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

A Comparative Study on the Sociocultural Drivers in the Development of Printing Technology in Korea and Europe

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2015, v.55 no.4, pp.7-35
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2015.55.4.7


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Abstract

Korea owns the real Jikji printed about 70 years before Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible in 1377. In contrast to how printing originated in Europe, the invention of Korean printing was born through social and cultural demand. In Europe, copying technology, or transcription, was used before printing. In the early Middle Ages, demand for transcription immediately increased in parallel to the creation and development of the urban area and construction of universities. The development from transcription to printing was inevitable due to increase in demand for texts as well as the need for financial profit, and the sharp increase in the circulation of information broke the monopoly of the literate clergy on learning. During the time in which metal movable type was invented in Korea, society did not demand a massive spread of information. Therefore, rapid and revolutionary social change did not occur. However, the sociocultural role of printing was still significant. Despite the long distance between Europe and Korea, printing in the two societies successfully fulfilled required demand through a technology that sufficiently performed its role.

keywords
Jikji Korea metal movable type printing technology Gutenberg 42-line Bible printing culture

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