Thursday, April 11, 15-17

Lukas Pokorny (University of Aberdeen)

''Life, Death and Self-Cultivation in Neo-Confucianism"

A close reading of the Sasaeng kwisin ch’aek (‘Treatise on Death and Life, Ghosts and Spirits’), the Suyo ch’aek (‘Treatise on Long Life and Premature Death’) and the Sinsŏn ch’aek (‘Treatise on Immortals’), authored by the eminent Chosŏn scholar Yi I [Yulgok] (1536–1584), sheds light on the orthodox Neo-Confucian view concerning ‘life and death’. Drawing on his elaborate i-ki-doctrine 理氣論, Yulgok unveils a lesser known yet crucial dimension of Chéng-Zhū soteriological thought. The paper will introduce key issues in Yulgok's understanding of life, death and self-cultivation.