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[Vol.9 (2008)] Going beyond the boundaries in Confucian studies
Author : Isabelle SANCHO
Date : 19.08.30
Page : 241-270
Keyword : The Annales School, Intellectual history, Mentalities, Yulgok Yi I, Confucianization
Abstract :

This essay aims at discussing the future of Confucian studies in the

current context of a globalized world where a growing interest for Confucianism is

shown not only in the academic field, but also in the general audience. Instead of

presenting scholarly conclusions on a precise topic, it rather tends to propose some

possible new perspectives of research. The characteristics, limitations and

methodological problems of Confucian studies are briefly examined to discuss the

interest of making intellectual history rather than a solely philosophical history. After

showing that Confucian studies are a historically determined phenomenon, which

features are much indebted to the context of its production in the 20th century northeast

Asia, the hegemony of philosophical and notional approach that has been massively

used by scholars is questioned. To find new perspectives that could enrich and develop

Confucian studies in future, the example of French historiography, and especially the

Annales School is presented. After a general reflection on the specific difficulties of

studying the Confucianism of 16th century Chosŏn Korea, which shed light on specific

and concrete methodological problems, a case study is performed on some of the

vocabulary used by Yulgok Yi I. A method inspired by French historians is used to

illustrate the main goal of the whole essay: studying the mentalities of past Confucian

scholars could be a stimulating way to better understand the past Confucian

phenomenon in its whole depth – both philosophical and historical – and then to better

explain it for present and future society.

Attachments : Vol.09(Ar.11).pdf

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