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Jesuits and World History


The Jesuits in Korea: Influence without Presence

Franklin D. Rausch


     Studies on the Society of Jesus in East Asia tend to focus on China and Japan. There is good reason for this—the Jesuits were not present and active in significant numbers in Korea until after the Korean War (1950–1953). However, this article will show that despite not being physically present in Korea, Jesuits had a significant influence in Korea through their "apostleship of the pen." Korean scholars were exposed to European culture, science, and technology through Jesuit texts written in Classical Chinese, the reading language of Korea's educated elite. Moreover, Jesuit-authored books introduced Catholicism to one group of Korean scholars, one of whom went to China to receive baptism. He then returned home and began baptizing others, leading to the establishment of a Catholic community on the Korean peninsula before missionary work began there. While the Catholic missionaries who did travel to Korea in the early nineteenth century were not Jesuits, books by members of that order would continue to be read and copied by Koreans, helping to sustain the infant church during the many persecutions it suffered. Even once the period of persecution was over, the image of the still-absent Jesuits shaped how Protestant missionaries understood the history of Christianity in Korea and spurred on their own efforts. Today, a province of the Society of Jesus has been established on the peninsula with Jesuits focusing on educational and social work.

Apostolate of the Pen

The Jesuits first came to East Asia in the middle of the sixteenth century when they accompanied Portuguese traders to Japan. They conducted missionary work in that country and converted a large number of samurai. Many of those Catholic samurai took part in the 1592 invasion of Korea launched by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536–1598), the general who had united much of Japan after two centuries of civil war.1 While some Jesuits did come to Korea in the wake of the invasion, they focused on seeing to the pastoral needs of Japanese Christians, not on evangelizing Koreans.2 However, as the invasion wound down and Hideyoshi was forced to withdraw, Jesuits and their Japanese coworkers did conduct mission work among Koreans who were taken hostage back to Japan. These Koreans established a thriving Catholic congregation in 1610 when they built and dedicated a parish to St. Lawrence. Koreans, like their Japanese co-religionalists, would suffer martyrdom in the violent suppressions of the seventeenth century. 9 of the 205 martyr saints of Japan are ethnic Koreans, and of those 9, two were Jesuit brothers.3

     While there was an attempt to prepare some Korean Catholics to return to their homes and carry out mission work there, the suppression of Catholicism in Japan put an end to such ambitions. This meant that it would be from China that the Korean Catholic community would trace its roots. The first efforts of Chinese Christians to gain a foothold in Korea were initiated by Paul Hsu Guangqi (1562–1633), Matteo Ricci's (1552–1610) famous convert and a high government official. Facing growing threats from the Manchus in the north, the Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) sought aid from Chosŏn Korea. Paul requested to be sent to Korea in order to help negotiate this alliance and, while there he hoped to spread Catholicism. His plans came to naught as a different, non-Catholic official was chosen in his stead.

     Another attempt to introduce Catholicism to Korea came later, after the Manchu-controlled Qing Dynasty of China overcame Korean resistance to its imperial aspirations in 1636 following two invasions. As part of a long standing tradition, King Injo (r. 1623–1649) sent two of his sons to China as hostages. One of these, Crown Prince Sohyŏn (1612–1645) took an interest in Western science, and befriended the Jesuit Father Adam Schall (1592–1666). When he was finally allowed to return to Korea he brought with him books on both Western science and Catholicism. Schall wanted the Prince to bring Catholic religious paintings but Sohyŏn declined to accept them, saying that they might not receive the respect they deserved, perhaps because they appeared too Buddhist, and therefore were something that the staunchly Neo-Confucian Chosŏn state would have looked askance at. The prince invited Schall to come along with him, but the missionary declined, stating he did not have the time to travel to Korea. Instead, he sent several Catholic eunuchs and court ladies. However, Sohyŏn would die of illness only two months after returning from China and all but one of the Catholic party was to be sent back to China, effectively ending any Catholic influence for the time being.

