Agency and Oppression in Chosǒn Religious Women’s Lives: An Analysis of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-century Catholic Virgins in Korea by Jee-Yeon Song M.A., The Academy of Korean Studies, 2004 M.A., University of Hawai‛i at Manoa, 2009 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Asian Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) September 2019 © Jee-Yeon Song, 2019 ii The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for acceptance, the dissertation entitled: Agency and Oppression in Chosǒn Religious Women’s Lives: An Analysis of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-century Catholic Virgins in Korea submitted by Jee-Yeon Song in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Asian Studies Examining Committee: Dr. Donald L. Baker Supervisor Dr. Nam-lin Hur Supervisory Committee Member Dr. Christina Laffin Supervisory Committee Member Dr. C. D. Alison Bailey University Examiner Dr. Joy Dixon University Examiner Additional Supervisory Committee Members: Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh Supervisory Committee Member iii Abstract This dissertation explores Korean female virgins’ practice of autonomy and their ability to confront oppression that was present in Confucian society and the Catholic Church during the late 18th and 19th centuries in Chosǒn, Korea. The adoption of the Catholic notion of virginity and the establishment of the nascent Catholic Church in Chosǒn, Korea allowed Korean women to escape the demands of forced arranged marriages during the late 18th century. Korean Catholic women confronted opposition from their families and persecution from society for choosing a religious life of perpetual virginity. Another challenge began when French missionaries from the Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris (hereafter MEP) arrived in 1836 and attempted to control Korean virgins by prohibiting them from practicing perpetual virginity autonomously and imposing strict regulations. As a result, Korean virgins developed new forms of subjectivity by valuing the development and realization of the self and practicing renunciation based on Catholic teachings. Therefore, they considered themselves to be Christian virgins without the approval or recognition of the Church. Although it seemed that they were subordinate to the authority of the Church and clergy, in reality, Korean virgins resisted their authority and achieved freedom by practicing Foucauldian ethical subjectivity. Korean virgins’ resistance and agency were ignored by Korean historians throughout the 20th century. The general understanding was that Korean virgins were part of the modernization (i.e., women’s liberation and gender equality) that Catholicism brought to Chosǒn, Korea throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. However, this dissertation challenges this line of thinking and suggests that the Catholic Church did not liberate Korean women from patriarchal oppression or create gender equity for Korean women before the 20th century. Instead, their resistance to clerical controls and the development of a new form of iv subjectivity shows that Korean Catholic women replaced Confucian patriarchy with Catholic patriarchy, thus emphasizing the authority of the Church and its priests. v Lay Summary This dissertation rebukes the previous research that concluded that the Catholic Church of Chosǒn Korea had liberated Korean women from Confucian patriarchy and brought gender equality to Korea before the twentieth century. Contradicting this point, this research argues that the Catholic Church of Chosǒn Korea attempted to directly import Catholic patriarchy from the West instead of liberating Korean women from any form of patriarchy. I, in this dissertation, also argue that the French missionaries imposed stricter controls on Korean female virgins rather than allow freedom for them and discouraged their choice of life as consecrated virgins rather than encourage their decisions. Nevertheless, overcoming the new restrictions imposed by the Church, Korean female virgins had successfully formed a new form of subjectivity to achieve self-realization by arduous practice of renunciation and resisting clerical control throughout the nineteenth century. vi Preface This is an original and intellectual product of the author, Jee-Yeon Song. A version of 3/4 of Chapter 3 (Sections 3.2, 3.3, and 3.4) has been published in Tongbang hakchi 동방학지 [The Journal of Korean Studies], Vol.169 (2015. 3): 33-73. (in Korean) vii Table of Contents Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... iii Lay Summary .................................................................................................................................v Preface ........................................................................................................................................... vi Table of Contents ........................................................................................................................ vii Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................x Dedication ................................................................................................................................... xiii Chapter 1: Introduction ........................................................................................................... 