ven. Jinje (center) heads to the main sanctuary with other monks after being elected the new spiritual leader, or Jongjeong, of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism on Wednesday. (Yonhap News)
Ven. Jinje was elected as the new spiritual leader of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, Wednesday.

The 77-year-old succeeds Ven. Beobjeon and will serve for five years as the 13th Jogye Order spiritual chief. Twenty-three senior members unanimously approved of Ven. Jinje, who was the only candidate, according to the order.

The new leader will officially take the post after March 25, when his predecessor’s term ends, it said.

The post “jongjeong,” or spiritual leader, is considered the core of the Jogye Order and heads the education of the monks. The spiritual leader, however, does not take part in administrative affairs.

The Jogye Order is the biggest Buddhist order in Korea with 2,501 temples and 13,860 monks around the country. It has been practicing for over 1, 200 years, since the Unified Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-935 A.D.), but it was officially established in 1962.

Ven. Jinje was born in 1934 in South Gyeongsang Province and became a Buddhist monk in 1954.

Ven. Jinje, who gave a speech on the spiritual aspect of the Jogye Order at the Riverside Church in New York in September, is considered one of the leaders of Korean Buddhism.

By Shin Hae-in (hayney@heraldcorp.com)
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