Skip to main content Accessibility help

Dis-assembling Traditions: Deconstructing Tasan via Matteo Ricci

  • KEVIN N. CAWLEY (a1)


Chŏng Yagyong 丁若鏞 (1762–1836), commonly known by the penname Tasan 茶山, was infamous for his involvement in the early Catholic Church, which was formed by his close friends and his brothers. This Church was responsible for its self-evangelisation based on the ideas found in Matteo Ricci's Tianzhu shiyi 天主實義 (The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven). The effects of this very controversial aspect of his life, and the influence of this precarious context—fraught with danger, narrowly escaping execution and exiled for 18 years—has been under-valued. This paper highlights the effects of such a context on Tasan's ideas by engaging with “deconstruction”, drawing on the ideas of Jacques Derrida. I outline how Tasan embroidered Ricci's deconstructive strategies into the deepest fabric of his own deconstruction of “original” Confucianism, or his dis-assembling of traditions. The paper uncovers Christian traces silhouetted in Tasan's theistic commentaries, leading him towards a Post-Confucian conceptualisation of humanity (仁) vis-à-vis a personal, monotheistic, creator God.



Hide All

1 Grayson, J. H., Korea: A Religious History (London, 2002), pp. 140146 .

2 The term Sirhak was not used to describe the writings of those scholars during their lifetimes and there was no such group who assembled themselves under this umbrella term. It was applied during Korea's colonial period (1910–1945), coloured by nationalist re-readings of only certain ideas in certain texts, and as in the case of Tasan, ignored the vast majority of his writings which did not correspond with this anachronistic label. For my discussion on Sirhak in relation to Tasan's writings, see: “Tasan-e taehan maengnak-jŏk ihae: sirhak-esŏ sangje-kaji” 다산에 대한 맥락적 이해: 실학에서 상제까지 (Contextualising Tasan: From Sirhak to Sangje), translated by Lee Suna in, 서구학문의 유입과 동아시아지성의 변모(Cultural Transfer and the Collapse of Traditional East Asian Scholarship), (Seoul, 2012), pp. 83–106. For another recent study on Tasan's artificial transmogrification into a sirhak scholar during the 1930s as a reaction to the intellectual violence of Japanese imperialism, see: Chaemok, Choe, 1930 nyŏndae chosŏnhak undong-gwa ‘sirhakcha Chŏng Tasan'ŭi chaebalgyŏn’ (1930년대 조선학 운동과 ‘실학자 정다산’의 재발견), Tasan-gwa hyŏndae, vol. 4, no.5 (2012), pp. 69101 .

3 Hidok, Yi, “Tasan's Momumental Work”, Korea Journal, vol. 12, no. 10 (1962), pp. 3435 ; Eul-ho, Lee, “Dasan's View of Man”, in Korean Philosophy: Its Tradition and Modern Transformation (Seoul, 2004), pp. 337356 .

4 Nancy, J. L., Dis-enclosure: The Deconstruction of Christianity, translated by Smith, M.B. (New York, 2007), p. 148 . This paper uses the term “dis-assemble” to highlight the role of de-construction to take something apart, but then to put it back together in a different way, showing other possibilities within seemingly hermetic traditions, bringing together Derrida and Nancy's important contributions.

5 Derrida, J., “Afterword: Toward an Ethic of Discussion”, translated by Weber, Samuel, in Limited Inc. (Illinois, 1988), p. 136 .

6 Derrida, J., Writing and Difference, translated by Bass, Alan (Chicago, 1978), p. 295 ; Nancy, J. L., 1992. “Elliptical Sense”, in Derrida: A Critical Reader (Oxford, 1992), p. 37 .

7 The Four Books: the Lunyu 論語 (The Analects), the Daxue 大學 (Great Learning), the Zhongyong 中庸 (Doctrine of the Mean), and the Mengzi 孟子 (The Mencius).

8 Fairbank, J. K. and Goldman, M., China, A New History (Cambridge, MA, 1999), pp. 9798 . For an overview of the importance of Zhu Xi's thought, see: Chan, Wing-tsit, Chu Hsi and his Thought, (Hong Kong, 1987). Note: Zhu Xi is written as Chu Hsi in the Wade-Gilles transliteration system.

