Catholics and Anti-Catholicism in Chosŏn Korea (Hawai‘i by Don Baker,Franklin Rausch

By Don Baker,Franklin Rausch

Korea’s first major come upon with the West happened within the final sector of the eighteenth century whilst a Korean Catholic neighborhood emerged at the peninsula. a long time of persecution undefined, leading to the deaths of millions of Korean Catholics. Don Baker presents a useful research of late-Chosŏn (1392–1897) inspiration, politics, and society to aid readers comprehend the reaction of Confucians to Catholicism and of Korean Catholics to years of violent harassment. His research is educated 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 via Confucian pupil Ahn Chŏngbok (1712–1791) and a firsthand account of the 1801 anti-Catholic persecution by means of one in all 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 staff of Catholics within the 1780s. Ahn argues that Catholicism is immoral since it places extra significance at the salvation of one’s soul than on what's top for one’s relatives or neighborhood. 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 number of Confucian texts of the time to argue that, within the past due eighteenth century, Korean Confucians have been laid low with a growing to be trouble over human ethical frailty. a few between them got here to view Catholicism so one can conquer their ethical weak point, turn into virtuous, and, within the technique, achieve everlasting existence. those anxieties are echoed in Hwang’s Silk Letter, during which he info 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 seen their state and their king in addition to China and its culture.

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