Korean Philosophy Newsletter

I post here the latest Quarterly E-Newsletter of the North American Korean Philosophy Association (No. 5, February, 2015).


New Year’s Greetings from the Desktop Editor

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Greetings once again from Omaha, Nebraska, US, in the year of the “Goat”! I hope this letter finds you and all your loved ones well.

In this issue of the NAKPA Courier, you are able to find the full program of the session on Korean philosophy at the upcoming Central APA (American Philosophical Associations) meetings in St. Louis, in February, 2015, and also one at the Pacific APA (Seattle) in April 2015. The first will be focused on the Korean traditional studies on the Book of Changes, and the second one on the Korean political philosophy. (For details, see the relevant section below.)

As for the next NAKPA meetings on Korean philosophy, a couple of universities have expressed an interest in hosting the meetings but George Mason University in Washington DC will likely be our next venue as Professor Young-chan Ro, professor of Religious Studies and director of Liberal Studies at George Mason University, has offered limited funding for the meetings. I also thank Tokyo University (Japan), Changchun University (China), and Korea University for expressing their willingness and good gestures any way.

I am still looking for two bibliographers on Korean philosophy for this newsletter, one for the latest literature published in the Korean language, the other for the non-Korean literature. If you want to serve in this function or know someone who can do that, please give me a holler.

Also do not forget: If you have a publication that appeared recently or will appear soon, or if you have any suggestions about our operations, please let me know. I will be happy to circulate the news on the cyber-space.

Finally, as popular interest in all things Korean has been growing in the United States and other countries, Korean scholars themselves recently began paying more in-depth attentions to the formation of their identity by way of looking at the intellectual development in late Joseon Korea after the Hideyoshi invasion of Korea with a particular focus on the works of Post-Neo Confucians such as Jeong Yagyong, Pak Jiwon, Pak Jega, Pak Sedang. Choe Yeonsik (최연식)’s recent The Genealogy of Knowledge in Joseon Korea (조선의 지식계보학 (옥당, Seoul, 2014)) is also a welcome addition to this large picture.

By the way, if you receive this email, it is because you are on my list as a member of the NAKPA or a potential member. If you would like to be removed from the group email, please let me know. I plan to issue an e-newsletter on a quarterly basis (February, May, August and December).

Once again I hereby send you my best regards on half of the NAKPA board. There is no question the best part of the season is remembering those who make the holidays meaningful. Hwa Yol, Jin, David, and I wish you all best of luck in the new year of Goat.

Halla Kim

Department of Philosophy

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha, NE 68182


(402) 554-3934

(402) 201-9914


Message from the President



Dear Friends and Colleagues,


I wish Happy New Year to every one of you.  The first year of our Association was very fruitful.  I hope we will get better and better as years go by.  Personally I hope to see more and more what is so distinct about Korean philosophy in the context not only of East Asia but also of the arena of world or intercontinental philosophy.

I look forward to working with and learning from you since I feel I need to learn much more about Korean philosophy.  Please feel free to send me or Halla your suggestions for the improvement and efficiency of our organization.


Warmest greetings,


Hwa Yol



“The Seok Report”

Bongrae Seok, professor of philosophy and our staunch supporter, has successfully led the two inaugural sessions on Korean philosophy at the last Eastern APA and has sent me the following report (and suggestions).


The inaugural NAKPA sessions went very well. I met many Korean philosophers and religion scholars who attended the sessions and they told me that they liked the sessions. The quality of the papers were good, (i.e., very philosophical) and Q/A part was good as well. Here are some suggestions:

(1)    We need more non-Korean presenters and audience. All presenters were either Korean philosophers or Korean American philosophers. Only one American philosopher attended our second session.

(2) We need to invite young scholars (graduate students).

(3) I met an editor of a publishing company (Bloomsbury) at the meeting. She showed a strong interest in Korean philosophy. We need publication opportunities.

(4) It is high time we publish a Korean philosophy journal (one issue per year). We need to step up the effort to prepare for that (as we build up our academic momentum).

(5) We also need some sort of liaison to Korean scholars in Korea. It would be great for them to come to APA meetings. (perhaps Pacific APA would be a good venue?)

(6) It is highly desirable that we establish our presence at the AAR (American Academy of Religion) meetings.