9 Gernet, J., China and the Christian Impact: a Conflict of Cultures (New York, 1986), p. 15 .

10 The Five Classics: the Yi jing 易經 (Book of Changes), the Shujing 書經 (Book of Documents), the Shijing 詩經 (Book of Poetry), the Liji 禮記 (Records of Rites), and the Chunqiu 春秋 (Spring and Autumn Annals).

11 Ricci, M., The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven (T'ien-chu Shi-i), Chinese-English edition (St.Louis, 1985), para.103. Ricci's text is written in a series of paragraphs and so this paper indicates the exact paragraph referenced.

12 Derrida, J., Positions, translated by Bass, Alan (London, 1981), p. 98, note 3.

13 For example, the Neo-Daoist, Guo Xiang 郭象 (d.312), had argued that things “spontaneously produce themselves”. See: Chan, Wing-tsit, A Sourcebook in Chinese Philosophy (New Jersey, 1973), pp. 328329 . Joseph Ung-Tai Kim refers to this theme in Neo-Confucianism and Daoism as “auto-émanation”. See: Kim, J., L'Expérience Réligieuse Coréene dans la Première Annonce du Message Chrétien (Seoul, 1990), p. 118 . Aristotle rejected the idea of “spontaneous generation” in De Anima (On the Soul). See: Aristotle, De Anima (On The Soul), translated by Hugh Lawson-Tancred (London, 1986).

14 M. Ricci, The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, Par. 3 and 13.

15 The idea of the “supplement” is also important to deconstruction and is also related to différance. Derrida writes that, “what is supplementary is in reality difference”, see: Speech and Phenomenon and Other Essays on Husserl's Theory of Signs, translated by David Allison, Derrida (Illinois, 1973) p. 88. J.L Nancy later suggests that différance introduces the “supplementary characteristic” that “belongs without belonging”, in Dis-enclosure: The Deconstruction of Christianity, p. 111.

16 M. Ricci, The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, par. 78–79.

17 Shakespeare, S., Derrida and Theology (London, 2009), p. 98 ; Derrida, J., Writing and Difference, translated by Bass, Alan (Chicago, 1978), p. 74 .

18 M. Ricci, The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, par. 104–108.

19 Ibid., par. 109–110.

20 Ibid., par. 78.

21 Ibid., par. 108.

22 Ibid., par. 581.

23 Ibid., par. 589.

24 Ibid., par. 468.

25 Ibid., par. 452.

26 Also present was Yun Chich'ung 尹持忠(1759–1791), a cousin of Tasan's from the countryside. In fact, (the chungin) Kim Pŏmu had converted (the yangban) Yun Chich'ung after loaning him a copy of Matteo Ricci's text.

27 Chinsan refers to a place in North Chŏlla province: this also shows how Catholic ideas had spread to this region, far from the capital.

28 The rites controversy had a long history in China leading to a papal ban in 1742 by Pope Benedict XIV, who issued the Bull Ex Quo Singulari, forbidding ancestor memorial rites and the use of Tian or Shangdi to refer to God, insisting on the usage of Tianzhu. For a discussion on the rites controversy, see: Latourette, Kenneth Scott, A History of Christian Missions in China, (Taipei, 1966), pp. 131152 .

29 See: Dallet, C., Histoire de l'Église en Corée (Paris, 1874), vol. i, pp. 2560 ; Ri, J., Confucius et Jésus Christ: La premiere theologie chretienne en Coree d'apres l'oeuvre de Yi Piek Lettre Confuceen 1754–1786 (Paris, 1979); Sijun, Kim (ed.), Pyŏkwipyŏn 闢衛編 (Writings Against Heterodoxy) (Seoul, 1987), pp. 108138 ; Kwang, Cho, Chosŏn h'ugi Ch'ŏnjugyosa yŏn'gu조선후기 천주교사 연구(A Study of Late-Chosŏn's Catholic Church History), (Seoul, 1988), pp. 197209 ; J. Grayson, Korea: A Religious History, pp. 142–143; Chegŭn, Ch'oe, The Origin of the Roman Catholic Church in Korea (Seoul, 2006), pp. 9394 . When we think of Catholics tortured from this period, we should be mindful that often this happened over several months, and that women and teenagers were tortured as well as men. For a further discussion of the brutality, See: Roux, P.E., “The Great Ming Code and the Repression of Catholics in Chosŏn Korea”, Acta Koreana, vol. 15, no. 1 (2012), pp. 73106 .

