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1.  Extant writings by Korean Christians in this period are almost all in the form of letters.  Of the many Korean martyrs, i.e. in Japan, six have left such writings:

Pedro and Miguel - 'proto-martyrs' (d. 1614)

Catalina Kuzaemon (d. 1623)

Francisco - 'aged 12 years' (d. 1623)

Vincent Kaun - member of Society of Jesus (d. 1626)

Gayo Iemon - novice in Society of Jesus (d. 1627)

Other letters by Korean writers in Japan include those of

Maxima - 'Dama Coreana' (imprisoned 1613)

Pak Marina (1572-1636) member of Julia's company - to, for example, Francisco Colin.

Naizen Joao (d. 1626) companion of Kaun - to, for example, his sister.

Ota Julia (forms sisterhood, imprisoned, dies c.1652) - to, for example, Pedro Morijon and Francisco Pasio.

(See de Medina, 1986/1991)

Korean translations of a catechism and a prayer-book made at Pedro Gomez's request in Omura, Japan (1594) are apparently not extant.

2.  Biographical accounts of Korean Christians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, often in letters by Jesuit missionaries, are extant:

         for Ota Julia and Tomas, from, amongst others, Mateo de Couros (fl. 1600);

         for Maxima, from Sebastien Vieira (fl. 1615);

         for Ota Julia, Kaun Vincente, Catalina Kuzaemon, Takeya Cosme, Manuel, Francisco, Gayo, Arizo Pedro, Shosaku Tomas, from Juan Rodrigues Giram (fl. 1625);

         for Gayo, Kaun Vincente, Akashi Cayo and Marta, from Pedro Morefon (fl. 1620);

         for Isabel, Paulo of Shiki, from Cristobel Ferreira (fl. 1630);

         for Tomas, from Pedro Marques (fl. 1640);

         for Hackikan Joaquin, from Louis Sotelo (d. 1613);

         for Akashi Cayo and Marta, from Baltazar de Torres (d. 1626);

         for Miguel and Pedroand, from Carlo Spinola (fl. 1615)

     Many are translated in de Medina 1986/1991.

3.  Amongst early Sirhak ('western learning') scholars who quote or summarize the T'ien-chu Shih-I (The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven) of Matteo Ricci, are

Yu Mong-in (1559-1623), I Su-Kwang (1563-1628) and the encyclopaedist Yi Ik (1681-1763). 

I Su-Kwang edited versions of The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven and of Ricci's Of Friendship, and commented on them.  (See e.g. I Su-Kwang Chibong yusol [Collected Essays of Chibong]; Yi Ik, Songho Saesol.) 

Yi Ik also wrote a commentary on The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven and a critique of the Seven Victories, and through his disciples An Tjong-pok (1712-1791) and Hong Iou-han (b. 1736) later influenced I-Py-ok and Chong Yak-jong. 

Of those who wrote comparative/critical studies of Ricci's teaching, Iou Mong-In (1569-1623) and An Chong-bok (1712-1791) are notable.

Eighteenth century: 

By the end of the century, a library of Christian writings in Korean existed, numbering almost 150 items.  The vast majority dated from the last two decades, some being translated from the Chinese, but all were written by Korean lay-Christians.

These included both original works and translations (from the Chinese), for example,

on Aspects of the Bible, Christian feasts, commemorations and sacraments;

on the Nativity and Passion of Jesus Christ;

on the Ten Commandments, the Life of Apostolic Faith, the Rule and Ministry of the Mass, the Rosary of St Mary;

the Feasts of All Saints, of the Nativity of Jesus Christ, and for Easter;

the Rule and Practice of Confession;

Stigmata of Jesus Christ;

Introductions to Christianity and to Catholicism;

Rules for Mission Work;

Guides to Prayer, Meditation, or particular Christian doctrines;

and the lives of apostles and saints (including Korean martyrs), along with calendars, litanies, guides to devotional practices, and catechisms. 

(Detailed listing in Cho Kwang 1988.)

Major Christian writings from the period were shaped both by extensive knowledge of western and Chinese philosophy, religion and science and by Korean theological insights and social concerns which were formed independently of missionary teaching.  Christianity is most frequently presented as their own religion for Koreans and a faith which would solve this world's suffering.

The writings also include hymn sequences and extensive catechisms or outlines of the faith, and include those of:

4.  I Py-ok (1753-1786) - pioneer Christian teacher of the Sirhak movement.

Song Gyo Yo Ji (Essentials of the Holy Teaching).  Seoul, c. 1784.  Outline of Christian faith by a leading 'Sirhak' scholar.  I Py-ok also wrote letters and a Catechism, along with hymns, notably Ch'ou Ju Gong Ga (Hymn of the Lord's Adoration) c.1786.