     Paul Hsu first became interested in Catholicism because of the reputation Jesuit missionaries had as scholars who possessed unique skills and advanced knowledge. The Jesuit Matteo Ricci had actively sought to build this image by publicizing, through books and personal meetings, his knowledge of mathematics and clocks, as well as his memory techniques, which were much in demand by aspiring scholars who hoped they would give them an edge in passing the exams necessary to become government officials.4 Astronomy was of particular significance in this missionary strategy, as Ricci and other Jesuits hoped that their knowledge of the heavens would convince the Chinese that they were also right about the existence of "The Lord of Heaven" (ch'ŏnju/天主), the name they used for God. Astronomy was very important to the Chinese Empire, as knowledge of heavenly movements was necessary for the production of an accurate calendar and the prediction of eclipses and comets. A dynasty that could do these things could claim that it was in harmony with the cosmos and therefore possessed the Mandate of Heaven. Conversely, failure to predict such astronomical phenomenon would lead to them being interpreted as Heavenly warnings against government immorality and thus as evidence that the dynasty was losing the Mandate of Heaven, which might lead to rebellions against the government. Since astronomy was of such importance, the Chinese court, after witnessing Jesuit astronomical skill, quickly offered members of the society court positions in the astronomical bureau. The prestige such government recognition gave the Jesuits guaranteed that their writings, both scientific and religious, would gain a ready audience.5

     In the end it would be these Jesuit writings that would attract the attention of Korean scholars, leading to the establishment of the Catholic Church in Korea, and it was through Korean envoys traveling to China on tribute missions that Koreans would first come into contact with the Jesuits and their scholarly works. The Korean Chosŏn state, as a tributary country that accepted the overlordship of the Ming and later Qing Empires, regularly sent missions to China to report on important events in Korea, offer congratulations or condolences as the situation called for, and to reaffirm its loyalty to the emperor. By engaging in such missions, Korea was able to maintain its independence (it was difficult to justify attacking a Confucian government that posed no threat and officially recognized imperial authority), engage in some limited trade, and obtain the most recent news and scholarship from the empire. The importance of such missions can be seen in the fact that between the years 1637 and 1783, 167 of them were sent from Seoul to Beijing.

     One Korean scholar, Yi Sugwang (1563–1628) who visited Ming China in this way three times in 1590, 1597, and 1611, returned to Korea with many books, including Ricci's True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, as well as his famous map of the world. In his own writings about these missions he refers to the pope and Ricci's book on friendship.6 In 1720 another Korean envoy, the scholar Yi Imyŏng (1658–1722) went on a mission to congratulate Emperor Qianlong on his enthronement. While in Beijing he made friends with priests from the astronomy bureau, including Jesuit Father Ignaz Kögler (168?–1746). When he returned to Korea, Imyong not only brought back books on Western astronomy, geography, and law, but also continued to write letters to his Jesuits friends.

     After the destructive Japanese invasions of the 1590s and the Qing campaigns to subjugate Korea in 1627 and 1636, many Korean scholars began looking for practical knowledge that would help their country recover economically and socially. Many Koreans were therefore receptive to the Western science presented in Jesuit books. For instance, the Hydraulic Methods of the Great West (T'aesŏ subŏp/泰西水法), written by an Italian Jesuit, was praised by Yi Ik (1681–1763), An Chŏngbok (1712–1791), and Chŏng Yagyong (1762–1836) in their respective writings and the usefulness of this new Western knowledge (sŏhak/西學) was debated actively by them.7 Works on astronomy proved to be of particular interest in Korea, as the Chosŏn state wanted to develop its own calendar and accurately predict the appearance of comets and eclipses. Koreans were motivated to do this because Seoul was located at a different latitude than Beijing so the official calendar used by China was not accurate for Korea. However, Chosŏn, as a tributary state, was not supposed to create its own calendar, as that privilege belonged to the Chinese emperor alone. This prompted Koreans, beginning with Chŏng Tuwŏn, to secretly obtain Western astronomical knowledge through books and by bribing officials in the calendar bureau, including the Jesuit priest Adam Schall himself.8