1 1.1 Research Objectives: Overcoming the Limitations of Previous Research ................. 1 1.1.1 A Galvanization: Debates on Women’s Oppression by Confucianism in China and Korea ............................................................................................................................ 1 1.1.2 A Challenge: Breaking the Myth that Catholicism Brought Gender Equality and Women’s Liberation to Late Chosǒn Korea ....................................................................... 5 1.2 Structure of the Dissertation ..................................................................................... 12 1.3 Theoretical Frameworks of the Dissertation ............................................................. 15 1.3.1 Analyses of Primary Sources ............................................................................ 15 1.3.2 Analyses of Secondary Sources ........................................................................ 16 1.3.3 Comparative research ........................................................................................ 17 1.3.4 Theoretical Framework for Chapter 4 and Chapter 7 ....................................... 18 184.108.40.206 Staying in the Church: Saba Mahmood’s Discussions on Women’s Subjectivity in Traditional Religions (Chapter 4 and Chapter 7) ................................. 18 220.127.116.11 Michel Foucault’s Ethical Subject (Chapter 7) ............................................. 21 viii Chapter 2: Korean Women’s Encounter with Catholicism ................................................ 24 2.1 Introduction of Catholicism in Korea ....................................................................... 24 2.2 Korean Women in the Catholic Church under Kang Wan-suk’s Leadership ........... 35 2.3 Did Catholic Marriage Really Bring “Modernization” to Women in Chosǒn Korea?..... .............................................................................................................................. 45 Chapter 3: Becoming A Catholic Virgin in Chosǒn Korea (1784-1840) ............................ 58 3.1 Introduction of Catholic Virginity in Korea (1784-1800) ........................................ 58 3.2 The First Generation of Female Catholic Virgins during the Persecution of Sin’yu Year (1801-1802) .................................................................................................................. 72 3.3 The Recovery of the Korean Catholic Church after the Sin’yu Persecution (1802-1836)… ................................................................................................................................. 79 3.4 The Second Generation of Female Virgins in Chosǒn Korea (1802-1840) .............. 85 Chapter 4: Reading Catholic Virginity Without the Discourse of “Modernization” ..... 117 4.1 Problems of Virginity as Women’s Subjectivity .................................................... 117 4.2 Meaning of Women’s Virginity in Patriarchal Societies ........................................ 122 4.3 Meaning of Virginity for Women themselves and their “Doing” Virginity ........... 129 4.4 Boycotting the Wombs under the Religious Spaces ............................................... 135 4.5 Doing Catholic Virginity: Its limitation of Women’s Empowerment .................... 143 Chapter 5: Getting Married in Chosǒn Korea ................................................................... 151 5.1 Engendering Confucian Religiosity ........................................................................ 151 5.2 Space: An Important Notion for Gendered Confucian Orthopraxy ........................ 158 5.3 Once You Are Married, Even Your Soul Must Belong to His Family: Patrilocal Marriage for Neo-Confucian Orthopraxy in Chosǒn Korea ............................................... 172 ix 5.4 Heteropraxy: A Necessary Evil for Confucian Ritual Purity and Paradox of Confucian Orthopraxy ........................................................................................................ 184 5.5 Purgatory and Heaven: Women’s Attraction to Catholicism in Chosǒn Korea ..... 193 Chapter 6: Paradise Lost by Getting Unmarried in Chosǒn Korea: Traditional Understanding of Female Virginity in Korea ..................................................................... 204 6.1 Systemization of Women’s Prenuptial Virginity in Chosǒn Dynasty .................... 204 6.2 Virgin Ghosts in Korea ........................................................................................... 220 6.3 Paradise Lost: Return of the Unmarried Female Dead ........................................... 236 Chapter 7: Korean Female Virgins’ Development of Subjectivity and Resistance Under the Control of M.E.P. Missionaries (1840-1886) ................................................................ 251 7.1 Disappearance of the Third Generation of Female Virgins in Chosǒn Korea (1840-1886)…. .............................................................................................................................. 