All posts tagged: religion

Why Confucianism Is Alive And Kicking

   Toegye Yi Hwang and Yukgok Yi-i considered to be the greatest Joseon scholars Neo-Confucianism was adopted by the ruling class as a combination of political doctrine + religion + social norms in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897). As opposed to the Buddhism-centered Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), the Yi ruling clan of Joseon chose Confucianism, mainly because of its weight on the intelligent and honourable ruler and general focus on the class system. The king was a well-read scholar, and it is documented they spent every day reading Confucianist texts and discussing them with the court officials. They also passed a large part of their youth reading, analysing and discussing Confucianism. Confucianism is known for its strict hierarchy between: ruler-courtiers, husband-wife, father-son, and so on. The society was divided into Yangban (scholars), farmers, artisans, and merchants, in that order. The very bottom class was composed of slaves, shamans, butchers and the children of concubines, who were barred from civil service exams. Buddhism in Goryeo grew more and more corrupt in Goryeo and enabled the elite to amass fortunes. Additionally, Yi …

Why My Friends Are Forced To Study Christianity At University

t Ewha Woman’s University with banners announcing Hilary R. Clinton’s visit Image source: Ewha Media Blog Because Christian missionaries founded the first universities in Korea and somehow private institutions’ right to setting their own curricula is given priority over people’s freedom of religion. The prestigious Yonsei University (1915, founded by Horace Underwood), Ewha Woman’s University (1910, Mary Scranton), and Sogang University (1960, Society of Jesus), among many others, were founded by American missionaries. Chapel is mandatory at Yonsei and Ewha – 2 years at Yonsei and 4 years at Ewha. All Yonsei students must also elect one course on Christian thought in their first year. Which in my view is an infringement on personal freedom of religion, but somehow it isn’t given priority. Most Korean universities that are considered prestigious have a long history originating sometime around the beginning of the 1900s – a time when Korea was forced to start opening up to the outside world and to Christianity, starting with the 1882 US treaty (including the notorious most-favoured nation clause). It was around this time that Koreans started opening …