Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Korea's Catholic Confucian Classical Liberal Scholar

Father Maryknoller in Korea rightly hails "one of the outstanding scholars in Korean history and a leader in the 'Practical Learning' school of philosophy," "whose vast learning has helped Korea develop as it has," and "who spread the Social Gospel in his books without knowing it" — Chong Yak-yong.

"Because of his Catholic faith he was ostracized by other scholars and almost killed a number of times," Father continues. "He did apostatize but returned to the faith in his later years. His older brother is Saint Chong Yak-jong, and he was the brother-in-law of the first Korean Catholic Yi Sung-hun and the uncle of Saint Chong Ha-sang Paul."

Hahn Moo-Sook wrote a wonderful historical novel with him and his nephew Saint Paul Chong Hasang as protagonists — Encounter. And here is a three-year-old article I penned on the great man — Tasan, Nineteenth Century Korea's Paleo-Confucian Classical Liberal.

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.