Thank you for the great report and suggestions, Bongrae!


The North American Korean Philosophy Association (NAKPA)
NAKPA was founded in 2013. We are now an affiliate group of the American Philosophical Association. The notion of Korean philosophy here shall be understood broadly enough to cover not only the traditional philosophy such as the Buddhist philosophies of Wonhyo and Jinul or for that matter the Joseon Neo-Confucianism but also the contemporary philosophy done on important current topics in and out of Korea by philosophers of Korean extraction or by those who are interested in philosophy in Korea. At this point, there are neither dues nor special membership requirements for NAKPA.

We now have our Facebook page “North American Korean Philosophical Association” so please visit and “like” us.

For further information, please contact Halla Kim, Department of Philosophy, University of Nebraska at Omaha, NE 68182 hallakim@unomaha.edu


Membership Data-Base

If you have any announcement to make about the upcoming conferences, call for papers, or new publications that are broadly related to Korean philosophy, please do let us know – we will circulate them in the next issue of the e-newsletter. NAKPA is also making a data-base of institutions with courses that are broadly related to Korean philosophy by way of the English language. Please let us know if you teach one or know any. We would appreciate it. Also, for the effective delivery of the regular newsletter at the end of year, please fill out the membership application form at the end of our home page (http://www.unomaha.edu/philosophy/nakpa.php) and send or email it to Halla Kim if you have not done so.

As for the NAKPA constitution and the organization of the group and its activities, it is posted on our home page at the cyberspace of Halla Kim’s home department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. http://www.unomaha.edu/philosophy/nakpa.php.


University of San Francisco’s Center for Asia Pacific Studies (Director Dr. Melissa S. Dale) invites all those who are interested in their visiting scholars program to apply. The Center for Asia Pacific Studies promotes and fosters research, public programs and teaching focused on Greater China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and India. For example, its research focus:

•The Center organizes and hosts academic symposia and conferences on topics related to the history, culture, and politics of the Asia Pacific region.
•The Center annually funds fellowships designed to bring leading scholars to campus to work on center projects and publications and to promote interaction between these scholars and USF’s faculty and students.
•Three times a year, the Center hosts the Chinese Studies Research Group to bring together scholars and graduate students from the San Francisco Bay Area working in the field of Chinese Studies to meet and discuss their research.
•The Center welcomes visiting scholars to be in residence at USF for three to six months to promote independent research in the field and to contribute to the building of academic bridges across the Pacific. Visit https://www.usfca.edu/center-asia-pacific/visitingscholars/


Upcoming Conferences on Korean Philosophy



  • APA Central Division 2015

    APA Central Division Meetings (Feb. 18-21, 2015, Hilton St. Louis At The Ballpark)

    Session Title: The Yijing Studies in Korean Philosophy (2-hour session)

    Thursday Afternoon, February 19: 12:10–2:10 p.m. (cont.)

    II-O. APA Committee Session: The Yijing Studies in Korean Philosophy

    Arranged by the APA Committee on the Status of Asian and Asian- American Philosophers and Philosophies

    Moderator: Prof. Chaehyun CHONG (Sogang Univ, South Korea).


    1. Prof. In BANG (Kyungpook National Univ, South Korea), “Simulation and Philosophical Therapy: Semiotic Re-interpretation of Dasan Jeong Yagyong’s view on the Zhouyi”

    Commentator: Halla KIM (Univ. Nebraska, Omaha),

    2. Halla KIM (Univ. Nebraska, Omaha), “Kwon Kun and the Structure of the World in his Yijing Interpretation”

    Commentator: Prof. In BANG (KyungPook National Univ, South Korea)

  • APA Pacific Division Meetings (April 1-5, 2015, The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, Canada).

    Friday, April 3, 9am-noon (session 7D.)