     While Koreans did appreciate the advanced techniques Western science made available, like most Chinese, they did not accept the Jesuit argument that Western knowledge proved that the missionary's cosmological assertions about a creator God had any merit.9 For instance, Hong Taeyong (1731–1783), an advocate of a "Northern Learning," which held that Koreans should look to Qing China, owing to its wealth and power, for models for reform, went on a tribute mission in 1765 and met with Jesuit Father Ferdinand August von Hallerstein (1703–1774) at the Southern Cathedral. While Hong was very interested in knowledge pertaining to the advanced technology the priest had, he rejected his religion as barbarous and Buddhist. Even though Yi Imyŏng, who was on a tribute mission in 1725 to inform the Chinese emperor of the death of King Sukchong (r. 1674–1720), was impressed with the calendrical knowledge of the Catholic priests and was even willing to recognize Catholic morality as similar to that of Confucianism, and therefore superior to Buddhism and Taoism, he still rejected Catholicism and criticized such Catholic teachings as the incarnation, heaven, and hell. Even the radical Northern Learning scholar Pak Chega (1750–1805), who went on a tribute mission in 1778 and wanted Catholic priests to come to Korea and share their advanced astronomical knowledge, insisted on a ban on them carrying out missionary work. Thus, the best Catholics could do at this time was to win admiration for their scientific knowledge and some grudging respect for their morality. However, they were unable to convince even radical scholars such as Pak to depart from their essentially Neo-Confucian worldview, which because of its vision of the universe as being governed by a self-contained cosmic pattern (K. i, C. li/理) and consequent rationalistic view of reality and rejection of miracles, had no room for a God that had created the universe and actively intervened in it.10

     Although Catholic theology at first failed to win converts in Korea, the idea of using Western scientific knowledge to prove the veracity of Catholic teachings had some successes. Jesuit-authored books on Western science included references to God and Catholicism, and respect for scientific knowledge won a continued readership for those works. The Jesuits also produced Catholic doctrinal books that drew upon Confucian philosophy to make a case for the Catholic faith. These works took the descriptions of an anthropomorphic Heaven that appeared in the ancient Classics to argue that originally Confucians had been theists. This allowed the missionaries to assert that Neo-Confucianism, with its non-theistic cosmology that understood such passages to be symbolic, had actually departed from the Confucian way, and that Catholicism was therefore a fulfillment of true Confucianism.11

     Matteo Ricci pioneered this approach in his True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, first published in 1603. In this work, Ricci quoted the Confucian Classics to argue that a true Confucian ought to be a Catholic. He did so by focusing on morality and playing down the more supernatural aspects of Catholicism. Thus, while Ricci sought to prove from reason that God and an eternal soul existed, he scarcely mentioned the doctrine of the Trinity, the Crucifixion and Resurrection, or the nature and importance of the sacraments. This was because The True Meaning was intended as an introductory text only.12 Ricci wanted to show that the foundations of Catholicism accorded with human reason and Confucian ethics before discussing those supernatural elements of the faith based on Christian revelation that would have been more difficult for Confucian scholars to accept.13 This book was widely read, though most Confucian scholars criticized its arguments and rejected Catholicism out of hand.14

     Ricci, knowing the rationalistic tendencies of many Neo-Confucian scholars, avoided discussing in The True Meaning those aspects of Christian theology that they might see as superstitious. That does not mean that Jesuits (or even Ricci in other works) never discussed the supernatural. For instance, one Spanish Jesuit, Father Didace de Pantoja, sought to interest people in Catholicism by promising help in moral cultivation, the primary occupation of a Confucian gentleman, in his book the Seven Victories (Ch'ilgŭk/七克).15 Pantoja described how seven virtues could be used to overcome the seven deadly sins and gave practical advice on moral self-improvement. His work differed from Ricci's True Meaning in that it did not shy away from the supernatural. For example, the section on "chastity conquering lust" contains a story in which Saint Cecilia convinced her husband through the help of an angel that they should live together as perpetual virgins.16 In another story, a man who had married to please his parents but lived with his wife as a perpetual virgin went to a monastery where his mere presence drove out a demon that a holy monk was unable to exorcize.17 Such tales of the supernatural would have been anathema to the more rationalistic literati and the emphasis on male virginity would have seemed bizarre and immoral to Confucians who saw the primary purpose of marriage as the production of sons and the continuance of the patriline. However, de Pantoja's stories would have encouraged Confucians who found that they could not live up to its strict moral code solely through their own efforts to turn to Catholicism and the supernatural help it offered. Like The True Meaning, Korean scholars frequently commented on this work, sometimes critically, but at times favorably.

