[KS] James Palais

Baker Don ubcdbaker at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 7 00:17:42 EDT 2006

I just received the sad news from the University of Washington that James 
Palais passed away today. It's a great loss to our field. I'm sure in a day 
or two somehow will send out an email obituary with details of his 
scholarly accomplishments.In the meantime, let me just say that it is not 
only his scholarship that will be missed. Those of us who were lucky enough 
to get to know Jim and work with him knew what a wonderful sense of humor 
he had. He also was a dedicated teacher of graduate students, determined to 
push his students to do the best they were capable of but doing so with a 
smile rather than a verbal whip. All of us who worked under him can say we 
have not only lost a mentor, we have also lost a friend. 


Don Baker
Associate Professor, 
Department of Asian Studies
Director, Centre for Korean Research
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Z2
dbaker at interchange.ubc.ca

>From: "Michael Allen" <allenm at byuh.edu>
>Reply-To: Korean Studies Discussion List <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
>To: <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
>Subject: Re: [KS] Sin Ch'aeho and Taejonggyo
>Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2006 19:30:32 -1000
>Hi Richard (and anyone else interested),
>I didn't reply to your original query because I am smack in the middle
>of a major relocation (to Dubai), and simply didn't have time to make
>the more extended response I would like to.   But the very short version
>is that I have seen references to Sin Ch'aeho's reputed affiliation with
>Taejonggyo in more than one Korean secondary source.  It is a highly
>problematic claim, however, the deeper you delve into Sin's thinking,
>and especially into the complex migrations in his thinking over time.
>(For all I know, the same may be true if you delve more deeply than I
>have into Taejonggyo.)  As others have pointed out, however, it is not
>difficult to see why adepts of Taejonggyo would be interested in
>claiming Sin as one of their own--and the tendency may be even more
>pronounced after 1971 (the date of the book you mentioned), when Sin's
>own reputation in Korea received new life in the name of a new Park-era
>I discuss this a bit in the book I am finishing, but unfortunately for
>the current discussion most of my material is in boxes right now, making
>the move ahead of me.  Stay tuned . . .
>Michael Allen
> >>> rick_mcbride17 at hotmail.com 07/28/06 12:08 PM >>>
>I would like the thank the participants for their stimulating discussion
>my question regarding the relationship between Sin Ch'aeho and
>Let me explain here the background behind my asking the question, which
>add a further level of complexity to the issues that have been
>One of the referrees of my article titled "Silla Buddhism and the
>segi Manuscripts," which will be published in Korean Studies 31
>(forthcoming, 2007) introduced me to an interesting source:  Taejonggyo
>ChonggyOng Chongsa PyOnsu WiwOnhoe, ed.  <<Taejonggyo chunggwang
>yuksimnyOnsa>> (Seoul:  Taejonggyo Chongbonsa, 1971 [Tan'gi 4428]).
>This 60 year history of Taejonggyo is interesting because it contains a
>biography of Pak Ch'anghwa (1889/1895-1962), the reputed author/copyist
>the Hwarang segi manuscripts on pages 865-867.    Pak Ch'anghwa is
>said to have been born in 1889 but this biographical account says he was
>born in 1895.  It refers to his working for the Japanese government in
>1930s and early 1940s and records his death in 1962.  Most importantly
>says that he joined Taejonggyo in 1949.   No Korean source on the
>segi manuscripts mentions Pak's affiliation with Taejonggyo.  When I
>attended the "Iryon and the Samguk yusa" conference sponsored by the
>Iryonhak Yon'guwon and the Academy of Korean Studies last week, my
>colleagues in Silla history were impressed by this information--they had
>never known such a connection existed.
>In pointing out this source, the referee indicated that Pak's
>with Taejonggyo hints at some important things:  "[I]t is not fully
>implausible that he may have cherished an interest for this nationalist
>religion already in the colonial days.  However, unlike such
>Taejonggyo-affiliated historians as famous Sin Ch'aeho, Pak emphasized
>Silla, and not KoguryO, as the Korean nation's presumed 'spiritual
>   The referee went on to encourage me to provide additional biographical
>information on Pak Ch'anhwa.  I did not do it in this paper but plan to
>spend much more time on this in another article I have in progress on
>significance of the Hwarang segi manuscripts.
>This is the reason for my inquiry about Sin Ch'aeho and Taejonggyo.
>read some of Sin's works, such as his biography of Ulchi MundOk--but I
>heard of his affiliation with Taejonggyo before.  It appears that Sin's
>connections to Taejonggyo are problematic indeed.  In perusing the more
>1000 page (handwritten) Taejonggyo history I did not find any
>listing for Sin Ch'aeho--so at least in 1971, Taejonggyo did not claim
>as a member or adept.  Then again, since there is no index I have not
>exhausted the information in this book.  However, many of you have
>compelling reasons why Taejonggyo adepts may have been influenced by
>Richard McBride
>Post-doctoral Fellow in Korean Studies and Buddhist Studies
>Washington University in St. Louis
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