[KS] Fulbright Forum

Executive Assistant executive.assistant at fulbright.or.kr
Wed Jan 9 02:46:27 EST 2008

Fulbright Forum

7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 25, 2008
R.S.V.P. by Monday, January 21st

The Korean-American Educational Commission invites you to discover with 
Fulbright Senior Researcher Richard D. McBride, II

"When did the rulers of Silla Korea become kings?"

Open to all, the Fulbright Forum serves as a periodic gathering for the 
Fulbright Family at large, including past and present grantees and 
friends of Fulbright. This month's Forum will be held at 7:00 p.m. on 
Friday, January 25^th in the 6^th floor conference room at the KAEC 
Building in Mapo-gu, Seoul, with a snack reception to follow in the 3^rd 
floor administrative offices. Please reply to 
executive.assistant at fulbright.or.kr 
<mailto:executive.assistant at fulbright.or.kr> by Monday, January 21^st in 
order to confirm your attendance, and feel free to share this invitation 
with interested colleagues. For maps and directions, see the KAEC 
website at www.fulbright.or.kr <http://www.fulbright.or.kr/>.


The early sixth century was period of seminal change and development 
with respect to the concept of kingship and systems of government in 
Silla Korea.  The concept of royal authority underwent whole scale 
reform during the reigns of Chiju(ng (500--514) and Po(phu(ng 
(514--540).  The inscriptions on two steles discovered in North 
Kyo(ngsang province in 1988 and 1989 well reflect the changing 
appearance of kingship in the early sixth century and have caused 
historians of Silla to rethink the nature of Silla's ruling structure 
and the process by which Silla rulers adopted Sinitic statecraft and 
became Chinese-style kings.  This is because the adoption of the term 
/wang/ (king) suggests a fundamental change in the topology of royal 
authority---it is not just a formalistic change to a Chinese-style reign 
title.  Before the discovery of these steles, scholars relied almost 
exclusively on Kim Pusik's (1075--1151) narrative in the /History of the 
Three Kingdoms/ (/Samguk sagi/), which says that Chiju(ng discarded the 
native term /maripkan/ for /wang/ in the tenth month of 503.  These 
inscriptions, however, provide greater nuance to our understanding of 
how native Silla terms and conceptions of authority and rule continued 
well into the rule of Po(phu(ng.


Richard D. McBride, II earned a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and 
Cultures at UCLA in 2001.  He has taught at the University of Iowa, 
Pomona College, and Washington University in St. Louis.  He is currently 
a Fulbright Senior Researcher studying the development of kingship and 
royal authority in Silla Korea.  He is the author of /Domesticating the 
Dharma:  Buddhist Cults and the Hwao(m Synthesis in Silla Korea/ 
(University of Hawai'i Press, 2008) and several articles on medieval 
Chinese and Korean Buddhism, the /Samguk yusa/, and the /Hwarang segi/ 
manuscripts.  His second book, entitled /Aspiring to Enlightenment:  
Pure Land Buddhism in Silla Korea/, is being prepared for publication.

Korean-American Educational Commission
Fulbright Building
168-15 Yonmni-dong Mapo-gu
Seoul 121-874

office: 02-3275-4004
fax: 02-3275-4028

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