251 7.2 The Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris and Their Mission in Korea ........... 265 7.3 Prohibition of Consecration of Virginity: The Beginning of Conflicts Between the Clergy and Korean Catholic Virgins ................................................................................... 272 7.4 Subjectivity of Korean Female Virgins toward the Catholic Church and the Clergy in Chosǒn Korea ................................................................................................................. 294 Chapter 8: Conclusion .......................................................................................................... 315 Bibliography ...............................................................................................................................326 x Acknowledgements It would have been impossible for me to finish this dissertation without the enormous help and support of many people. First of all, I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Donald Baker, to whom I am deeply indebted for my growth in academia and as a human being at UBC. I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh, my amazing mentor, without whose support and inspiration I would not have come this far. I am very grateful for the support of Dr. Nam-lin Hur, who always encouraged me to leap forward with his insightful advice and provided me with generous financial support at my most desperate moment at UBC. My sincere thanks also go to Dr. Christina Laffin, who sparked my intellectual growth and gave me a crucial epiphany to complete my dissertation writing to complete my dissertation writing in its final labyrinthine stages. Moreover, the completion of this dissertation has been possible thanks to the expertise and guidance of its examiners, Dr. Alison Bailey, Dr. Joy Dixon, Dr. Neil Guppy, and Dr. Haeweol Choi. Also, Dr. Ross King provided me with a wonderful opportunity to work for him and read diverse Korean translations of the Xixiangji (Story of the Western Wing), which helped me to be financially independent for many years while I was writing this dissertation. My gratitude also goes to my professors and mentors at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Dr. Edward Shults, Hagen Ku, Yong-ho Choe, and Michael MacMillan “Sōnsaengnim,” who became the lights for my first academic journey in North America. In addition, Dr. Jessica Main and Dr. Tsering Shakya provided me with a space to focus on dissertation writing in the Choi Building. Special thanks goes to my dear friend Jung-yon Hwang, who shared tearful memories of an arctic winter with me at the Academy of Korean in Unjung-dong. She taught me that a xi brilliant scholar can also be a great person. With her encouragement, I finally decided to study abroad and have come to where I am now. Further gratitude goes to Yun-mi Won, whose guidance led me to study Women’s Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and to select this dissertation topic. Eurie Shin and Meng Wu taught me that the greatest friendship can be found in adulthood; their friendship has become a source of energy whenever I am down. Patricia Crowe, the life mentor I discovered in Vancouver, must be included in this acknowledgement as a special friend. She has restored my motivation and courage to pursue my goals for my life so far. My appreciation also goes to my beloved friends: Mrs. Yumi Baker, Emmett Chan, Casey Collins, Taeyeon Eom, Ali Khalaf, Eunseon Kim, Jeewon Min, Yuki Ohsawa, Sinae Park, Jeongeun Park, Daniel Pieper, Frank Rausch Dr. Cedarbough Saeji, Jihyun Shin, Jeonghye Son, Guy Shababo, Saeko Suzuki, Robban Toleno, Bendi Tso, Julie Vig, Scott Wells, and anyone else I forgot to mention here. I must express special thanks to Father Didier t’Serstevens (Chi Chŏng-hwa, 1931-2019), who passed away on April 13, 2019 with my deep sorrow. When I experienced difficulties obtaining original sources for this dissertation, he provided me with primary sources written by French missionaries, which he had painstakingly transcribed over ten years. I promised him to send a copy of my dissertation once it was completed. I regret not being able to show him this work by completing this dissertation too late. Last but not least, I am immensely grateful to my parents, who have continued to believe in me and waited for a long time as I finish this project, keeping me in their prayers. Without the love and support of my parents, my brothers, Jae-eun Song and Jaeick Song, and their dear families, including my nephews and nieces, I would never have completed this project. Finally, Boogy, xii my beloved cat, has always stayed and slept by my side while I wrote this dissertation. Without his cuteness, this project might have been much more painful and lonely. xiii Dedication To my parents, Ho-yeol Song and Yong-hui Kim, To Patricia Crowe, To Father Didier t’Serstevens And To Boogy Song, my cat 1 Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Research Objectives: Overcoming the Limitations of Previous Research 1.1.1 A Galvanization: Debates on Women’s Oppression by Confucianism in China