A Korean Confucian's Advice on How to Be Moral: Tasan Chong Yagyong's Reading of the Zhongyong - Don Baker; Robert E. Buswell Jr.; | Foyles Bookstore
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
A Korean Confucian's Advice on How to Be Moral: Tasan Chong Yagyong's Reading of the Zhongyong
Foyalty 202

A Korean Confucian's Advice on How to Be Moral: Tasan Chong Yagyong's Reading of the Zhongyong (Hardback)

Awaiting publication


Tasan Chong Yagyong (1762-1836) is one of the most creative thinkers Korea has ever produced, one of the country's first Christians, and a leading scholar in Confucian philosophy. Born in a staunchly Neo-Confucian society, in his early twenties he encountered writings by Catholic missionaries in China and was fascinated. However, when he later learned that the Catholic Church condemned the Confucian practice of placing a spirit tablet on a family altar to honor past generations, he left the small Catholic community he had helped found and ostensibly returned to the Neo-Confucian fold. Nevertheless, the Christian ideas he studied in his youth influenced his thinking for the rest of his life, stimulating him to look at Neo-Confucianism with a critical eye and suggest new solutions to problems Confucian scholars had been addressing for centuries. A Korean Confucian's Advice on How to Be Moral is an annotated translation of Tasan's commentaries on the Confucian classic Zhongyong (usually translated as The Doctrine of the Mean) in which he applies both Confucianism and Christianity to the question of how to best develop a moral character.

Written as a dialogue with King Chongjo, (r. 1776-1800) these texts reveal how Tasan interpreted his Confucian tradition, particularly its understanding of how human beings could cultivate morality, while the king's questions illustrate the mainstream Neo-Confucianism Tasan was reacting against. Tasan challenged the non-theistic standard, insisting that living a moral life is not easy and that we need to be motivated to exert the effort necessary to overcome our selfish tendencies. He had abandoned his faith by the time he wrote these commentaries but, influenced by Catholic works and determined to find a more effective way to live a moral life than non-theistic Neo-Confucianism provided, Tasan constructed a Confucian philosophy of moral improvement centered on belief in God. This translation, helpfully annotated for context and analysis, is an exploration of early Korean engagement with the West and a powerful guide to all those interested in Confucianism, Christianity, and morality.

History & PoliticsRegional & national historyAsian historyPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesReligion & BeliefsChristianityChristian Churches & denominationsReligion & BeliefsOther non-Christian religionsOriental religionsReligion & BeliefsReligion: generalReligious issues & debates Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press Publication Date: 31/01/2023 ISBN-13: 9780824893620  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Awaiting publication Pre-Order

Don Baker is professor of Korean civilization in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. Robert E. Buswell, Jr. holds the Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he is also Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and founding director of the university's Center for Buddhist Studies and Center for Korean Studies.

More books by Don Baker

More books by Robert E. Buswell Jr.

Leave Review

Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.


Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
Free UK Standard Delivery on Orders Over £25 (2nd Class)     3-5 Days
UK Standard Delivery (2nd Class) £2.99 £0.00 3-5 Days
UK 1st Class Delivery £3.99 £0.00 2-3 Days

Click & Collect / 
Delivery to a Foyles Bookshop


Free Free Click and Collect and Delivery to Store is available for all our shops. Collection times will vary depending on availability of items. Individual despatch times for each item will be given at checkout.
Please wait for order arrival confirmation email before making a journey to collect.
UK Courier* £7.95 £0.00 1 Working Day
Western Europe Airmail** £9.00 £1.00 7-8 Days
Rest of World Airmail*** £12.50 £1.00 7-10 Days

* For courier service please contact the Charing Cross Road store

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

*** We are currently unable to delivery to the following countries - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ghana, Iraq, Lebanon, Macao, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Virgin Island US

Given the unfolding situation across Ukraine, with regret we have now suspended orders placed from, or to be delivered to, both Russia and Ukraine. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

For goods delivered outside of the UK, the consignee (ie the person to whom the consignment is sent) will be the declarant and importer into the country for which the consignment is destined. The consignee will be responsible for both customs clearance and payment of customs duties and local taxes where required.

Customs Charges - if you are ordering goods for delivery outside of the UK, please note that your consignment may be subject to VAT (Value Added Tax), other taxes, customs duties and/or fees levied by the destination country. Any such charges levied in relation to customs clearance must be borne by you. It is accepted by you that Foyles has no control over additional charges in relation to customs clearance. Foyles recommend that you check with your local customs officials or post office for more information regarding importation taxes/duties that may be applicable to your online order.

Delivery Help & FAQs

A Year of Books Subscription Packages 

Delivery is free for the UK. Western Europe costs £60 for each 12 month subscription package purchased. For the Rest of the World the cost is £100 for each package purchased. All delivery costs are charged in advance at time of purchase. For more information please visit the A Year of Books page.

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

The Politics of Modern India since...
Crispin Bates; Subho Basu
The Politics of Modern India since...
Crispin Bates; Subho Basu
Probing Arts and Emergent Forms of Life
Michael M. J. Fischer
Probing Arts and Emergent Forms of Life
Michael M. J. Fischer
© W&G Foyle Ltd