30 Tasan, “Chach'an myojimyŏng 自撰墓誌銘 (Self-Written Epitaph)”, in Tasan-ŭi kyŏnghak segye 茶山의 經學世界 (Paju, 2003), pp. 93–94.

31 Tasan, , Tasan nonsŏl sŏnchip 茶山論說選集 (Selected Discourses of Tasan) (Seoul, 1996), pp. 463466 .

32 Ibid.

33 See: Database of Korean Classics (DBKC): 燕巖集, 燕巖集卷之十四○別集, 熱河日記. 鵠汀筆談 (hokchŏng pildam). This online database includes the original texts with scanned original manuscripts too. Available at: (accessed on 08.08.2013).

34 The Chosŏn dynasty was plagued by rival factions. Two discussed in this paper are the Namin (Southern faction) and their bitter rivals at court, the Noron (Old Learning Faction). Namin scholars such as Yi Ik 李瀷 (1682–1763), and his disciples Sin Hudam 愼後聃 (1702–1761) and An Chŏngbok 安鼎福 (1712–1783), rejected Ricci's interpretation of Shangdi as a creator God and the idea of Jesus as his incarnation. For their criticisms of Ricci's text, see: Kim Sijun (ed.), Pyŏkwipyŏn. For a short discussion on their Neo-Confucian critique of Catholicism, see: Shin-ja, Kim, The Philosophical Thought of Tasan Chŏng (Frankfurt, 2010), pp. 92102 .

35 See: Okhŭi, Kim, Le rôle de Yi Pyŏk dans l'Introduction et la Diffusion du Catholicisme en Corée (Paris, 1977), pp. 140141 . Ch'oe Chegŭn, The Origin of the Roman Catholic Church in Korea, pp. 38–39. In addition, An Chŏngbok, (mentioned in note 33) described the rituals performed by Catholics, including Baptism, the choice of new Baptism names and the use of holy water (聖水; K. sŏngsu), as well as confessions – he also notes that these ideas stem from Matteo Ricci. To read An's original discussion on the early practices of Catholics in his text Ch'ŏnhak mundap 天學問答 [Questions and Answers on Heavenly Learning], see: Kim Sijun (ed.), Pyŏkwipyŏn, p. 483.

36 Important Note: See Yi Kigyŏng's original account in the Pyŏkwipyŏn, p. 446. Baker also discusses the issue of Tasan wanting to discuss Ricci's text with Yi Kigyŏng, and mentions another book Tasan incouraged him to read, which he calls the Shengshih ch'u jao, and which he translates as “Teachings of the Church in Everyday Language”. Don Baker does not provide the Chinese characters, and confirmation is difficult. He attributes this text to Fr. Joseph de Maille. See: Baker, Confucians Confront Catholicism in Eighteenth Century Korea, p. 313. The author's full name is Fr Joseph-Anne-Marie de Moyriac de Mailla (1669–1748), whose Chinese name was Feng Bingzheng. There is also a problem with the title given by Baker, but the problem seems widespread in the Korean sources. In both the Pyŏkwipyŏn (p. 446) (discussed above) and the official Chosŏn Wangjo Sillok 朝鮮王朝實錄 (The veritable records of the Chosŏn dynasty) (Seoul, 1955–1958), the Chinese characters are incorrect. According to The Ricci Institute Library and the Chinese Christian Texts Database, De Mailla's text was the Shengshi churao 盛世芻蕘 (Grass Cutter in a Prosperous Age). The main issue is that the first character, 盛, has been replaced in the Korean sources by the homophone 聖, which would have been commonly associated with Catholic religious teachings in Chosŏn. For example, Yi Pyŏk's catechism was the Sŏnggyo yoji 聖敎要旨 (The Essence of the Divine Doctrine), and other texts by De Mailla and other Chinese Christians often use the character 聖. For the entry in the Chosŏn Wangjo Sillok, see: Chosŏn Wangjo Sillok 朝鮮王朝實錄, Chŏngjo sillok (1791 (Chŏngjo 15).11.13 kimyo:正祖 33卷,15年 (1791 辛亥, 11月 13日(甲申). An online version is available at: (accessed on 12.01.2013). The online version has the original Classical Chinese which carries the mistaken character 聖. There is also a modern Korean translation. In the translation, where the Chinese characters for this text are given, two characters are incorrect (first and third), not just the first one: 聖世蒭蕘. In this instance, the third character has also been replaced by an incorrect homophone. De Mailla's information may be found on two databases: 1) The Ricci Institute Library Online Catalog, available at: and 2) The Chinese Christian Texts Database (CCT-Database) available at:

37 Hongyŏl, Yu, Han'guk Ch'ǒnjugyo yǒksa 한국천주교 역사 (A History of Korea's Catholic Church) (Seoul, 1990), p. 59 ; Ch'oe Chegŭn, The Origin of the Roman Catholic Church in Korea, p. 118.