and Korea In the field of Korean history overall, women’s history has always been one of the least explored areas. This dissertation is designed to explore to what degree Korean women actively maneuvered their lives through diverse actions and reactions, dealing with the impact of, and changes resulting from, two different religions in Chosǒn Korea from the fourteenth to nineteenth centuries: Confucianism and Catholicism. Most of all, my dissertation has two primary aims: galvanizing arguments on women’s oppression in Confucian societies in the field of East Asian women’s history, and challenging the established conclusion in the field of Korean history that Catholicism liberated Korean women and contributed to destroying the patriarchy in Chosǒn Korea. Here, I need to clarify the definition of “patriarchy” for further discussions in this research, because it is not a monolithic concept in that it has been utilized in different ways to control gender issues of societies based on diverse ideologies and goals. The complicated dimensions of patriarchy have provoked diverse controversies and complicated connotations in different times and spaces in world history. As my discussion later will demonstrate, patriarchy shows different forms and mechanisms of operation in the western and eastern societies. Patriarchy of Confucian societies is different from that of the Catholic societies in that the authority to constitute the social system and control the members was given to the patriarch and the monarch. In contrast, Catholic societies were placed under the stronger controls of the 2 Church and the clergy alongside the authority of the patriarch. Although it has many diversified forms of the operations, I will use the term of the “patriarchy” to focus on its common skeleton throughout the temporal and spatial differences in the world history: promotion of “male privilege” by being male-dominated, male-identified, and male-centered.1 My first goal through this research is to revive dormant debates over what lies at the core of the oppression of East Asian women, which includes social, economic, and legal disadvantages and unequal kinship in the family, by scrutinizing the religious nature of Confucianism. Those working in the field of Chinese women’s history have for quite some time challenged previous suggestions that Chinese women’s oppression had been constituted by Confucianism. Such accusations are coming to be viewed as the legacy of Western Orientalism, the May-Fourth Movement, and Communism, which arose in the late nineteenth century, and should be refuted.2 Therefore, rebuffing those previous claims about the oppressive nature of Confucianism toward Chinese women, the academe of Chinese Studies have created a new 1 Allan G. Johnson, The Gender Know: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy, Revised and Updated Edition (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005), p.5. Allan Johnson saw that patriarchy is male dominated in that positions of authority – political, economic, legal, religious, educational, military, domestic – are generally reserved for men and heads of all tend to be male under patriarchy. Also, he points out that patriarchal societies are male identified in that core cultural ideas about what is considered good, desirable, preferable, or normal are associated with how we think about men and masculinity. In addition, he discusses that patriarchy is male centered, which means that the focus of attention is primarily on men and what they do. Moreover, he argues that the essential element of patriarchy is the obsession with control to maintain male privilege by controlling women and anyone else who might threaten it. (Allan G. Johnson, The Gender Know: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy, Revised and Updated Edition (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005), p.5-15). 2 See the introduction of Dorothy Ko’s Teachers of the Inner Chambers for more detailed discussion that the Chinese women’s oppressions by Confucianism is a false and unfair accusation: Dorothy Ko, Teachers of the Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in Seventeenth-Century China (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1994), p. 1-26. 3 hybrid monster: Confucian feminism, which proclaims that Confucian teachings share similarities with feminist ethics, and thus that Confucianism is compatible with feminism.3 It is true that there are unfair accusations regarding the relationship of Confucianism and Chinese women by Western and Chinese intellectuals. However, that does not mean that Chinese women’s oppression by Confucianism—women’s lower status, female infanticide, etc.