Using the Korean Reception and Critique of Cai Shen蔡沈’s Shu jizhuan書集傳 to Identify Divergences Between Chinese and Korean Confucian Thought 接受與重構:從朝鮮儒者駁斥蔡沈《書集傳》看中韓儒學思想的差異

Project: Research project

Project Details


Cai Shen’s 蔡 沈 Shu jizhuan 書 集 傳 was specified as the text for the imperial examination in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties. Scholars aspiring to become an official therefore all strived to master the text. Since the writing of Shu jizhuan in the late Song Dynasty, however, there have been two perspectives, one in support of and one contesting the text. This proposal attempts to identify divergences between Chinese and Korean Confucian thought which reflected on the Korean Confucian scholars’ reception and critique of Shu jizhuan, as well as discussions and related writings.

This cross-cultural study reveals that the supreme status of Shu jizhuan in the historical study of Shang Shu 尚書 in Korea is not due to the imperial examination like China. It is, instead, inseparable from the study of Zhu Zi 朱熹, Li Huang 李滉, and the Korean translation of Chinese classics 諺解. In addition, Shang Shu related literary works and critiques by Korean intellects are not always pro-Shu jizhuan; there are voices of disputes and refutations. The support of Shu jizhuan and the commendations for Cai Shen, in the eyes of the Korean intellects, were often a fatal defect and were severely criticized.

The applicant has conducted a preliminary literature search and found that there are about 27 Confucian writers with 32 works discussing doubts and corrections on Shu jizhuan from Kim Jang-saeng 金長生(1548-1631) to Li Byeong-Heon 李炳憲(1870-1940) in the Joseon Dynasty. However, these precious literatures have received little attention. This proposal not only focuses on the Korean intellects’ responses and original ideas related to Shu jizhuan based on these writings, but will also collect other scholars’ writings, miscellaneous works, and essays discussing Shu jizhuan and other related historical documents to study.

From the four perspectives of "Edition”, “Pro-Cai”, “Anti-Cai” and “Translation", this proposal concentrates on the following issues, including: 1) the difference between the Korean edition and the Chinese edition of Shu jizhuan; 2) the origin and the content of the Korean criticisms of Shu jizhuan; 3) the different Confucian thought between“Pro-Cai” and “Anti-Cai; 4) the development of various criticisms of Joseon Confucian schools;5) the Korean criticisms of Shu jizhuan different from those during the Ming and Qing Dynasties in perspectives;6) the differences between Chinese edition and Korean translated edition of Shang Shu;7) analysis of the profound influence of Shu jizhuan on the study of Shang Shu in Korea. As a whole, this project is an innovative exploration of paths for identifying the divergences between Chinese and Korean Confucian thought; supplementing the history of the study of Shang Shu in China and Korea and contributing to an understanding of the interpretation of Confucian classics from the Joseon Dynasty to modern Korea.
Effective start/end date1/01/23 → …


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