|Humanities Studies of the Kings of Joseon Linked with State Policies|
“Royal Lectures, the Scholarly Activities of Joseon Kings”
By Kim Tae-wan, Yeoksa Bipyeong (Historical Criticism) Publishers, 432 pages, 22,000 won
Heo Chim: Vice Minister Sin Jeong has a sagacious temperament, but he is not the type of person to meet popular expectations. How have these two individuals discharged their duty in selecting officials? I fear that the selection and advancement of officials lacks exactitude.
King: What do you mean that Vice Minister Sin Jeong does not meet popular expectations?
Heo Chim: It is said that he lacks integrity.
King: The Ministry of Personnel is an immensely important agency. If his character is lacking in integrity he should not have been appointed to that position. Each of you tell us what you know about this situation.
This scene is from a royal lecture (gyeongyeon) on October 7, 1478, the ninth year of the reign of King Seongjong,and is recorded in The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty. On that occasion during the royal lecture the king and scholars were discussing the “Record of Rites” (Liji) and the gap between the norms prescribed in that text and actual contemporary practices. The official in question was Sin Jeong.
The book covers all aspects of the royal lectures in the court of Joseon, including their genesis and aims, the textbooks used in the lectures, the procedures for appointing royal instructors, and the processes of lectures. The royal lectures were constituted by the morning lecture (jogang), the noon lecture (jugang), and the afternoon lecture (seokgang), which began at dawn, noon, and 2 p.m., respectively. Special or supplementary lectures (sodae) which consisted of scholars reporting their opinions on specific subjects in front of the king, were held at any time. Thus, these were sometimes referred to as unscheduled lectures (bulsi gyeongyeon). Late night supplementary lectures (yadae) were also held after the palace doors were closed for the evening.
|[August 19, 2011]|