     Ricci and Pantoja's efforts, along with those of other Catholic missionaries in China, provided the rational basis for belief in God in a Confucian idiom that would eventually bear fruit in Korea. This fruit took a long time to mature, however, as it was only 150 years after the publication of The True Meaning that scholars from one school of Neo-Confucian thought began to take Catholicism seriously. This school, with Yi Ik as its head, emphasized human moral frailty and our propensity to do evil even though we desire to act virtuously. The desire of members of this school to become sages clashed with their inability to do so through their own efforts, which Neo-Confucianism promised was possible. This tension, along with Yi Ik's willingness to learn from Catholic books, though he himself was not a Catholic, led some of his students to take Jesuit books seriously. In so doing they found Catholic solutions to the problem of moral self-cultivation and attaining sagehood. The doctrine of original sin explained why they had such a hard time being good through their own power while the offer of God's grace, made available through the sacraments, promised to help them overcome their sinful nature and help them to become virtuous. Thus, in 1784, one member of Yi Ik's school, who accompanied a tribute mission to Beijing, asked a Catholic missionary for baptism.18

     Korean Catholics are often proud of the fact that sought out Catholicism rather than waiting for it to come to them. However, they would not have known of its existence without the Jesuit apostleship of the pen. By 1790 there were approximately 4,000 Catholics in Korea. Alarmed, the Korean government reacted to the spread of Catholicism by banning Catholic books, illustrating the importance of Jesuit works in spreading Catholicism. However, the Jesuit books these new Catholics were reading were out of date in one key aspect—they did not reflect papal teachings banning the practice of ancestor rites, which they only learned of that year from the bishop of Beijing. In these rituals, people bowed and offered food and wine to wooden tablets representing their forbears. Ostensibly the ancestors descended into the tablets and partook of the spiritual nature of the meal offered them while their descendents ate the material part when the ritual was complete. It was not required to actually believe that the ancestors were spiritual present—some Confucians explicitly stated that they were not. These scholars argued that it was the social function of ancestor rites, which expressed and encouraged filial piety and familial solidarity that Confucians were concerned about, not whether ancestral spirits were present or needed feeding.19 The state had an interest in encouraging the proper performance of such rituals, not only because filial piety was important in its own right, but because it was connected to the virtue of loyalty to the monarch (ch'ung/忠). A filial son or daughter was also likely to be a loyal subject, and an unfilial child, a disloyal one. In China, Jesuits accepted the explanations of the scholars that portrayed such rituals as essentially civil in nature and as promoting virtue. However, the arrival of Dominicans, Franciscans, and the French MEP (Société des Missions étrangères de Paris) in China, who accepted the folk interpretations of these rituals as the actual feeding of ancestors, making them appear to be a form of idolatry, led to a theological struggle over whether Catholics could talk part in ancestor rites, as well as to the similar rituals offered to Confucius. This conflict raged for over a century before it was decisively settled in 1742 by Benedict XIV (r. 1740–1758) in favor of the anti-Jesuit position that Catholics should not engage in such rituals.20

     Eventually, through an exchange of letters with the bishop of Bejing, Koreans became aware of implications of the Chinese Rites Controversy and the prohibition of ancestor rites. Some, who had converted to Catholicism primarily to become better Confucians, abandoned their new religion. Others chose to remain within the Catholic Church. Paul Yun Chich'ŭng (1759–1791), a scholar from southwestern Korea, went beyond the ban on the performance of the rites and burned the ancestor tablets in his possession. When his mother died in 1791 they were therefore conspicuously absent during the funerary rites. Reports of this reached the government and Paul and his maternal cousin James Kwŏn Sangyŏn (1751–1791), were arrested.21 After attempts to induce them to abandon the practice of Catholicism failed, they were executed.22 Not only government officials, but even local elites were incensed by what Paul and James had done and called for stricter measures against Catholicism.