38 See: Sŏgu, Ch'oe. “Korean Catholicism Yesterday and Today”, in The Founding of the Catholic Tradition in Korea (Mississuaga, 1996), pp. 141160 ; Ch'oe Chegŭn, The Origin of the Roman Catholic Church in Korea, p. 121; Finch, A.,. “The Pursuit of Martyrdom in the Catholic Church in Korea before 1866”, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 60, no. 1 (2009), p. 99 .

39 See DBKC: 與猶堂全書, 第一集詩文集第十五卷○文集, 墓誌銘, 貞軒墓誌銘. Tasan describes this information as secretive, yet he knew all the details, especially the very secret meetings with the Chinese priest and Catholic activities in the countryside, all of which took place after the infamous letter, discussed above, where Tasan had “apparently” disassociated himself from the Catholics. By 1801, when serious persecutions broke out, the Catholic Church had a membership of about 10,000 men, women and children, among them people from all walks of life. This was actually a significant number, as Ricci, during a similar number of years of missionary work in China, noted that there were about 2,000 converts. For a discussion on the growth of the Catholic Church in Korea during this period, see: Cho Kwang, Chosŏn h'ugi Ch'ŏnjugyosa yŏn'gu, pp. 20–31.

40 Ch'oe Chegŭn, The Origin of the Roman Catholic Church in Korea, pp. 119–124.

41 For Tasan's own account of these events, see: Tasan, “Chach'an myojimyŏng”, pp. 112–114.

42 To read Hwang Sayŏng's letter, see: Chinch'ŏn, (ed.) Hwang sayŏng paeksŏ-wa ibon 黃嗣永 帛書와 異本 (Hwang Sayŏng's Silk Letter and Alternative Version) (Seoul, 2003).

43 Such a strategy is reminiscent of the hidden “Kakure Kirishitans” 隠れキリシタン of Japan who were publicly Buddhist, yet secretly Christian, for almost two hundred years. In 1640 the Christian Suppression Office (Kirishitan Shūmon Aratame Yaku) was formed and the persecution of all Christians systematically began. The cruelty of the persecutions, including burning at the stake, beheading, or sawing off limbs, was used to, “force the most steadfast Christians to recant”, see: Drummond, R. H., (1971), A History of Christianity in Japan, (Grand Rapids, 1971), pp. 100101 . Therefore, apostasy assured a release from prison, but also functioned as a deterrent from joining the religion, as well as driving others underground. In fact, many families and their descendants went into hiding, only re-emerging in the nineteenth century, becoming known as the Kakure Kirishitans, or hidden Christians, mainly in Kyūshū. For an overview on the Kakure Kirishitans, see: Harrington, A. M., Japan's Hidden Christians (Chicago, 1993).

44 Sŏgu, Ch'oe (1993), “Tasan sŏhak-e kwanhan nonŭi,” 茶山 西學에 관한 논의 (A Discussion on Tasan's view of Western Learning), in Tasan Chŏng Yagyong-ŭi sŏhak sasang 茶山 丁若鏞의 西學思想 (Tasan Chŏng Yagyong's ideas on Western Learning), (Seoul, 1993), p. 47 .

45 Tasan, “Chach'an myojimyŏng”, p. 115.

46 Baker, D., 2004. “Tasan Between Catholicism and Confucianism: A decade under suspicion, 1791–1801”, Tasanhak, no. 5 (2004), pp. 5586 .

47 See: J. Grayson, Korea: A Religious history, pp. 143–146.

48 Changdae, Kŭm, Confucianism and Korean Thoughts (Seoul, 2000), p. 189 .

49 Ch'oe Sŏgu, “A Discussion on Tasan's view of Western Learning”, pp. 79–80.

50 Palais, J. B., Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions: Yu Hyŏngwŏn and the Late Chosŏn Dynasty (Washington D.C., 1996), p. 757 .

