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Confucian Heritage: Decoding Writings of Chosŏn Literati

08.12.2023 - 09.12.2023
Confucian Heritage

Confucian Heritage

Internationaler Workshop des Teilprojekts C09 „Evaluationen von Wissen in konfuzianischen Akademien“

Given the troublesome history of the modern perception of Confucian teaching both in the West and East Asia, there is a strong tension between texts of Chosŏn Korea literati perceived as Confucian and a large corpus of materials which are relegated either to the realm of literature, official documents, or personal writings. The purpose of the present workshop is to challenge this dichotomy and bring to attention various types of literati writings, which have been traditionally considered as not typically Confucian and were either neglected by modern research or studied only as collateral products of Confucian scholars. This concerns, above all, a large corpus of texts studied predominantly by literature specialists, such as poetry or epigraphy, texts, understood as official documents including various sorts of court memorandum, reports, or policy plans and analyses and therefore relegated to the sphere of social or cultural history, as well as a broad range of texts mined mostly for information on the author represented by correspondence, dialogues with disciples or diaries.

The notion of dichotomy between pure literature, expressing personal feelings of Chosŏn scholars, and their ideologically motivated official writings addressed either to the Korean state authorities or fellow scholars and disciples was to a large degree constructed by the literati themselves to appeal to diverse audiences in their official or private capacities yet it should not obscure the fact that most of their personal writings were motivated by the same ideals of the Learning of the Way like their reform proposals or documents submitted to the court.

As a prime example of stereotypical treatment of a Confucian scholar’s œuvre could serve collected writings of Yulgok Yi I (1536–1584) and their historical and modern reflections as materials documenting knowledge transfer and epistemic changes within Chosŏn Confucian discourse. Workshop presentations will focus on an analysis of various literary forms and genres employed by Yulgok in his quest for the spreading of the Confucian message and engage in a dialogue over the question of whether some of his texts could be singled out as typically Confucian or not. This seemingly trivial question is a basic precondition for a fundamental revision of what is currently understood as a corpus of documents belonging to the category of Korean Confucian texts. The same attention will be paid to an analysis of narrative patterns distinct to Chosŏn Confucianism compared to its Chinese counterpart.



Eun Jeung Lee (Institut für Koreastudien/SFB 980)

Vladimir Glomb (Institut für Koreastudien/SFB 980)
What do we mean by Confucian texts?: State of research and methodology 

Martin Gehlmann (Ruhr Universität Bochum)
Building of Confucian Education in Korea

Marion Eggert (Ruhr Universität Bochum)
Finding one's place in between. Gender, Religion and Conflicting Norms in Yulgok's Yissi kamch'ŏn ki

Barbara Wall (University of Copenhagen)
Storyworld of Korean Confucianism


Gregory Evon (University of New South Wales)
Yulgok and the Ethics of Death

Isabelle Sancho (EHESS, Paris)
Political Program of Korean Confucianism?: The Case of Tongho mundap

Christina Han (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Symbolism and Subtlety: Decoding Confucian Message in Chosŏn Poetry

Diana Yüksel (University of Bucharest)
Debates about Reclusion: Between Rhetorics and Political Action

Vladimir Glomb (Institut für Koreastudien/SFB 980)
Recorded Sayings as a Confucian Genre

Final Discussion


Zeit & Ort

08.12.2023 - 09.12.2023

Institut für Koreastudien
Freie Universität Berlin
Otto-von-Simson-Straße 11

Weitere Informationen

Die Veranstaltung findet in englischer Sprache statt.
Um eine Anmeldung per E-Mail wird gebeten: c.erdmann@fu-berlin.de