The Journal of Humanities published by the Institute for the Humanities at Sungkyunkwan University has devoted itself to promoting research in various academic fields encompassing those of the East and the East—all based on diverse studies conducted at the College of Liberal Arts. Since its inception in 1971, the Journal of Humanities has introduced the outcomes of vigorous research activities in the fields of humanities—including modern history, modern literature, and modern philosophy—based on which it has set the target of reestablishing humanities harmonizing the culture of the East with the Western one and has attempted to conduct in-depth studies of humanities in general and to amalgamate them with other studies—all aimed at re-illuminating humanities as the convergence of the related studies. Having reflected on the limitation of the conventional binary structure in academic history, the Institute for the Humanities aims suggest a new direction for humanities that can overcome the center-periphery model by applying to it the imagination of “access and changes” as well as “cross-cultural research.” The Journal of Humanities has thus functioned as a comprehensive academic publication that can help pursue such a goal of the Institute for the Humanities. Unlike its fellow journals that mainly focus on particular and specified academic fields for publication, the Journal of Humanities not only deals with the whole academic fields of humanities but also covers almost all the areas of profound sciences in order to examine better the universal characteristics of humans and humanities. It has thus not only covered lots of research papers in the fields of humanities—including literature, philosophy, history, cultural studies, and linguistics—but also offered a chance to examine the general trend of humanities in the East and the West by dealing with the papers on the comparative analysis of the East and the West as well as of the regional studies, thereby coping with the ever changing global academic trends of humanities where interdisciplinary communications and exchanges are more needed than ever. The Journal of Humanities also welcomes the contributions of papers in a variety of academic areas including social, natural, and medical sciences if and when they adopt the perspectives—as well as the methodologies—of humanities. This is aimed at promoting research that can overcome the boundaries of academic disciplines, nations, and differences of understanding by focusing on the interdisciplinary communications among different branches of learning as a core value. The Journal of Humanities is actively coping with the changes of the academic trends both at home and abroad in order to play a pivotal role of a leading journal integrating academic disciplines by expanding the horizons of humanities studies.
The ancient Greeks conceived the world as a single large organism and recognized it as a place where gods, nature, and humans live in harmony. It was believed that life itself is a creative being and nature has its own value because all things are organically connected. However, after humans had scientific and rational knowledge, they have been freed from the myths and fears of nature, and furthermore have occupied a superior position of using and dominating nature. The demagicalized Enlightenment Spirit regarded nature as a simple matter and regarded it as an object of domination.
Humans, having removed the myths and established the logic of domination, began to apply this logic to human society. Human knowledge became a means of development and led the scientific and industrial revolutions, and reckless development of nature took place.
Rousseau criticized the anthropocentric thinking that uses nature according to human needs and practical purposes, and showed how humans dominate nature in Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men. Herder opposes treating humans as heroes, and criticizes mere creatures, arrogantly failing to live in harmony with nature and destroying nature through technological advancement. The ecological interest in defending nature-centrism was raised by Goethe. Goethe lived a life in harmony with nature. His view of the world emphasized harmony with nature. Goethe vaguely admired for ancient Greek and Roman culture because they were harmonized with nature. His idea of the unity with nature is also well expressed in Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther), which he wrote in his youth. At the same time, he warns against a human-centered, development-oriented life.
Yeoncheon (漣川) County, located in the central region of the Korean Peninsula, was a major transportation point that the Japanese imperialists put great geopolitical importance on and in which they established the Kyeongwon Railroad (京元線) in 1914. After that, Yeoncheon had enjoyed its fame as a national network during the Japanese colonial period along with Wonsan Port. However, Yeoncheon County had fallen behind other regions after the Korea War (1950-53), and couldn’t help but experience a so-called ‘geographical vacuum’ near the de-militarized zone (DMZ). Especially, the farmland and irrigation condition of Yeoncheon was devastated in the Imjin & Hantan River Basin. The population had also declined in the 1950s. In the present state of the military tension between South Korea and North Korea, Yeoncheon will be per se a local representation symbolizing the peace of the Korean Peninsula like Cheorwon County. This paper has examined that, if we can penetrate through the blocked waterway and railway in Yeoncheon and Cheorwon, we can finally look for the passage to the peace of the Korean Peninsula.
The Great Purge (or the Great Terror) ― Stalin’s campaign of political repression ― violated the people from numerous perspectives. In this period, an uncountable number of victims were accused as the ‘Enemy of the People.’ Furthermore, the catastrophic terror was inflicted not only on the ‘Enemy of the People’ but also on the family members of the ‘Enemy of the People.’ Even the wives and children of the ‘Enemy’ could be isolated from society.
One can name this phenomenon as a ‘collapse of a family,’ and it was not an exception to the families of the ethnic Korean ‘Enemy of the People.’ Two of the most representative cases were those of Kim Ok-Chun and Park Jung-Sook. These cases show that the authoritarian government led to the collapse of the families by separating family members and controling information.