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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10561/955

Title: 韓国カトリック教会の成長に関する小考
Other Titles: A glimpse into the growing Korean Catholicism
Author: 徐, 賢燮
Author's alias: SEO, Hyun-seop
Issue Date: 15-Jan-2014
Publisher: 長崎県立大学
Shimei: 研究紀要
Issue: 14
Start page: 205
End page: 217
ISSN: 1883-8111
Abstract: The tide of Catholicism first reached Korea in the 17th century, when copies of the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci’s works in Chinese were brought back from Beijing by the annual mission to the Chinese emperor. The Korean scholars initially were curious about Western learning but showed no disposition toward the Catholic doctrine. A particularly significant event occurred in 1784 when Lee Syng-hun, who had accompanied his father in a diplomatic entourage, returned from Beijing after being baptized by a Western Catholic priest. Catholicism gradually found many of its converts among the faction of the Namin, who had little access to political power and were among the Chuingin class of technical specialists. This process occurred not through the proselytizing of Western missionaries but through the scholar’s own efforts by reading treaties brought back from China. On the other hand, the acceptance of Catholicism constituted a kind of challenge to the intellectual rigidity of Neo-Confucianism. The issue that brought to the surface Catholicism’s challenge to the existing order shaking Korean society was the so-called Rites controversy. This arose in consequence of a papal ruling in 1742 that ancestor worship and belief in Christianity were incompatible. Catholicism thus came to be suppressed on ritual grounds. In the course of the Catholic propagation in Korea, there were ten waves of prosecution including four major ones involving more than ten thousand martyrs from 1755 to 1876. Korean Catholicism, however, witnessed a big growth in spite of a series of severe prosecutions. With the end of World War II, the Korean Catholic population started to grow rapidly. The Roman Catholic Church in Korea celebrated its bicentennial with a visit to Seoul by Pope John Paul II and the canonization of 93 Korean and 10 French missionary martyrs in 1984. In 2012, the number of Korean Catholics was officially put at 5,361,369, about 10.3% of the entire population. Today, Korean Catholicism blossoms by the dirt of the blood of martyrdom, being entrusted with a mission of spreading the truth to all parts of the world.
Keywords: Catholicism
Western learning
prosecution
canonization
martyrs
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10561/955
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