—should be either minimized or denied. Currently the academe has gone quiet, with more emphasis placed on the potential compatibility between Confucianism and feminism based on superficial commonalities. I hope that my dissertation will be able to stimulate the realization that simple philosophical similarities cannot be the grounds for a suggestion that Confucianism could be defined as feminism. Also, I aim at suggesting that scholars pay attention to the religious roles and functions of Confucianism for rituals in China and Korea by considering gender. The relationship of Korean women and Confucian religiosity for orthopraxy in this research demonstrates that Confucianism was strongly related to women’s sufferings, not only in their daily experience during their lifetimes, but also in their understanding of their afterlives. In contrast to their counterparts in the field of Chinese women’s history, those working in the field of Korean women’s history seem also to have reached unanimous agreement: Confucianism, without any doubt, was the fundamental oppressor of Korean women since the 3 For more discussion of Confucian feminism, see Chenyang Li, ed., The Sage and the Second Sex : Confucianism, Ethics, and Gender (Chicago, Ill.: Open Court, 2000); Li-Hsiang Lisa Resenlee, Confucianism and Women: A Philosophical Interpretation (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 2006); Jing Yin, “Toward a Confucian Feminism: A Critique of Eurocentric Feminist Discourse,” China Media Research 2, no. 3 (2006): 9–18. For the contradiction of Confucian feminism, see: Ranjoo Seodu Herr, “Is Confucian Compatible with Care Ethics?: A Critique,” Philosophy East and West 53, no. 4 (2003): 471–89; Lijun Yuan, “Ethics of Care and Concept of Jen: A Reply to Chenyang Li,” Hypatia 17, no. 1 (Winter 2002): 107–29. Similar discussions from Korea also argue that women could exercise agency within Confucianism. For more discussion on Korea and Confucian feminism, see Youngmin Kim and Michael J. Pettid, eds., Women and Confucianism in Chosŏn Korea : New Perspectives (Albany: SUNY Press, 2011). 4 late fourteenth century. These scholars point out that the Chosǒn dynasty’s reconstitution of the whole society based on Confucian teachings caused a radical deterioration of women’s social, political, legal, and financial status throughout the five hundred years of history of Chosǒn Korea.4 In fact, I agree that this conclusion is correct. But I also believe that there should be much deeper examinations of what was the base of legitimacy in Confucianism such that society should or could treat women poorly and take advantage of them socially, legally, and financially. Accordingly, I pay special attention to the religious side of Confucianism by taking gender into account, in the hopes that my research will invigorate further debates in the field of Korean women’s history. Therefore, through this dissertation, I aim at stimulating further and deeper debates on the oppression of women in East Asia and its relationship with Confucianism by pointing out that the core of women’s oppression lies in the religious nature of Confucianism, which emphasizes patrilineal orthodoxy and orthopraxy. My goal is also to point out that patrilineal orthopraxy was imposed on women’s role in Confucianism as a family religion, especially ancestral rituals. I will 4 Most of research on Korean women of the pre-twentieth century shows the common perspective that Confucianism was the reason for the persistent discrimination against and oppression of Korean women. For more detailed discussions, see: Pak Mi-hae, Yugyo Kabujangje wa Kajok, Kasan [Confucian Patriarchy and Family, Patrimonialism] (Sŏul, Korea: Ak’anet, 2010); Kim Ŏn-sun, “18 Segi Chongpŏp Sahoe Hyŏngsŏng gwa Sadaebu ŭi Kajŏng Kyohwa [Creation of the Society Based on the Agnatic Principle and Domestic Instruction in the Family of Confucian Scholars],” Sahoe wa Yŏksa 83 (2009): 117–56; Ch’oe Hong-gi, “Ch’injok Chedo ŭi Yugyohwa Kwajŏng [The Process of Confucian Transformation of the Kinship System],” in Chosŏn Chŏn’gi Kabujangje Wa Yŏsŏng [Patriarchy and Women of Early Chosŏn Period], ed. Yi Pae-yong and Cho Ŭn (Sŏul, Korea: Ak’anet, 2004), 19–92; Yi Suk-in, Chongjŏl ŭi Yŏksa: Chosŏn Chisig’in ŭi Sŏng Tamnon [A History of Chastity: Discourses on Sexuality among Intellectuals in Chosŏn Korea] (Sŏul, Korea: P’urŭn Yŏksa, 2014); Kim Sŏn-kyŏng, “Chosŏn Hugi Yŏsŏng ŭi Sŏng, Kamsi Wa Ch’ŏbŏl [Sexuality of Women of the Late Chosŏn Period, Surveillance and Punishments],” Yŏksa Yŏn’gu 8 (2000): 57–100; Kim Chin-myǒng, “Kabujangje Tamron kwa Yǒsǒng Ŏg’ap: Naehunsǒ Mit Ŭryesǒ ŭi Punsǒg ul Chungsim ŭro [Patriarchal Discourses and Women’s Oppression: Centering around Analyses of Naehunsǒ and Ŭryesǒ],” Asea Yǒsǒng Yǒn’gu 33 (1994): 61–94; Kang Myŏng-kwan, Yŏlnyŏ ŭi T’ansaeng [The Birth of Chaste Women, Recognized by the State] (Sŏul, Korea: Tolbegae, 2009). 5 examine how the emphasis on patrilineal orthopraxy caused women’s spatial switch in patrilocal marriage, enhanced the importance of the (re)production of male heirs, and excluded women’s-side kin and unmarried women from the Confucian orthopraxy in order to protect the patriarchal order, which functioned as oppression over women in Confucian societies. Moreover, paying attention to the fact that Confucian literati in Chosǒn Korea accused women of being the source of impurity in family rituals with the aim of building and sustaining the Confucian patriarchy,5 this research also aims at revealing two facts. The first is that the emphasis on patrilineal orthopraxy ironically brought anxiety over ritual purity in Confucian patriarchy. And the second is that the efforts to protect patrilineal orthopraxy caused the endless struggles between Confucian orthopraxy and heteropraxy by women in individual households. I believe that this case study of Korean women’s past experiences with the gender oppression in Confucian societies will enrich the field of women’s history of China as well by stimulating comparative and/or collaborative research on similar topics. 