본문 바로가기
  • Home

Changes in the understanding of 『Seo'gyeong(書經)』’s 「Mu’il-pyeon(無逸篇)」 and 「Hongbeom-pyeon(洪範篇)」 chapters, during the Goryeo period and the early days of Joseon

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2013, (112), pp.113-156
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Jiyeon Jang 1

1대전대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Examined in this article is how the 「Mu’il-pyeon」 and 「Hongbeom-pyeon」 chapters in the Classical text 『Seo’gyeong(書經)』 were understood during the time of Goryeo up until the early days of Joseon, as well as how the meaning of this text changed when a new dynasty was founded(Joseon) based upon the ideology of Neo-Confucianism. The text 「Mu’il-pyeon」, which was commented in Taejo’s <Hun’yo Shibjo> and has been considered as symbolizing Taejo and his instructions throughout the entire period of Goryeo, was discussed in the royal study sessions which were arranged frequently in the 12th century since the 11th year of king Yejong when Yejong issued a proclamation(制書) stating that he would be pursuing from then on both the founder king Taejo’s instructions(太祖遺訓) and the Ways(道) of the Past sages(聖賢, Confucianism). Past studies believed that the increased discussions of 「Mu’il-pyeon」 at the time was a result of the deepening understanding of Neo-Confucianism, but in this article it is interpreted as an act upon Taejo’s past instructions. Discussion of 「Mu’il-pyeon」 in many times coincided with vibrant Fengshui(風水) prophecy -based actions such as the king’s trip to the Seo-gyeong(西京) city or erection of the Dae’hwa-gung(大化宮) palace. These seemingly contradicting coincidences were actually an active fulfilling of Yejong’s own proclamation, as the trip to Seo-gyeong was following the footsteps of the founder king, while discussion of 「Mu’il-pyeon」 was following the ways of the past sages. And the fact that 「Mu’il-pyeon」, which was a Confucian text that particularly symbolized Taejo Wang Geon in Goryeo, was the one that was selected for further discussions, shows us that the efforts to follow the aforementioned two sources, were being culminated in the Goryeo people’s ultimate honoring of their own founder king. In the meantime, the 「Hongbeom-pyeon」 chapter has been believed to have been related to the issue of understanding or even resolving disasters, since the day of the Han era(漢代). In fact, this chapter became the topic of discussion frequently whenever Goryeo was suffering various forms of atmospheric disasters such as draughts. This kind of understanding of the classical texts started to change by the officials who were well versed in Neo-Confucianism, during the ending days of the Goryeo dynasty. They dismantled the symbolic connection between 「Mu’il-pyeon」 and the Goryeo dynasty's founder king Taejo Wang Geon, and then based on Zhu xi(朱熹)’s interpretation, argued that this text was indeed symbolizing the king’s leadership which should embrace the suggestions of the vassals and provide them with power. Also, 「Hongbeom-pyeon」 was interpreted as an instruction for the king regarding how he should regulate his own heart(心法) in order to become a Neo-Confucian king with a Neo-Confucian perspective toward nature and natural phenomena. As a result, in Joseon both 「Mu’il-pyeon」 and 「Hongbeom-pyeon」 chapters were no longer understood as texts legitimizing the act of “Seo-gyeong Sunju(trip to Seo-gyeong)” or a text used in resolving disasters. It became a text firmly in place inside the inner philosophical structure of Neo-Confucianism.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.