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The Letters of Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon

Our translations of the 20 or so letters written by Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon during the 4 years of travel and adventure prior to his death in 1846 have now been published by The Research Foundation of Korean Church History, marking the 200th anniversary of his birth on August 21, 1821. In addition to the translated letters, with copious notes, the book includes several maps and a substantial survey of the early history of the Korean Catholic Church up to 1846.

I suggest that you buy the book from the RAS Korea office (email: [email protected])

The hour-long RAS lecture I gave about the story told in the letters can be viewed here.

Source: Br Anthony’s Facebook page

(LKL endorses Brother Anthony’s suggestion. The Korea Times says the book is available from the Research Foundation of Korean Church History but they aren’t geared up to send books to readers overseas. At the time of posting this notice, the book does not appear to be available online via any of the bookshops in Korea such as Kyobo or Interpark, and is not listed on Amazon. So, best to email the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch as advised above)

LKL says:

It is probably stating the obvious that this book will appeal most to historians of the Korean Catholic Church. But it is still of interest to the general reader. The letters presented here are sometimes duplicative – recounting the same events to different addressees – but the contents are interesting as eye-witness travel accounts and, of course, of the experiences of Catholics in Korea during the persecutions in the 19th century.

Crossing the border between Joseon Korea and Qing China was just as difficult and dangerous as crossing between the DPRK and PRC today – perhaps even more so. Kim Dae-geon crossed the border from China in the winter of 1844 to make contact with some Christians under cover of the annual market. “These few hours of trading each year are the only relations the Chinese and Koreans have with each other. At other times, whoever crosses the border on either side is ruthlessly enslaved or massacred.” (p103)

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