Cases from Korea
Vladimír Glomb - Yulgok and Laozi: Integration of the Daodejing - into 16th Century Confucian Discourse
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Yulgok and Laozi: Integration of the Daodejing into 16th Century Confucian Discourse
Abstract Yulgok Yi I’s commentary on the Daodejing presents a unique attempt to integrate a Daoist text into Korean Confucian discourse. The aim of this paper is to analyse strategies Yulgok used to compose the text of Sunŏn and how his approach toward the Daoist classic influenced the circulation of his treatise among Korean literati.
Integration of new knowledge into Confucian discourse has been studied predominantly from the perspective of temporal actuality: new was understood as contemporary, and in most cases also as unusual or strange (a classical example would be the case of Western knowledge). Korean Confucian tradition had a much broader range of areas lying out of its borders, which could become (and often became) sources of new knowledge possible to integrate into existing canons. As the main sources of inspiration or polemics served Chinese non-Confucian currents on the one hand and related contemporary Chinese intellectual debates on the other. Most of the impulses, which aroused the intellectual curiosity of the Korean literati, were by no means modern or contemporary and belonged rather to a classical intellectual tradition; a fascinating variety of Chinese antiquity texts and philosophical schools was an unknown and attractive realm present at hand. Korean scholars were well aware of the richness of the intellectual debates of Chinese philosophical currents and frequently engaged in inquiries on these topics. The book...
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