Confucianism

I have now visited three places where Joseon dynasty scholar-official Song Si-yeol has made his mark. In none of the places did I register the connection until after returning to London; in two of the places I never got to see the mark he left (there wasn’t enough time on the schedule) and in the […]

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In Korea, historical grievances last down the generations

by Philip Gowman 25 September 2015
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Today’s Korea Times article, Man fined for obstructing ancestral rite, is nicely timed to ensure good behaviour over the Chuseok period. But the ancestral rite Mr Kim disrupted was not any old rite. This is a family grievance that goes back to 1453 and the reign of King Sejo: The court said Kim got into […]

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The revival in Confucian Academies

by Philip Gowman 2 February 2012
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“I came here so Grandpa will scold me less.” Choi Sang-hun talks about a mini-boom in Confucian Academies in S Korea: http://t.co/82ugBn9R (New York Times)

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Book review: Land of Scholars (Kang Jae-eun)

by Philip Gowman 24 October 2011
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The Land of Scholars: Two Thousand Years of Korean Confucianism by Kang Jae-eun (translated from Japanese to Korean by Ha Woo-bong, then from Korean into English by Suzanne Lee) Homa & Sekey Books 2006; original Japanese version published in 2003. 515 pp Students of Korean history, and particularly of the Joseon dynasty, will inevitably at […]

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Arrow, the Ultimate Weapon – the historical background

by Philip Gowman 29 September 2011
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Kim Han-min’s Arrow the Ultimate Weapon is a high-energy historical action flick which will get the London Korean Film Festival 2011 off to a rip-roaring start. Without revealing too much about the plot, suffice it to say that enough baddies get what they deserve to make you feel reasonably good on emerging from the cinema. […]

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Nammyeong Cho Shik: teacher, philosopher and inspiration for the anti-Japanese resistance armies

by Philip Gowman 5 May 2011
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Sancheong-gun, Thursday 5 May 2011. Students of Korean history in the Koryo and particularly the Joseon period cannot avoid grappling at some stage with the concepts of Confucianism. Distilled down to its most digestible elements, it is portrayed in the West as a deeply conservative doctrine designed to keep people in their places: wives had […]

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Toegye Yi Hwang’s Ten Diagrams on Sage Learning

by Eunjung Shin 12 August 2010
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In the British Museum’s Korea Gallery can be found a wood block printed book, The Ten Diagrams on Sage Learning, written by Korea’s most famous Confucian scholar, Yi Hwang (이황, also known by his pen name, Toegye, 퇴계) (1501-1570). The volume is on loan from the British Library. The work was completed in 1568 and […]

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Yulgok Yi I – a learned slouch with a stomach problem

by Philip Gowman 23 February 2010
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LKL reports from the most recent Friday evening seminar at SOAS, in which Isabelle Sancho examined the letters of Confucian Scholar Yulgok Yi I What should one expect from the letters of one of the best-known Confucian scholars? In some respects, the sort of thing you might expect from any correspondence: pleasantries about health, about […]

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A glimpse of a Confucian scholar’s intimacy

by Events Editor 3 February 2010
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More details of this Friday’s free seminar at SOAS Friday, February 5th, 5pm, room G50 (main building) Isabelle Sancho, EHESS “A glimpse of Confucian scholar’s intimacy: the correspondence of Yulgok Yi I (1536-1584)” Abstract: The talk will focus on the correspondence of Yulgok Yi I (1536-1584), one of the most outstanding Confucian scholars of the […]

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Ch’udo yebae: Christian Accommodation to Korean Ancestral Rites

by Events Editor 1 November 2009
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Details of November’s Global Korea Lecture at the Cultural Centre: Tuesday 24th November 2009, 6.30pm Subject: Ch’udo yebae: Christian Accommodation to Korean Ancestral Rites Speaker: Professor James H. Grayson (School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield) Venue: Multi-purpose Hall, Korean Cultural Centre According to the 2005 Korean Household and Population Census, Christians now represent […]

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Happy birthday Confucius

by Philip Gowman 28 September 2009
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Happy birthday Confucius: 2,560 years old today. Born in 551 BC, the influential Chinese philosopher Confucius was known for his intelligence and foresight. There is little chance, however, that even he could have predicted how the Western world would celebrate the 2,560th anniversary of his birth: with a custom logo for search engine Google. Source: […]

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Confucius from the Heart – Asia House

by Events Editor 20 April 2009
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Details of a lecture on Confucius at Asia House

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Free SOAS lecture – the Confucian Spirit of ethical practicality

by Events Editor 3 March 2009
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Details of a lecture on Tasan’s notions of “human nature” and “heart-mind”

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Dec 07 BAKS conference report #5: James Grayson

by Philip Gowman 7 December 2007

Professor James Grayson – Professor of Modern Korean Studies and Director of Centre for Korean Studies, Sheffield University Ch’udo yebae: a Protestant substitute for Confucian ancestral rituals Abstract: An early resolution of a conflict of values is necessary if a missionary religion is to find acceptance in the culture of the receiving society. In East […]

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