     Even without the ban on ancestor rites, there is reason to believe that persecution would still have been the fate of the Catholic community in Korea. Catholics were part of a voluntary religious organization bound together by shared belief. Throughout Chinese history, a history that Koreans were well aware of, such organizations had periodically rebelled against the government. Moreover, this particular religious organization was headed by a foreign prince in far-away Rome. Thus, even without the prohibition against ancestor rites, Catholicism would have still likely been prohibited in Korea. However, the Catholic condemnation of ancestor rites likely did play a role in intensifying the persecutions that took the lives of thousands of Catholics between the years 1791 and 1873.23 While it would be MEP missionaries who would be physically present in Korea and help see their flock through the storm, Koreans would still be inspired by Jesuit writings, and together with their pastors, would maintain their community, battered, but not broken. The Jesuit apostleship of the pen therefore played a key role in establishing the formation of a community willing to endure a great deal of suffering to preserve its belief, a community that continues to this day.

The Interregnum: A Presbyterian Minister and a Catholic Bishop

The Society of Jesus was not only instrumental in the formation of the Korean Catholic Church through its apostleship of the pen, it also shaped how Protestant missionaries viewed the Catholic presence in Korea. The first ordained Protestant missionary, a Presbyterian Minister, Horace G. Underwood, arrived in Korea in 1885. Reverend Underwood was deeply disturbed by the success of Catholic missionary efforts, declaring in an address at the Fifth General Council of the Alliance of the Reformed Churches Holding the Presbyterian System, that they were not "win[ning] Korea from heathenism. . .for Christ. . .but for Rome" and that Protestants needed to expand their efforts or they would have "a Romanist instead of a heathen country to convert."24 Underwood saw little difference between the two, stating that "Heathenism is darkness but Romanism is blindness." For Underwood, discussing Catholic missionary efforts meant speaking of the evils of "Jesuitism" even though it was the MEP, which had been opposed to the Society of Jesus during the Chinese rites controversy, and not the Jesuits who were actually working in Korea at that time.

     Underwood began his criticism of the Jesuits and their missionary work by stating that "As with Rome in her conversion of pagan Europe, so, in all her foreign Mission work, there is an attempt to adapt her truths to the form of heathenism that she meets. In India she is Brahmin; in China, Confucian; in Japan and Korea, Buddhistic. This principle is carried out more thoroughly by the Jesuits than by any other Romish sect, and the following quotations from their rules for the guidance of missionaries will show their attitude most plainly." After quoting from a Jesuit source describing these "rules,"25 which emphasized fitting Catholicism into indigenous worldviews as much as possible, Underwood argued that the Jesuits, in following these guidelines, only convinced people to accept outward signs, such as Catholic rituals and creeds, rather than bringing true conversion of heart to Jesus Christ. Underwood charged that Saint Francis Xavier had been guilty of this approach in India and that Matteo Ricci had taken it as far as to marry a Chinese woman.

     It is curious that Underwood would accuse Catholics in Korea with being "Buddhistic" rather than Confucian, since it was the Jesuit synthesis with Confucianism, not Buddhism that had the most significant influence on Korean Catholicism. Underwood's negative view of the Jesuits would also influence how he understood the "Silk Letter Incident" of 1801 and its connection to the anti-Catholic incident of that year. In response to the Korean government's killing of Catholics, Alexius Hwang Sayŏng (1775–1801), wrote a letter on a piece of silk asking the bishop of Beijing to inform the pope of the dire situation the church was in and to send an armada to force the Korean government to tolerate Catholicism. Unfortunately for Hwang, the letter was discovered and he was executed.26 Underwood presented this incident rather differently. In his analysis it was the discovery of the letter that started the persecution, rather than the letter being a response to persecution. Perhaps Underwood made this mistake because he was thinking of the "rule" he quoted that the Jesuit "must, if possible, insinuate himself so far into the confidence of the great and powerful, that he may be consulted in matters of state and government."27 In short, in Underwood's view, Catholics were guilty of seeking to involve the state in the affairs of the church. Underwood's desire to rescue Koreans from such "Jesuitical" errors, undoubtedly spurred on Protestant missionary efforts on the peninsula. Within a short period Protestant denominations dominated Christianity in Korea.28

