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Features of Confucian Scholars seen through Hoejae Lee Eon-juk's View of Nature in the Early 16th Century

YUN INHYUN 1

1인하대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study was conducted to discuss the life of Hoejae(晦齋) Lee Eon-juk(李彦迪, 1491~1553), who laid the foundation of Neo- Confucianism in Joseon in the early 16th Century through the view of the Chulcheo (a government post and seclusion) and the Confucian scholars' view of nature based on the writings of Hoejae. It particularly discussed whether Hoejae's view of the Chulcheo was fair based on the Confucian scholars' view of the Chulcheo or he pursued government post anytime for his own success and honor. King Jungjong reinstated Hoejae, who was back in his hometown due to his grandfather's funeral, two years after Gimyosahwa(1519) where the Sarim party of scholars, including Cho Kwang-jo, was sacrificed. His 「Iyunochwitangnon」 describes how he felt when he accepted the posts. He stated he accepted the posts to work as Lee Yoon and make the king as great as Yao-Shun for the people to flourish in peace and prosperity as the time of Yao-Shun. During Elsa-Sahwa, he participated in Chungsoondang where Queen Munjeong and Soyoon punished the Sarim party and tried the officers as Panuigeumbusa (head judge) to be recorded as Jeongnanwisagongsin and appointed to Yeoseonggun. This behavior of his was not just considering the Confucian view of the Chulcheo. Later, Hoejae refused the titles of Jeongnanwisagongsin and Yeoseonggun as he realized it was wrong. The view of nature reflected in Hoejae's poetry was expressed as his sadness for not being able to care for his parents, how much he missed his family, and his love for his brother. He submitted the resignation letter several times to take care of his mother and volunteered to work at a local office near his hometown. He also wrote about 30 poems about his younger brother. Not only that, his loyalty to the king and concerns for the kingdom also reflected the Confucian scholars' view of nature. However, he wrote almost no poem on the hardships of the commoners. This would be the limitation of poetry of Confucian scholars in the 16th Century. As Zixia said in the Chapter of Great Virtue, Book of JaJang(「子張」), “Small virtue may enter if the great virtue does not deviate from its boundary,” Hoejae has several reasons to be acknowledged from a positive view considering the philosophy trends of his time and that Toegye said in Haengjang that "The Chulcheo is right for the integrity defended with life for the great cause,"

Citation status

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