    Book Symposium: Sungmoon Kim, Confucian Democracy in East Asia: Theory and Practice

    Moderator: David Kim (Univ of San Francisco)


    Stephen Angle (Wesleyan University)

    David Elstein (State University of New York at New Paltz)

    Jeff Flynn (Fordham University)

    Sungmoon Kim (City University of Hong Kong)


Recent Venues on Korean Philosophy


  • Korean and Comparative Philosophy and History of Philosophy

    Date: 11-13 December 2014

    Venue: P4704, AC1, City University of Hong Kong

    Host: P. J. Ivanhoe and Sungmoon Kim (CUHK)

12 December (Friday)

9:00- 9:15 Welcoming Remarks: Philip J. Ivanhoe and Sungmoon Kim
9:15-10:15 Keynote speech: Another Look at Yi Hwang’s Views about Li and Qi : A Case of
Time-lag in the Transmission of Chinese Originals to Korea (Yung Sik Kim)
10:15-11:15 From Structure to Action: The Concepts of Ch’e and Yong in Kwŏn Kŭn (Halla
11:15-11:35 Break
11:35-12:35 An Ethic of Guidance in the Quest for Well-Being (Michael Kalton)
12:50-2:50   Lunch
3:00-4:00     A Hermeneutics of Confucian-Christian Ecology of Filial Piety as a Global Ecology
(Jung sun Oh)
4:00-4:20 Break
4:20-5:20 Ligi of Nature and Ligi of Mind/Heart: A Reflection on Physical Law and Moral
Norm in Korean Neo-Confucianism (Hyoungchan Kim)
5:20-6:20 Burdens of Modernity: Formation of Buddhist Philosophy in Paek Sŏnguk and Inoue
Enryō (Jin Y. Park)
6:30 Dinner at Hotel Plaza Metropolis

13 December (Saturday)
09:30-10:30 Keynote speech: On “Confucian Constitutionalism” in Korea: A Metacommentary
(Hwa Yol Jung)
10:30-10:50 Break
10:50-11:50 Doing Tasan’s Philosophy Analytically (Seung-Chong Lee)
12:00-2:00   Lunch
2:00-3:00     Joseon’s Post-Daoxue (脫道學) Trend in the 17th-Century Discourse on Publicity
(Soon-Woo Chung)
3:00-3:20 Break
3:20-4:20 Confucianism at a Crossroads: Confucianism and Democracy in KoreaYoung (Chan
4:20-4:40 Break
4:40-5:40 Religiosity in Filial Piety and Brotherly Love in Korean Confucianism (So-Yi Chung)


  • APA Eastern Division 2014


    Korean Neo-Confucianism

    Chair: Bongrae Seok (Alvernia Univ.)

    Session GIII-1 Sunday Dec. 28 11:15am-1:15pm


    Young Chan Ro (George Mason Univ.) – A Non-Dualistic Approach to Yi Yulgok’s Neo-Confucian Philosophy

    Hongkyung Kim (SUNY Stony Brook) – Pursuit of Universality: Dasan’s Reinterpretation of the Confucian Classics

    Weon-Jae Jeong (Seoul National Univ. South Korea) – Korean Confucianism in the Chosun Dynasty and Cheng-Zhu School of Neo-Confucianism

    Bongrae Seok (Alvernia Univ.) – Moral Psychology of Emotion and Toegye’s (Yi Hwang’s) Neo-Confucianism


    Korean Transformation of Asian Philosophy and Religion: Ki (Qi) Philosophy and Buddhism

    Chair: Suk Choi (Towson Univ.)

    Session GVIII-3 Monday Dec. 29 11:15am-1:15pm


    Suk Choi (Towson Univ.) – Ch’oe Han’gi on Ki (Qi) and Mind

    So Jeong Park (Nanyang Technological Univ., Singapore) – “Jigi” of Donghak as Experienced Ultimate Energy

    Pascal Kim (Academy of Korean Studies, South Korea) – Consciousness Intertwined:  Wŏnch’ŭk and Wŏnhyo on Amalavijñāna

    Date: 27-29 December 2014

    Venue: Marriott, Philadelphia

    Organizer: Bongrae Seok

    For the exact time and room, visit http://www.apaonline.org/



  • The Spirit of Korean Philosophy: Six Great Debates and their Significance in Asian and Western Philosophies

    Date: 22-24 October 2014

    Venue: University of Nebraska at Omaha

    Host: Halla Kim (University of Nebraska at Omaha)