1.1.2 A Challenge: Breaking the Myth that Catholicism Brought Gender Equality and Women’s Liberation to Late Chosǒn Korea The next objective of this dissertation is challenging the established claims that Catholicism brought modernization to the women of Chosǒn Korea in the late eighteenth century. The current academia of Korean Studies mainly refers to two factors, when it comes to 5 Yi Tŏg-mu’s Sasojŏ demonstrates that it was women who insisted to replace ancestral rituals of Confucian orthopraxy with heteropraxy by Shamanism whenever serious diseases broke out in the family. (Yi Tŏg-mu, Sasojŏl: Sŏnbi Chib’an ŭi Yejŏl [Elementary Matters of Etiquette for Scholar Families], ed. Yi Tong-hŭ (Sŏul, Korea: Chŏnt’ong Munhwa Yŏn’guso, 2013), p.180-181).) Therefore, women were often accused of contaminating ritual purity of ancestral rituals. 6 their discussions on modernization for women of Chosǒn Korea by Catholicism: gender equality and liberation of women from the patriarchy.6 Therefore, this research will also deal with the discussions on the “modernization” for Korean women by Catholicism narrowly focusing contradiction of the invitation of those two elements by Catholicism. By proving that this assertion is a production of groundless assumptions without scrutiny of accounts in the primary sources, this research aims at separating the history of Catholic women of Chosǒn Korea from the fields of national history and church history. Placing the history of Catholic women as one of the areas of Korean women’s history, I aim at revealing the concealed and neglected lives of Korean Catholic female virgins beneath the hegemonic discourse of “modernization” since the early twentieth century. Here, “modernization” implies the “Western modernization” that Japan successfully adopted in the mid nineteenth century and used to achieve the colonization of Korea in the early twentieth century. Korean historians in the post-liberation era began decolonizing Korea’s past, which had been distorted by Japanese rule as being so stagnant and backward that it was unable develop its own history by itself.7 They endeavored to find the evidence of immanent factors for 6 This discussion are elaborated well in Yu Hong-nyŏl’s research: Yu Hong-nyŏl, Han’guk Chŏnju Kyoheosa [[A History of Catholic Church in Korea]] (Sŏul, Korea: K’at’olik Ch’ulp’ansa, 1962); Yi Wǒn-sun, Chosŏn Sŏhaksa Yŏn’gu [A Study on History of Western Learning in Chosŏn] (Sŏul, Korea: Ilchisa, 1986); Cho Kwang, Chosŏn Hugi Ch’ŏnjugyosa Yŏn’gu [A Study on the History of Catholicism in the Late Chosŏn Society] (Sŏul, Korea: Kodae Minjok Munhwa Yǒn’guso Ch’ulp’anbu, 1988); Kang Chae-ŏn, Chosŏn ŭi Sŏhaksa [A History of Western Learning in Chosŏn] (Sŏul, Korea: Min’ŭmsa, 1996). 7 Yu Hong-nyŏl, Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyoheosa [History of Catholic Church in Korea] (Sŏul, Korea: K’at’olik Ch’ulp’ansa, 1962), p.251; Rho Kil-myŏng, Kat’olik kwa Chosŏn Hugi Sahoe Pyŏndong [Catholicism and Social Changes of the Late Chosŏn Period] (Sŏul, Korea: Koryŏ Taehakkyo Minjok Muhwa Yŏn’guso, 1988), p.6-9, p.65-66; Yi Wǒn-sun, Chosŏn Sŏhaksa Yŏn’gu [A Study on History of Western Learning in Chosŏn] (Sŏul, Korea: Ilchisa, 1986), p.492. 7 development—drawn from the Western model of political, social, and economic modernization—inside Korean history and claimed to have found the “seed” of modernization in the history of eighteenth-century Chosǒn. Particularly, several groups of Confucian literati who strayed from mainstream Confucianism were distinguished as scholars of the Sirhak (Practical Learning). Connections between Catholicism and modernization were also claimed in these discussions, because most of the early Catholic converts and Church leaders came from those who were believed to be the Sirhak scholars, though that grouping has been strongly challenged by Donald Baker.8 It was Pak Yong-ok who first added the Catholic women of Chosǒn Korea in the established claims of the national history, asserting the long-lasting false myth that Catholicism brought modernization to Korean Catholic women starting from the late eighteenth century. Assuming that Korean women also progressed toward modernization along with their male counterparts, she proclaims that she found in the history of Catholic women of the Chosǒn dynasty the seed which flourished later as modernization.9 However, Pak’s proclamation was made without deep scrutiny of primary sources and was an assumption produced by simply adding the case of women to the already existing hegemonic discourse on the indigenous roots of modernization in Korean history. 8 Donald Baker, Chosŏn Hugi Yugyo wa Ch’ŏnjugyo Ŭi Taerip [Conflicts between Confucianism and Catholicism in the Late Chosŏn Dynasty], trans. Kim Sae-yun (Sŏul, Korea: Ilchogak, 1997), p.217-218, 233-288. 