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Pluralist Literati In Koryo

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that Koryŏs realities were scattered, inconsistent, plural and full of treasured anomalies; treasured, because although the word pluralism is a modern word, the concept was known and articulated in Koryŏ. The author defines pluralism as an ideology that allows the existence of contradictions and inconsistencies between its constituent parts. The chapter then focuses on literati such as Yi Chahyŏn and demonstrates their intellectual proclivities in their proper historical context. An important consideration in the discussion of the realities of Koryŏ literati is the obviousness of some of the characteristics of pluralism. Koryŏ literati were as a rule trained in the Chinese classics, most notably the Confucian classics but also the writings of Laozi and Zhuangzi, and were with respect to religion raised as Buddhists.

Keywords: Buddhism; Confucianism; Koryŏ; pluralism; pluralist literati; Yi Chahyŏn



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