An extensive introduction the history of the philosophical relationship between Confucianism and Buddhism, spanning the time from the first century CE up to the 16th century in Korea. First, the mutually compatible aspects of the two traditions are explained, followed by an introduction to the early appearances of strife, highlighted in the first exchange of opinions between Han Yu (769–824) and Zongmi (780–841). This is followed by a discussion of the deepening philosophical dimensions of the arguments brought about by the essays of the Cheng brothers and Zhu Xi (1130–1200). Next, the special characteristics of the opposition between Confucianism and Buddhism in Korea are shown, along with an introduction to the backgrounds of the two main protagonists in the final debate, Chŏng Tojŏn and Kihwa. This is followed by a discussion of the main philosophical parameter of the debate: the essence-function (Ch. tiyong; K. ch'e-yong) paradigm.
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