9 Pak Yong-ok, “Han’guk Yŏsŏng Kaehwasa Sŏsŏl” [Introductory Discussion on the History of Korean Women’s Enlightement],” in Yu Hong-Nyŏl Paksa Hwagap Kinyŏm Sahak Nonch’ong [A Compilation of Essayes for Celebrating Dr. Yu Hong-Nyŏl’s Sixtieth Birthday], ed. Yu Hong-nyŏl Paksa Hwagap Kinyŏm Saŏp Wiwŏnhoe P’yŏnjip Wiwŏnhoe (Sǒul, Korea: T’amgudang, 1971), 403–21. 8 Once Pak Yong-ok articulated her conclusion, later scholars developed it further and made it somewhat more sophisticated without questioning the plausibility of Pak’s initial claim. They also added the “modernizing impact of Catholicism, which promoted gender equality and the spread of liberation of women” to the established interpretations of Korean history from the late 1970s.10 Pak Yong-ok used only the term kaehwa (enlightenment) to refer to the modernization among Catholic women in Chosŏn Korea in her discussion in 1971, but began mixing it with kŭndaehwa (modernization) in her book published in 1975.11 The new discourse 10 For more details, see Pak Yong-ok, Han’guk Yŏsŏng Kŭndaesa [Modern History of Korean Women] (Sŏul, Korea: Chŏng’ŭmsa, 1975); Kim Yŏng-sun, “Han’guk Ch’ŏnjugyo e Isŏsŏŭi Yŏsŏng Kyoyuk” [Women’s Education by Catholic Church in Korea]” (Master’s Thesis, Kyŏnghŭi University, 1976); An Hwa-suk, “Chosŏn Hugi ŭi Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏng Hwaldong kwa Yŏsŏnggwan ŭi Paljŏn” [Catholic Women’s Activities and Development of Understanding of Women in Late Chosŏn Period]” (Master’s Thesis, Ewha Women’s University, 1979); Kim Ok-hŭi, Han’guk Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏngsa: Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoe 200-Chunyŏn Kinyŏm [A History of Korean Women Catholics: In Memorial of the Bicentennial of the Catholic Church in Korea], vol. I (Masan, Kyŏngsang namdo, Korea: Han’guk Inmun Kwahagwŏn, 1984); Kim Ok-hŭi, Han’guk Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏngsa: Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoe 200-Chunyŏn Kinyŏm [A History of Korean Women Catholics: In Memorial of the Bicentennial of the Catholic Church in Korea], vol. I (Masan, Kyŏngsang namdo, Korea: Han’guk Inmun Kwahagwŏn, 1984); Yi Mi-jin, “Chosŏn Huge Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsindo ŭi Kajokkwan mit Kyŏlhon’gwǒn Yŏn’gu” [A Study on Catholic Women’s Understanding of Family and Marriage in the Late Chosŏn Period] (Master’s Thesis, Sungshin Women’s University, 1994); Song Ok-hwa, “Ch’ŏnjugyo Chŏllae ka Yŏsŏng ŭi Kŭndaejŏk Ŭisik Sŏngjang e Mich’in Yŏnghyang” [Accentance of Catholicism and Its Influences on Women’s Cultivation of Modern Consciousness]” (Master’s Thesis, Hongik University, 1995); Kim Chi-ae, “Chosŏn Hugi Ch’ŏnjugyo Chŏllaega Yŏsŏng Sinjatllŭi Kyŏlhongwan mit Kajokgwan e Kkinch’in Yŏnghyang” [The Influence of Catholic Presence on the Female Converts’ Thoughts about Marriage and Family in the Late Chosŏn Dynasty] (Master’s Thesis, Kyŏnghŭi University, 1998); Ch’oe Chŏng-mun, “Chosŏn Ch’ŏnjugyo Ch’ogi Yŏsindo ŭi Hwaldong” [Activities of Korean Catholic Women in the Early Period of Acceptance of Catholicism in Chosŏn Korea] (Master’s Thesis, Yŏnsei University, 1999); Song Hye-yŏng, “Ch’ogi Ch’ŏnjugyo wa Kang Wan-Suk Ŭi Hwaldong Yŏn’gu” [A Study on Early Catholicism and Kang Wan-Suk’s Activities] (Master’s Thesis, Sungshin Women’s University, 1997); Park Hye-chŏng, “Ch’ŏnjugyo Suyonggi ŭi Yŏsŏng Ipgyo wa Tongjŏngnyŏ ŭi Hwaldong” [Women’s Conversion to Catholicism and Activities of Catholic Virgins at the Early Phase of Its Acceptance] (Master’s Thesis, Chosŏn University, 2002); Kim Chŏng-suk, “Chosŏn Hugi Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏng Shindodŭl ŭi Sahoejŏk T’ŭkching” [The Catholic Women Believers’ Social Characters in the Late Chosǒn Dynasty], Kyohoesa Yǒn’gu 19 (2002): 10–60; Kim Chŏng-suk, “Chosŏn Sŏhak Suyong kwa Yŏsŏnggwan ŭi Pyŏnhwa” [A Changed Perception of Womanhood by the Introduction of Catholicism during the Late Chosŏn Dynasty], Han’guk Sasangsahak 20 (2003): 35–82; Park Sŏng-hye, “Chosŏn Hugi Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏng Hwaldong Yŏn’gu” [A Study of Catholic Women’s Activities in the Late Chosŏn Period] (Master’s Thesis, Kyŏnghŭi University, 2005); Kim Chŏng-suk, ed., Yŏsŏng, Ch’ŏnjugyo rŭl Manada [Women’s Encounter with Catholicism] (Sŏul, Korea: Han’guk kyohoesa yǒn’guso, 2008). 11 Pak Yong-ok, Han’guk Yŏsŏng Kŭndaesa [A History of Korean Women’s Modernization] (Sŏul, Korea: Chŏng’ŭmsa, 1975). 