5.  Chong, Yak-jong Augustine (1760-1801) - scholar in theology and oriental culture.

Chu-Gyo Yo-Ji (Essence of the Lord's Teaching), 2 vols., c.1795.  Systematic presentation of Christian doctrine in Confucian and Korean context and the most significant Christian writing of the period.  (Reprinted in Martyrs And Witnesses (1982) and in Diaz 1986.) 

Song-Gyo Jon-So (The Complete Book of the Holy Teaching) - an anthology of Christian doctrine not now extant, in which Chong was assisted by Kim Kon-sun Josaphat (c.1801).

6.  Chong, Yak-yong ("Tasan", 1762-1836) - expert on Confucianism, encyclopaedist and advocate of systematic reform in all areas of government, economy and law.

Sip Kye Myong Ga (Hymn of the Ten Commandments).  Seoul, c.1787.

Mongmin Simso (A book for the Mind of the Shepherds of People).  4 vols. (Originally 48 volumes, completed in 1818).  Reprinted Seoul, Hwangsong, 1902.

Kyonse, Yap'yo, also known as Pongnye Ch'obon (Proposals for Government Reform).  Originally 40 volumes, but unfinished in 1817. 

Also a Catechism, and writings on the Chinese classics, on rites, music, geography, law, medicine, history, language.  (154 volumes, reprinted Seoul, 1960).  (See Joe 1972 and Korean National Commission for UNESCO 1983.)

7.  Hwang, Sa-yong Alexander (d. 1801)

Hwang Sa-yong Baekso (The Silk Book Of Hwang) - a fabric scroll manuscript of 13,000 words, containing accounts of persecution and a request for intervention, addressed to the Bishop of Peking, 1801.  (Presented to the Vatican, 1925.)

8.  Of others who died in the persecution of 1801, Yi Sung-Hun (1756-1810) wrote a defence of his reasons for accepting Christianity (M.S., c.1800), but any writings by Ch'oe P'il Kang (b. 1745), Hong Kyo-man (b. 1737), Hong Nak-min (b. 1750), Ch'oe Ch'ang-hyon and the brothers Kwon Il-sin (b. 1742) and Kwon Chol-sin (b. 1736) have not been discovered.  The final professions of some martyrs have however been preserved, notably that of Yun Chi-ch'ung (d. 1791), held in Chon-dong Church, Seoul.

9.  Pak Che-ga (1750-1815) - advocate of Pakhakpa (Northern Learning of socio-economic reform).

Pakhagui (Discourse on Northern Studies) 1779.  (Reprinted by South Korean Education Ministry, 1962.)  Proposals for industry, international trade and the improvement of rural and urban life, which included advocacy for the legalization and use of Christianity and its teachers.

Selected References

 Cho Kwong  A Historical Study of Catholicism in the Late Chosun Dynasty.  (In Korean)  Seoul, 1988.

Dallet, Charles  Histoire de L'Eglise de Coree.  Paris, Victor Palme, 1874.

de Medina, Juan G. Ruiz  Origenes de la Iglesia Catolica Coreana desde 1566 hasta 1784.  Rome, Institute of History, Society of Jesus, 1986.  English translation from Royal Asiatic Society, Seoul, 1991.

Diaz, Hector  A Korean Theology.  (Chong Yak-jong.)  Immensee, Neue Zeitschrift fur Missionswissenschaft, 1986. 

Grayson, James Huntly  Early Buddhism and Christianity in Korea: A Study of the Implantation of Religion.  Leiden, Brill, 1985.

Han, Woo-keun  The History of Korea.  Honolulu, University Press of Hawaii, 1971.

Institute of Korean Church History (ed.)  Martyrs And Witnesses  Seoul, IKCH, 1982.

Joe, Wanne J.  Traditional Korea: A Cultural History.  Seoul, Chung'ang University Press, 1972.

Korean National Commission for UNESCO (ed.)  Main Currents of Korean Thought.  Seoul, Si-sa-yong-o-sa Publishers; Arch Cape, Oregon, 1983.

Ri, Jean Sangbae  Confucious et Jesus Christ.  La Premiere theologie chretienne en Coree d'apres l'oevre de Yi Piok, Lettre Confucien 1745-1786.  Paris, Beauchesne, 1979.

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