     Jesuit missionaries finally arrived in Korea the early twentieth century when the Japanese annexation of the peninsula opened it up for them. The bishop of Seoul, Gustave Mutel, a member of the MEP, recorded visits from Jesuits stationed in Japan in 1912 and 1917.29 Jesuits were also a part of the celebration of the beatification of Korean martyrs in 1925.30 Despite belonging to different missionary orders, Mutel must have had respect for Jesuits as he noted that a Jesuit father was visiting Korea from Shimonseki, Japan to give a retreat to priests serving in Korea.31 Mutel even had a posthumous encounter with Jesuit Adam Schall, translating some of his letters for a Japanese professor.32 The bishop also recognized the Jesuit influence on Korea, noting with a sense of awe the discovery of a very old crucifix in Korea and wondering if Jesuits who had come to Korea during Hideyoshi's invasion of the peninsula might have brought it with them.33


The Jesuits formally came to Korea as a corporate body in 1955 when the Wisconsin province of the Society of Jesus was invited to establish there a Catholic institution for higher learning, Sogang University Father Theodore Geppert, a German Jesuit working in Japan, was given the task of acquiring land for the new institution, which opened in 1962.34 This institution quickly expanded, and by the spring of 2012, had more than 11,000 undergraduate and nearly 4,000 graduate students served by more than 400 full-time faculty members.35 The current president of Korea (and first woman to hold the office), Park Geun-hye, graduated from Sogang University with a degree in electrical engineering.36 Another indication of Sogang's prestige is that when the secular newspaper, the Chosun Ilbo wanted to explain to non-Catholics who the Jesuits were in its coverage of the election of Pope Francis I, the first Jesuit to hold that office, it pointed to Sogang University as a point of reference.37 It should also be noted that Sogang University maintains the Institute of for the Study of Religion, which publishes the only English-language journal dedicated to the study of Korean religion, the Journal of Korean Religion.38 Thirty Jesuits are attached to Sogang in various capacities.39

     As of the spring of 2013, 189 Jesuits, including priests, scholastics, and brothers, are listed as part of the Jesuit Korean Province. Of these, 152 are in Korea or in Cambodia (the province's assigned mission), with the remaining 37 serving in other provinces, for instance, in Korean parishes in China and the United States. The Jesuits in Korea also devote much time to social justice work. For instance, the Catholic Church, in part through the Jesuits, has played an important part as advocates for the poor during urban redevelopment programs. One Jesuit, while studying sociology at Sogang, Father Park Mun-su (born Francis X. Buchmeier, he took a Korean name and Korean citizenship), wrote a papers on such efforts.40 While conducting research in Korea in 2009, I had the opportunity to see the Jesuits in action on this very issue. In January of that year, several protestors and a policeman died in a fire related to a tenents' protest against urban development which they asserted benefitted the wealthy at their expense.41 A Maryknoll priest, Father Russ Feldmeier, took me to the site, where the Catholic Priests Association for Justice, along with some Jesuits and some diocesan priests, had set up a headquarters to support the protestors, offering Mass each day. Father Park officiated at the Mass the day I visited. The Gospel reading from the Mass for that day was from the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus enjoins people to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them—a difficult reading to preach on considering that the wives of the protestors who died were in the audience. Yet, in his homily, Father Park managed to capture the significance of those words, calling for love and forgiveness while also encouraging people to respectfully continue struggling for what they thought was right and just. Such participation in society continues—as of this writing, Jesuits are active in the protests against the establishment of an American military base on Cheju Island. Thus, it can be said that since the beginning of the early seventeenth century the Jesuits have played a role in Korea, exposing Koreans to Western science and technology, helping to build a Catholic community that survived concentrated attempts to wipe it out, and continues to be a vital part of Korean society today.

Franklin D. Rausch is an Assistant Professor of history at Lander University (Greenwood, SC). He is currently conducting research on religion and violence in late Chosŏn-Dynasty Korea and has published several articles on that subject and church state relations in Acta Koreana, The Journal of Korean Religions, and Kyohoesa yŏn'gu [Research Journal of Korean Church History]. He can be reached at


1 Hideyoshi's ultimate plan was to conquer China. However, Korean resistance and Ming China's intervention ultimately forced his withdrawal from the peninsula. See Samuel Hawley, The Imjin War (Seoul: The Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch, 2005).

2 Juan Ruize-de-Medina, The Catholic Church in Korea: Its Origins, 15661784, trans. John Bridges (Seoul: Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch, 1991), 49–57.

