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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

To Survive as a Buddhist Monk in a Confucian State: Gihwa’s Response to Jeong Do-jeon’s Critique of Buddhism

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2007, v.47 no.3, pp.104-133
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2007.47.3.104

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the ideological tensions betweenJeong Do-jeon (1342-1398), who launched criticism against Buddhism,and Gihwa (1376-1433) who attempted to defend Buddhism inresponse to Confucian attacks during the early Joseon dynasty. Jeongand his Confucian colleagues first opened fire on the Buddhist circlewhere corruption was rampant. Accordingly, on the part of Buddhistpractitioners, any answers were to be made in response to this criti-cism. However, Gihwas remarks did not deal with the main point ofthe Neo-Confucian attacks. Rather, he attempted to reconcile with theConfucian counterpart in terms of the accommodation of Buddhism toConfucianism without presenting any explanation as to why Buddhismneeded to engage in worldly politics and how they could cope with theproblems caused by the secularization of Buddhism. As a result, theBuddhist-Confucian debate in the early Joseon dynasty ended up beinga victory for the Neo-Confucian camp, which presented itself as ameans to synthetically integrate their principles into the real world.Moreover, through its triumph, Confucian philosophy took an exclusiveplace as the political creed of the Joseon dynasty.

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Jeong Do-jeon Gihwa Buddhism Confucianism secular-ism anti-Buddhist polemics Hyeonjeong ronChoi Yeonsik (Choe Yeon-sik) is an assistant professor in the Department of PoliticalScience and International Studies at Yonsei University. He received Jeong Do-jeon Gihwa Buddhism Confucianism secular-ism anti-Buddhist polemics Hyeonjeong ronChoi Yeonsik (Choe Yeon-sik) is an assistant professor in the Department of PoliticalScience and International Studies at Yonsei University. He received

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