51 Changdae, Kŭm, Confucianism and Korean Thoughts (Seoul, 2000), pp. 201202 .

52 Seong-rae, Park, “Western Science and Silhak Scholars,” in Korean History: Discovery of its Characteristics and Developments (Seoul, 2004), p. 347 .

53 Susa (洙泗) refers to the two rivers of Confucius’ hometown, while Susahak (洙泗學) was the title given to Tasan's study of “original” Confucianism.

54 Kim Shin-ja, The Philosophical Thought of Tasan Chŏng, pp. 92–102.

55 Baker, D., Confucians Confront Catholicism in Eighteenth Century Korea. (Michigan, 1983b); “Tasan and His Brothers: How Religion Divided a Korean Confucian Family”, in Perspectives on Korea (Sydney, 1998), pp. 172–197; “Tasan Between Catholicism and Confucianism: A decade under suspicion, 1791–1801”, pp. 55–86.

56 Chung, David writes in Syncretism: The religious Context of Christian Beginnings in Korea (New York, 2001), p. 142 , “Some seriously doubt that Confucianism has ever been a religion.” Kŭm Changdae explains that Confucianism was more concerned with morality, and that only towards the end of the nineteenth century was there a Confucian religious movement that sought to modernise Confucianism to compete with the growing spiritual influence of Christianity. See: Kŭm Changdae, Confucianism and Korean Thoughts, pp. 205–208.

57 Baker repeats this same point in several papers: See: Baker, D., “ Neo-Confucians Confront Theism ”, The Journal of the Institute for East Asian Studies Sogang University. No. 2 (1983a) p. 174 (this title is important as it too indicates how Neo-Confucians were not theists); Confucians Confront Catholicism in Eighteenth Century Korea, pp. 331–332; “Foreword: Saints, Sages and the Novelist's Art”, pp. vii-xx in preface to Han Musuk's novel, Encounter (Berkeley, 1992), p. xix; “A Different Thread: Heterodoxy, and Catholicism in a Confucian World”, in Culture and the State in Late Chosŏn Korea (Cambridge, MA, 1999), p. 216.

58 This is evident from the Nicene Creed, the profession of faith, which revolves around “Credo”.

59 Lopez, D. S. Jr., “Belief” in Critical Terms for Religious Studies (Chicago, 1998), p. 21 .

60 See: Deuchler, Martina (1992), The Confucian Transformation of Korea (Cambridge, MA. 1992), pp. 110111 . Michel de Certeau has discussed the contractual nature of belief, where for Christians, for example, belief is an “expectational practice”: they expect something after this life. Applied to Confucians, one could talk about the contractual nature of “ritual”. In this sense it is more of a contract in legal terms as one was required by law to fulfil the rites prescribed by the state, and if one did not, one could be punished, which is exactly what happened to Catholics in Korea who did not perform ancestor memorial rites. See: de Certeau, M, “What We Do When We Believe”, in On Signs (Baltimore, 1985), pp. 183185 .

61 Ricci's own journal discusses the “cinque correlatione,” and relations in China, considering them in terms of “obedientia,” obedience and duty. See: Ricci, M., Opere Storiche: I Commentari Della Cina, vol. i, (Macerata, 1911), p. 91 .

62 Kim Shin-ja, The Philosophical Thought of Tasan Chŏng, p. 143.

63 Bennington, G. and Derrida, J., Jacques Derrida: Derridabase, (Chicago, 1991), p. 97 .

64 As we are now looking at Tasan's texts in a Korean context I will give the Korean transliteration of the Chinese characters to respect the context.

65 See: DBKC, 與猶堂全書, 第二集經集第四卷○中庸講義補, 中庸講義補, 惟天下至聖節

66 Tasan, , Maengja yoŭi 孟子要義 (The Essentials of The Mencius) (Seoul, 1994), p. 569 .

67 Setton, M., Chǒng Yagyong: Korea's Challenge to Orthodox Neo-Confucianism (New York, 1997), p73 . See: M. Ricci, The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, par. 78–80.

68 Yŏngil, Kim, Chŏng Yagyong-ŭi sangje sasang 丁若鏞의上帝思想 (Chŏng Yagyong's Thought on Sangje) (Seoul, 2003), p. 128 .

69 Taegun, Yoo, “Metaphysical Grounds of Tasan's Thought,” Korea Journal, vol. 34, no. 1(1994), p. 10

70 To read Matteo Ricci's Scholastic discussion of substance and attribute, See: M. Ricci, The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, par. 83–84.