3 Yi Changu, "Chosŏn kwa Ch'ŏnjugyo ŭi mannam [The meeting of Chosŏn and Catholicism]," in Han'guk Ch'ŏnjugyohoesa 1 History of the Korean Catholic Church, ed. Han'guk Kyohoesa Yŏn'guso (Seoul: Han'guk Kyohoesa Yŏn'guso, 2009), 1: 107–116.

4 Jonathan Spence, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (New York: Penguin Books, 1985); Michela Fontana, Michela, Matteo Ricci: A Jesuit in the Ming Court (Lanham: Romwan & Littlefield, 2011).

5 See Andrew Ross, A Vision Betrayed (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1994); Arnold Rowbotham, Missionary and Mandarin, (New York, Russel and Russel, 1966); Liam Matthew Brockey, Journey to the East: The Jesuit mission to China, 15791724 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007).

6 Matteo Ricci, On Friendship: One Hundred Maxims for a Chinese Prince, trans. Timothy Billings (Columbia: Columbia University Press, 2009).

7 For an overview of the influence of such books as the T'aesŏ subŏp on Korea, see Yi Changwu, "Hanyŏk Sŏhaksŏ ŭi toip kwa yuhakchadŭl ŭi panŭng [The importation of Western books written in Classical Chinese and the reaction of Confucian scholars]," in Han'guk Ch'ŏnjugyohoesa 1 [History of the Korean Catholic Church 1], ed. Han'guk Kyohoesa Yŏn'guso (Seoul: Han'guk Kyohoesa Yŏn'guso, 2009), 1:139–225. For the relationship between scholars of "practical learning" and Catholicism see Don Baker, "The Use and Abuse of the Sirhak Label: A New Look at Sin Hu-dam and his Sŏhak Pyŏn," Kyohoesa yŏn'gu, no. 3 (1981), 183–254; Cho Kwang, "Sirhak ŭi palchŏn [The development of sirhak]," in Han'guksa [Korean history], ed. Kuksa Pyŏnch'an Wiwŏnhoe (Seoul: Kuksa Pyŏnch'an Wiwŏnhoe, 1998), 35: 207–71.

8 Yi Changwu, "Chosŏn kwa," 117–124.

9 Donald Baker, "Confucians Confront Catholicism in Eighteenth-century Korea" (Phd. diss., University of Washington, 1983), 27–72.

10 Don Baker, Korean Spirituality (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2008), 47–54, 65, 95, and 113; Keum Jang-tae, Confucianism and Korean Thoughts (Seoul: Jimoondang Publishing Company, 2000), 3–10.

11No Kilmyŏng, Kat'ollik kwa Chosŏn hugi sahoe pyŏndong [Catholicism and social change in the late Chosŏn dynasty] (Seoul: Kodae Minjok Munhwa Yŏn'guso, 1988), 56–61.

12 For information on this division see Cho Hangŏn, "<Chyugyo yoji> wa hanyŏk sŏhaksŏ wa ŭi kwan'gye [The relationship between the Chyugyo yoji and Western books in Chinese translation]," Kyohoesa yŏn'gu 26 (June, 2006); 8–11.

13 For an English translation, see Matteo Ricci, The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, trans. Douglas Lancashire and Peter Hu Kuo-chen, ed. Edward J. Malatesta (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1985).

14 Yi Changwu, "Hanyŏk Sŏhaksŏ," 166–196

15 Park Hee-bong, Chol Du San Martyr's Shrine (Seoul: Catholic Press, 1987), 71.

16 Didace de Pantoja, Ch'ilgŭk: ilgŭk kaji sŭngni ŭi kil [The seven conquests: seven roads to victory], trans. Kim Chinso, Kim Hyŭnung, and Pak Wansik (Ch'ŏnju: Ch'ŏnju Taehakkyo Ch'ulp'an, 1996), 252–54.

17 See de Pantoja, 235–36.

18 Don Baker, Korean Spirituality, 64–67.

19 Boundewijn Walraven, "Popular Religion in a Confucianized Society," in Culture and State in Late Chosŏn Korea, edited by JaHyun Kim Haboush and Martina Deuchler (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), 163–67.