    Sponsor: The Academy of Korean Studies, NAKPA


  • APA Committee Session: Buddhism as Philosophy in Korea

    Arranged by the APA Committee on the Status of Asian and Asian-

    American Philosophers and Philosophies

    February 27, 2014, APA Central Division, Palmer House, Chicago


    Chair: Halla Kim (University of Nebraska–Omaha)


    Eunsu Cho (Seoul National University)

    “Mind and Reality in Wonhyo’s Philosophy”

    Jin Y. Park (American University)

    “Envisioning Buddhist Ethics”


•           APA Committee Session: The Development of Confucianism in Korea

Arranged by the APA Committee on the Status of Asian and Asian-
American Philosophers and Philosophies

Chair: Halla Kim (University of Nebraska–Omaha)
So-Yi Chung (Sogang University, Korea) “Tasan’s Confucianism”
Owen Flanagan (Duke University) “The Four-Seven Debate: A New Look”
Hwa Yol Jung (Moravian College) “Confucian Filial Piety in Theory and Practice in Korea Today”
Bongrae Seok (Alvernia University) “Korean Neo-Confucianism and Moral Psychology of Emotion: Qing and XingQing”

•           Intellectual and Institutional Trends of Korean Studies in North America.
Organized by the Academy of Korean Studies

Seoul, Korea. Oct 24-25, 2013.

Jin Y. Park, “Korean Philosophy: Reviewing the Present and Envisioning the Future”

•           Conference on KOREAN MODERNITY/COLONIALITY

Korean Philosophy Workshop at the University of San Francisco:
Organizer: David Kim
AUGUST 13-14, 2013
“Radical Enchantment in Donghak Syncretism” David H. Kim (U. of San Francisco)
“Kim Iryŏp and a Comparative Philosophy of Religion” Jin Y. Park (American U.)
“Ham Sŏkhŏn and the Rise of Philosophy of History in Korea” Halla Kim (U. of Nebraska)
“The Concept of Minjung: Inventing ‘A People to Come’” Boram Jeong (Duquesne U.)
“The Cunning Practices of the Inauthentic Asian American Woman” Emily S. Lee (CSU, Fullerton)
“Confucian Ritual Propriety for 21st Century South Korea:
A Reconstruction from Traditional Korean Resources,” Jung-Yeup Kim (Kent State U.)

Sponsored by the Philosophy Dept, The Mortimer Fleishhacker Fund, The Center for the Pacific Rim, and The Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies Program




Call for Papers


The organization I’m currently president of is the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy (SACP).  We have an annual conference as well as sponsor panels at the regional AAR and APA conferences.  We would be happy to arrange plenary panel presentations on Korean philosophy at our national meetings as well as sponsor them at regional ones.  Below is the link to the website, and anyone interested is welcome to contact with me questions, etc.
Hope all is well. Best, Doug
Douglas L. Berger
President, Society of Asian and Comparative Philosophy
Chief Editor: Dimensions of Asian Spirituality book series, University of Hawai’i Press
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies,
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
980 Faner Drive, Mailcode 4505
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: (618) 453-7434; Fax: (618) 453-7428
Email: dberger@siu.edu


Recent Publications

Owen Flanagan, Moral Sprouts and Natural Teleologies, The Aquinas Lecture 2014 (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2014)
Sungmoon Kim, Confucian Democracy in East Asia (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014)
Jin Y. Park, trans., Reflections of a Zen Buddhist Nun: Essays by Zen Master Kim Iryop (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2014)
_____. “Buddhist Logic and its Transformation in Korean Zen/Sŏn Buddhism,” International Association for Buddhist Studies Conference. University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. August 21, 2014.
_____. “Woman and Buddhist Philosophy: Engaging with Zen Master Kim Iryŏp.” St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY. October 1, 2014.
_____. “Logic of Thinking, Logic of Engagement: Zen/Sŏn Buddhism in the Life-World,” Annual Ahnkook Lecture on Korean Buddhism. Harvard University, Boston, MA. October 7, 2014.


Recent Ph.D. Dissertations
Sujung Kim, “Transcending Locality, Creating Identity: Shinra Myojin, a Korean Deity in Japan”
(2014, Columbia University)

Quick News and Jobs, etc.
Sujung Kim has accepted the offer to teach Buddhism in the Religious Studies Department at DePauw University, beginning August, 2014.

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