By Don Baker,Franklin Rausch
Korea’s first major come upon with the West happened within the final area of the eighteenth century while a Korean Catholic group emerged at the peninsula. a long time of persecution undefined, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Korean Catholics. Don Baker presents a useful research of late-Chosŏn (1392–1897) concept, politics, and society to assist readers comprehend the reaction of Confucians to Catholicism and of Korean Catholics to years of violent harassment. His research is knowledgeable through outstanding records expertly translated with the help of Franklin Rausch and annotated the following for the 1st time: an anti-Catholic essay written within the 1780s through Confucian student Ahn Chŏngbok (1712–1791) and a firsthand account of the 1801 anti-Catholic persecution by way of one among its final sufferers, the spiritual chief Hwang Sayŏng (1775–1801).
Confucian assumptions approximately Catholicism are published in Ahn’s essay, Conversation on Catholicism. The paintings is predicated at the scholar’s exchanges together with his son-in-law, who joined the small workforce of Catholics within the 1780s. Ahn argues that Catholicism is immoral since it places extra value at the salvation of one’s soul than on what's most sensible for one’s relations or group. Conspicuously absent from his Conversation is the explanation at the back of the conversions of his son-in-law and some different younger Confucian intellectuals. Baker examines a variety of Confucian texts of the time to argue that, within the overdue eighteenth century, Korean Confucians have been affected by a starting to be trouble over human ethical frailty. a few between them got here to view Catholicism so one can conquer their ethical weak spot, develop into virtuous, and, within the procedure, achieve everlasting lifestyles. those anxieties are echoed in Hwang’s Silk Letter, during which he information for the bishop in Beijing his persecution and the last decade previous it. He explains why Koreans joined (and a few deserted) the Catholic religion and their devotion to the recent faith within the face of torture and execution. jointly the 2 texts show a lot approximately not just Korean ideals and values of 2 centuries in the past, but in addition how Koreans considered their kingdom and their king in addition to China and its culture.
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