20 See George Minamiki, The Chinese Rites Controversy from its Beginning to Modern Times (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1985).

21 Jai-Keun Choi, The Origins of the Roman Catholic Church in Korea: An Examination of Popular and Governmental Responses to Catholic Missions in the Late Chosŏn Dynasty (Norfolk: The Hermit Kingdom Press, 2006), 97–103; Tai-sik Jung, "Religion and Politics: Persecution of Catholics in the Late Chosŏn Dynasty Korea" (PhD. diss., University of California: Berkeley, 2001), 188–95.

22 For a more detailed account of these issues see Baker, "A Different Thread" 217–20; Don Baker, "The Martyrdom of Paul Yun: Western Religion and Eastern Ritual in 18th Century Korea," Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society 54 (1979), 33–58.

23 See Don Baker, Korean Spirituality; Franklin Rausch, "Like Birds and Beasts: Justifying Violence against Catholics in late Chosŏn Dynasty Korea," Acta Koreana 15, no. 1 (June 2012): 43–71.

24 See Horace Underwood, "Romanism on the Foreign Mission Field," Reports of the Fifth General Council of the Alliance of the Reformed Churches Holding the Presbyterian System (Toronto: 1892), 409–415. This speech is also included in Yi Manyŏl and Ok Sŏngdŭk, ed. and tr., Ŏndŏudŭ charyojip [Collection of Underwood's documents] (Seoul: Yonsei University, 1995), 1:725–35.

25 Underwood likely learned about these "rules" from Johann Lorenz Mosheim, Authentic Memoirs of the Christian Church in China (Dublin: McGlashan & Gill, 1862), 62n1. I place "rules" in quotation marks because according to Mosheim, these directives seem to have been the private advice of a single Jesuit rather than representing official Jesuit policy.

26 For a study of the Silk Letter in English, see Franklin Rausch, "Wicked Officials and Virtuous Martyrs: An Analysis of the Martyr Biographies in Alexius Hwang Sayŏng's Silk Letter," Kyohoesa yŏn'gu 32 (July 2009), 5–30.

27 See above, fn. 24.

28 Franklin Rausch, "Saving Knowledge: Catholic Educational Policy in the late Chosŏn Dynasty," Acta Koreana 11, no. 3 (December 2008), 69–76.

29 See Mutel's journal for January 22, 1912, 7:20; February 21, 1917, 6:100. All volume and page numbers in reference to Mutel's journals refer to the modern Korean translation, Mwit'el chugyo ilgi [Bishop Mutel's journals], published and translated by the Han'guk Kyohoesa Yŏn'guso.

30 Mutel's journal, July 9, 1925, 7: 416–17.

31 Mutel's journal, April 20, 1928, 8: 168.

32 Mutel's journal, November 4, 1928, 8:200.

33 Mutel's journal, March 5, 1927, 8: 97.

34 Father Joseph Chang-mun Kim and Catechist John Jae-sun Chung, Catholic Korea: Yesterday and Today (Seoul: Catholic Korea Publishing Co., 1964), 727–729. A revised version of this work was published in 1984. However, it does not include the section on the Society of Jesus.

35 See Accessed May 11, 2013.

36 Interestingly enough, she is the daughter of Park Chung-hee, another president of the Republic of Korea, who governed the country from 1960 to his assassination in 1979.

37 See "프란치스코 교황, 서강대학 어쨌든 인연. . .예수회," [Pope Francis and Sogang University, How are they Connected? The Jesuits]조선일보 [Choseon Ilbo], March 14, 2013,

38 See the homepage for the institute at

39 Father Park Mun-Su (birth name, Francis X. Buchmeier) kindly provided me with statistical information on the Jesuits and news of their present-day activities. Father Park Mun-Su, email messages to author, May 23 and 27, 2013.

40 Park Mun Su, S.J., "Tension between the Urban Redevelopment Program and a Religiously-Inspired Citizens' Advocacy Group in Seoul" (Unpublished Paper, June 1990).

41 Benjamin M. Kim, "More Dialogue, Less Violence," The Korea Times, March 6, 2009 (; Park Sisoo, "Yongsan protestors conviction upheld," The Korea Times, November 11, 2010 (

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