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An Essay on Wonhyo’s Hwajaeng and Translational Humanities

Jon Sung-Gi 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Translational humanities are a project, in which we have been engaged for several years, that aims at renewing our poor and infertile translation culture in the field of the humanities. It seems to us that it must have something to do with the actual crisis in the humanities studies. In this article, we shall explain first what is the task of translational humanities (section 2), and then we will describe briefly how we can achieve this task (section 3). But in order to handle well this task, we need and have to reconsider basically how the humanities should be studied, differently from what we have been doing, for too long, heavily influenced by the American and European humanities. What we have found in this reconsideration is Wonhyo’s hwajaeng, and this hwajaeng method developed by the famous Buddhist philosopher serves as the theoretical basis of our proposition for the new academic studies. Through three sections, we will present the historical background of Wonhyo’s hwajaeng (section 4), his scholarly attainments and academic studies in line with his hwajaeng concept (section 5), and several related studies on his achievements through his famous triad «ilsim­hwajaeng­muae» (section 6). In our last section, we will stress on the aspects of translational humanities as communicative humanities and as rhetoric of enigma. Finally, we shall conclude by advising to approach translational humanities following the road of Wonhyo’s hwajaeng as closely as possible. This endeavor will lead us to the paradigm shifting translational turn of the humanities studies in Korea.

Citation status

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

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.