Salvation through Dissent
Tonghak Heterodoxy and Early Modern Korea
Publication Year: 2013
The work locates the origins of Korea’s twentieth-century religious nationalist movement in the aftermath of the 1894 rebellion, the resurgence of Japanese power after the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), and the re-creation of Tonghak as Ch’ŏngogyo (the Religion of the Heavenly Way) in 1905. As a study of religion and politics, Salvation through Dissent adds a new layer of understanding to Korea’s changing interactions with the world and the world’s involvement with Korea. In addition to students and scholars of Korea’s early modern period, it will appeal to those interested in global politics, Chinese and Japanese studies, world religion, international relations, and peasant history. The extensive, annotated translations will be of particular use in courses on Korea, East Asia, and global religion.
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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There are many people to thank for helping me bring this book to completion. Foremost, my gratitude goes to Robert Buswell Jr., Jennifer Jung- Kim, and others at UCLA and beyond for their support of the project and the opportunity to include my book in the Korean Classics Library of Philosophy and Religion series. ...
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Tonghak, or Eastern Learning, was a Korean religion founded in the second half of the nineteenth century. Tonghak may also be read as “Korean Learning” because, before the twentieth century, Korean writers often referred to the Chosŏn dynasty as “the eastern country” (tongguk) in geographical relation to China. ...
Chapter 1. Securing the People: Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, and the Confucian State
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In 1796, a Korean envoy returning from Beijing reported that a religious rebellion had broken out in China: “It is named the White Lotus, and the leader is called their religious master. He incites the foolish commoners through his evil methods and dazzles them.” Another diplomat condescendingly concurred: ...
Chapter 2. Uncertain Times, Uncertain Means: Rural Life, Western Ways, and Ch’oe Cheu
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Over the course of the nineteenth century, Catholics and Tonghak followers demonstrated the limits of centralized governance and its attempt to regulate religious expression as they continued to spread their teachings and worship in private spaces. While the Catholic community came into a direct conflict with the state, ...
Chapter 3. Kumi Mountain: Center of the World, 1861–1863
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Drawing on a strong education, a sense of rural pride, and his exposure to Catholicism, Ch’oe Cheu began turning away from Qing China as the center of cultural authority and building on the Sinic Three Teachings of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism to found a program of learning that centered on the Korean peninsula. ...
Chapter 4. The Tonghaks Have Again Arisen, 1864–1894
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A letter from the missionary Siméon-François Berneux (1814–1866) to the Missions-Étrangers in France described Kyŏngsang Province in late 1863 as “the only district that had serious harassment [of Christians].” Monseigneur d’Acones (d. 1866), who was working in Kyŏngsang at the time, explained to Berneux that local officials ...
Chapter 5. Another Tonghak Revolution, 1904–1907
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At the end of 1905, Son Pyŏnghŭi announced the inception of Ch’ŏndogyo, or Religion of the Heavenly Way, named after a line extracted from Ch’oe Cheu’s Spreading Virtue (P’odŏngmun), in the Korean daily papers Taehan maeil sinbo and the Cheguk sinmun: “Our teaching has its origin in the way of heaven and it is called Ch’ŏndogyo. ...
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In 1907, a year after the founding of Ch’ŏndogyo, Pak Hyŏngch’ae, a Tonghak follower and scholar in Seoul, petitioned the king about removing the ban against the status of Tonghak: “As for Ch’oe Cheu who was executed as the leader of Tonghak in the cyclical year kapcha  ...
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From remote antiquity on, spring and autumn have replaced each other year after year, and the four seasons have come and gone. These have been unchanging phenomena and, indeed, signs of God’s transformations [chohwa] revealing apparently everything under heaven. ...
Selections from Songs of Yongdam
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My children, sons and nephew, respectfully receive my writing. Everyone, including you, is born of the five phases and formed by the three fundamental principles. For twenty years, you have grown up in a prosperous family, partaking of the five moral relationships.1 ...
Selections from Master Haewŏl’s Discussion on the Teachings
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Heaven and earth are parents.1 Parents are heaven and earth. Heaven, earth, and parents are one body. The pregnancy of parents is the pregnancy of heaven and earth. Nowadays, people only know the principle of the pregnancy of parents, and they do not know the principle and life force of the pregnancy of heaven and earth. ...
Ch’oe Sihyŏng’s Petitions
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There are three religious teachings. Confucianism began with the period of five august emperors and three wise kings, and it was passed down to the Duke of Zhou and Master Confucius. Confucius carried on the ancient sages and brought back their learning. Human relations illuminate the superior, teaching transforms the inferior, ...
Account of the Origin of the Way
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The family name of our Master1 was Ch’oe. His personal name was Cheu, and his familiar name was Sŏngmuk. Further, his honorary title was Suun Che. His hometown was Kyŏngju. He was the son of the rural literati Ch’oe Ok and the sixth descendant of the loyal military officer Ch’oe Chillip.2 ...
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Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Korean Academy Library: Philosophy and Religion