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The Land of Scholars: Two Thousand Years of Korean Confucianism

Translated by: ,
Publisher: , 2005
Link to online store *

This book discusses the historical development of Korean Confucianism in terms of its social functions. It also examines the types of transfiguration Confucianism underwent and the role it played in each period of Korean history. The Land of Scholars spans from the Three Kingdoms period in 18 BC to the Joseon dynasty in 1910. The book not only gives a comprehensive and in-depth survey of the history of Korean Confucian thought but also touches on the transmission of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity in Korea. Kang Jae-eun approaches the significance of Confucianism from the perspective of its cultural and social context. He explains Confucianism from a viewpoint that reflects on exchanges between Korea and Japan and the broader context of East Asian relationships. Kang also challenges the views of some Korean academics whose works on Confucianism are considered to be distortions and misinterpretations.

About the author

Born in 1926 in Korea, Kang Jae-eun earned his PhD in literature from Kyoto University in Japan. For twenty-two years, he has been the editor of Samcheolli (Three thousand li) and Cheonggu (Korea), quarterly magazines that act as a forum and compass for Korean residents in Japan. Professor Kang is regarded as one of the foremost historians that led the Japanese academia after the liberation of Korea. His other books include Modern Thoughts of Korea and A Study of the Modern History of Korea in Japanese.

About the translator

A Korean-American, Suzanne Lee graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in psychology. She is interested in Korean studies and her current study/research focus is Korean philosophy.

Source: publisher’s website

LKL says:

Sometimes hard going, but worth it as a rare example of a book on Joseon dynasty history viewed through a lens of Confucian doctrine.

LKL rating: score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0. Read our review of this book here.

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.