[KS] Jeong Dojeon's and Gihwa's Texts

Charles Muller acmuller at gol.com
Tue Mar 18 11:18:39 EST 2003

From: Charles Muller
Subject: Web Publication of Texts of Korean Confucian-Buddhist Debate

I have been working for a number of years with the two major texts from the
respective sides of the Neo-Confucian Buddhist confrontation in the late
Goryeo/early Joseon: Jeong Dojeon's _Array of Critiques Against Buddhism_
(_Bulssi japbyeon_) and Gihwa's _Exposition of the Correct_ (_Hyeonjeong
non_). I have now completed annotated translations of these texts, and
published them on the web, along with an introductory article at:




The long confrontation between Neo-Confucianism and Buddhism, which has its
earliest origins in the tracts of the Tang dynasty scholar Hanyu (768-824),
reached its culmination in Korea during the end of Goryeo and beginning of
the Joseon dynasties in the writings of Jeong Dojeon (1342-1398) and Gihwa
(1376-1433). Jeong, a well-known political figure and Neo-Confucian
ideologue, wrote, during the course of his career, a number of essays which
were critical of Buddhism. It was in his final treatise however (the _Bulssi
japbyeon_; "Array of Critiques of Buddhism") that he arranged all of the
complaints against Buddhism that had been leveled through Hanyu, the Cheng
brothers, and Zhuxi into one final summary argument against the Seon
Buddhist tradition. Along with the arguments of these earlier Neo-Confucian
thinkers, which were comprised largely of criticisms of Song Chan nihilism
and antinomianism, he included his own censure of decadent practices of the
current Goryeo Buddhist _sangha_.

Although in China the Neo-Confucian condemnations of Buddhism had gone
largely unanswered, this was not to be the case in Korea. The monk Gihwa,
who was the leading figure of the Buddhist _sangha_ at the outset of
the Joseon, and who was also originally a Confucian scholar of considerable
accomplishment, felt compelled to answer the critiques that had been
summarized in Jeong's work. He did so in a treatise entitled the _Hyeonjeong
non_ ("Exposition of the Correct"), a work that presents a largely
conciliatory response, but which nonetheless takes the Confucians to task
for the disparity between what is said in their classical texts, and what
they actually do in practice.

Both treatises are here translated in full in HTML format (generated from
TEI2 XML source documents), with the original classical Chinese text. For
purposes of background introduction on the authors of the two treatises,
along with an outline of the arguments made by each side, a paper (based on
a 2002 presentation at the AAR) is attached. to the arguments of both


Charles Muller  <acmuller at gol.com>
Faculty of Humanities,  Toyo Gakuen University
Digital Dictionary of Buddhism and CJKV-English Dictionary [http://www.acmuller.net]
H-Buddhism List Editor [http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~buddhism/]
Mobile Phone: 090-9310-1787

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