The Christian notion of spirituality, especially the concept of human soul or anima, was a difficult concept for Confucians. Individuality and immortality, which described the essential feature of the Christian concept of the human soul, cannot stand together in the Neo-Confucian framework. If something is individual, it is bound to disappear; if something is immortal, it is never singular. In this article, I shall first discuss various translations of the term ''human soul'' by four Christian missionaries: Juan Cobo, Matteo Ricci, Giulio Aleni, and Francesco Sambiasi. The history of the translation of this term reveals the struggles of missionaries as they endeavored to implant Christian worldviews in East Asia. I then examine Confucian responses to such endeavors. Confucians who were open to new ideas and beliefs also went through painful ordeals as they embraced the Catholic faith. In this regard, the two brothers of eighteenth-century Chosŏn Korea—Chŏng Yakchong and Chŏng Yakyong—represent two possibilities in Christian-Confucian dialogue. While the former was a devoted Catholic with a Confucian background, the latter remained a Confucian, albeit one who weaved Catholic ideas into his theoretical outlook. In the end, their creative integration of ideas enriched and deepend our insights into Confucian spirituality.


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pp. 83-109
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