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Catholics and Anti-Catholicism in Choson Korea$
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Don Baker and Franklin Rausch

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824866266

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824866266.001.0001

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Nationalism and Evaluations of Hwang Sayŏng and His Silk Letter

Nationalism and Evaluations of Hwang Sayŏng and His Silk Letter

Chapter:
(p.101) Chapter 5 Nationalism and Evaluations of Hwang Sayŏng and His Silk Letter
Source:
Catholics and Anti-Catholicism in Choson Korea
Author(s):

Don Baker

Franklin Rausch

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824866266.003.0005

This chapter survey the controversy over Hwang Sayŏng and his Silk Letter today, focusing on whether he should be seen as a traitor or as a hero. I argue that such a dichotomy is anachronistic, since Hwang could not be a traitor since the modern notion of loyalty to a nation-state did not exist in Korea two centuries ago. Nor should he be praised as a fighter for religious freedom, since he did not know that concept, either. Instead, he needs to be understood in the context of his times. He was a Catholic living in a sino-centric Confucian country who wanted his country to switch its allegiance from China to Rome so that he could practice his religion without government interference.

Keywords:   nationalism, proto-nationalism, sino-centrism, persecution, controversy, anachronism, nation-state

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