71 This original quote can be found on the DBKC, available at: 與猶堂全書, 第二集經集第三十六卷○春秋考徵 > 凶禮. I quote it here in its original as it is highly significant: 上帝者何是於天地神人之外造化天地神人萬物之類而宰制安養之者也. This quote echoes the full title of Ricci's first chapter in the True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven: “A Discussion on the creation of Heaven, Earth, and all things by the Lord of Heaven and on the way he governs and sustains them”. Kim Shin Ja in The Philosophical Thought of Tasan Chŏng, p. 151, and Yoo Taegun in “Metaphysical Grounds of Tasan's Thought,” p. 14, also discusses this quote, highlighting how it represented a creator God who was transcendent. Again this illustrates how Sangje was much more than “solely” a moral force. Also, note here that Sangje is described as who, not what. Kim Yŏngil in Chŏng Yagyong-ŭi sangje sasang, p. 121, translates this phrase into Korean using nugu (누구), meaning “who”, underscoring the definite anthropomorphic nature of this deity.

72 Ricci, M., Ch'ŏnju sirŭi 천주실의 (The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven), Korean-Chinese edition, (Seoul, 1999), p. 34 .

73 See: DBKC, 與猶堂全書, 第二集經集第二十七卷○尙書古訓, 尙書古訓, 君奭

74 Chamberlain, J., Chinese Gods (Malaysia, 1987), p. 108 .

75 Tasan quotes Odes No. 236, 255, 258, 254 and 266. See: Tasan, Maengja yoŭi, p. 570. In fact, one of these excerpts comes from Ode no. 236 - one of the same odes Ricci cited from too.

76 Ibid., 569.

77 Legge, J., The Chinese Classics, vol. i., translation with original Chinese text (Marston Gate, 2005), pp. 375 and 404.

78 Hinton, D. (trans.), Mencius (Washington, D.C., 1999), pp. 25, 127, 149.

79 J. Chamberlain, Chinese Gods, p. vii.

80 Kim Yŏngil, Chŏng Yagyong-ŭi sangje sasang, p. 111.

81 M. Ricci, The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, par. 438.

82 Tasan, Maengja yoŭi, pp. 484–485.

83 For an analysis of the early Catholic texts written by Yi Pyŏk and Tasan's brothers, see my article in a theme issue on Korean Catholicism in Acta Koreana: “Deconstructing Hegemony: Catholic Texts in Chosŏn's Neo-Confucian Context” in Acta Koreana, vol. 15, no. 1 (2012), pp. 15–42. These texts focus on the importance of worshipping God and the importance of putting the teachings of Jesus into actual practice. The earliest hymn attributed to Yi Pyŏk is called Ch'ŏnju konggyŏng-ga 천주공경가 (Hymn in Adoration of God). They hover between using the Confucian term Shangdi (K. Sangje), and the Riccian term, Tianzhu (K. Ch'ŏnju).

84 Wing-tsit Chan (trans.) A Sourcebook in Chinese Philosophy, p. 44. This contrast has also been highlighted above in relation to Ricci's discussion on humanity.

85 Young-bae, Song, “A Comparative Study of the Paradigms between Tasan's Philosophy and Matteo Ricci's Tianzhu shiyiKorea Journal, vol. 41, no. 3 (2001), pp. 5799 .

86 J. Derrida, Of Grammatology, p. 24.

87 Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Proposition 7.

88 As per note 89, this text is often translated as a book on “Governing the People”, despite the fact that the title uses the characters 牧民, meaning “shepherding the people”, highlighting that Tasan considers the role of the government is to “serve” the people.

89 See: Choi, Byonghyon, Admonitions on Governing the People, a translation of Mongmin simsŏ (Berkeley, 2010), Book ix, pp. 818823 . For Tasan's original text, see: DBKC: 與猶堂全書, 第五集政法集第二十六卷○牧民心書, 刑典六條, 除害.

90 Tasan, Chach'an myojimyŏng, p. 78.

91 Tasan, Ch'unch'u kojing, See: DBKC: 與猶堂全書, 第二集經集第三十三卷○春秋考徵, 吉禮, 郊四.

* I would like to thank the two reviewers for their very insightful comments and suggestions.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Dis-assembling Traditions: Deconstructing Tasan via Matteo Ricci

  • KEVIN N. CAWLEY (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.