[KS] Introductory reading on Confucianism

Don Baker dbaker at interchange.ubc.ca
Tue Jan 13 10:27:55 EST 2004

There is a good reason it is hard to find an undergraduate text which 
explains the fundamentals of Confucianism in a Korean context. 
Confucianism is too diverse to confine to a single textbook. What 
sort of Confucianism are we talking about? Philosophical 
Confucianism? Confucian approaches to history? Confucian concern for 
ritual? Confucian proposals for government policies? Confucian ethics 
and Confucian views of family life? A comprehensive account of 
Confucianism in Korea should include all of that.

One way to introduce students to the historical development, as well 
as the diversity, of Confucianism in Korea is the Sources of Korean 
Tradition series, particularly the chapters in both volumes on the 
Chosun dynasty plus the final chapter on Koryo.  Almost all the 
selections in the Chosun dynasty chapters were written by Koreans who 
considered themselves Confucians.

Don Baker
Director, Centre for Korean Research
Associate Professor, Department of Asian Studies
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 CANADA

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