9 of modernization was completely replaced by kŭndaehwa from Kim Yŏng-sun’s MA thesis in 1976.12 This discourse is still being used to refer to Catholic women’s history in Chosŏn Korea today without losing its authority as an established knowledge claim. This knowledge claim from national history has also been integrated into the history of the Catholic Church with the purpose of promoting favorable attitudes toward the Church in order to win the competition with Protestantism regarding who first brought modernization to Korea. In the history of the Korean Catholic Church, it is claimed there were two areas of modernization brought by Catholicism: modernization in the li realm, which means theological or spiritual modernization; modernization in the ki realm, which means technological or material modernization.13 Scholars of Catholicism in Korea point out that the material side of modernization failed to flourish in Korea, because the Chosǒn dynasty banned and refused to accept Catholicism. However, the spiritual side of modernization survived through its teaching on equality of social status and gender, which successfully brought Korean women’s liberation from the oppression of Confucian patriarchy. These scholars have paid special attention to new marriage practices among Catholic converts in Korea, and young Catholic women’s collective refusal of marriage in favor of perpetual virginity, claiming that they symbolize Catholic modernization in Chosǒn Korea. It is true that Catholic converts in Korea abandoned Confucian marriage as a family ritual and 12 Kim Yŏng-sun, “Han’guk Ch’ŏnjugyo e Itŏsŏŭi Yŏsŏng Kyoyuk” [Women’s Education by Catholic Church in Korea] (Master’s thesis, Graduate School of Education Kyŏnghŭi University, 1976). 13 The dichotomy of the ki (material) realm and li (spiritual) realm is based on the traditional categorization for the Western Learning, used by Li Zhizao (1517-1630) when they published Tianxue chuhan (An Introductory Collection of Works on Heavenly Learning) in the early seventeenth century. Yi Wǒn-sun also adopted these terms in his book in 1986 in contemporary Korea (Yi Wǒn-sun, Chosŏn Sŏhaksa Yŏn’gu [A Study on History of Western Learning in Chosŏn] (Sŏul, Korea: Ilchisa, 1986), p.17-18). 10 adopted Catholic marriage practice as a sacrament, which requires baptism and priestly authority. Also, from the beginning of the history of the Catholic Church in Korea in the late eighteenth century, quite a large number of Catholic girls refused marriage and chose to consecrate their virginity for dedication to God. These new movements among Korean Catholic converts, particularly those by women, were misinterpreted as resistance to Confucianism based on the assumption that everything related to Catholicism is modernization from the West, and thus the polar opposite of Confucianism. The biggest problem is that faith in this misinterpretation resulted in failure to see the truth and missed chances to correct the mistakes of previous research reinforced by biased misreading of diverse primary sources. With deeper scrutiny of the primary sources, a group of scholars of Church history have begun noticing discrepancies between the established discussions on modernization introduced by the Catholic Church and Korean women’s liberation. It was Kim Ok-hŭi who first observed a contradiction in the previous research and accounts in the primary sources in the 1980s. She noticed that consecrated Korean female virgins did not resist oppression by the Confucian patriarchy or move to obtain gender equality in pre-twentieth century Korea.14 Also, she points out that married Catholic women showed obedience to their husbands that is similar to their contemporary Confucian counterparts, and female virgins radically disappeared from the documents after the mid 1840s.15 14 Kim Ok-hŭi, Han’guk Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏngsa: Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoe 200-Chunyŏn Kinyŏm [A History of Korean Women Catholics: In Memorial of the Bicentennial of the Catholic Church in Korea], vol. I (Masan, Kyŏngsang namdo, Korea: Han’guk Inmun Kwahagwŏn, 1984), p.117. 15 Kim Ok-hŭi, Han’guk Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏngsa: Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoe 200-Chunyŏn Kinyŏm [A History of Korean Women Catholics: In Memorial of the Bicentennial of the Catholic Church in Korea], vol. II (Masan, Kyŏngsang namdo, Korea: Han’guk Inmun Kwahagwŏn, 1984), p.251-252. 11 However, since her faith in the myth of Catholic modernization is too deep to break, she simply concludes that the Korean Catholic Church made more conservative moves under Bishop Simeon Berneux’s guidance and explains that this was the reason for the increase in the numbers of married women and the decrease in female Catholic virgins after the 1840s.16 Instead of examining further or challenging the established discussions, she ended her exploration of what the contents of the conservative turn of Catholic Church were and why Bishop Berneux had to push the Church in a more conservative direction when it came to women in the Church, particularly virgins. Pang Sang-gŭn also agrees with Kim’s observation that trends among both married and virgin women in the Korean Catholic Church contradict the previous discussions which assumed that modernization was brought by Catholicism to Chosǒn Korea.17 Nevertheless, he rebuffs Kim Ok-hŭi’s argument that the Catholic Church of Korea never abandoned upholding gender equality as its major premise but had to apply it flexibly due to the very complicated situation the Church was confronting: the dominance of Confucianism and its persistent influence on Korean Catholics, and the Church’s need to obtain freedom for its mission under constant persecution.18 Thus, the myth of gender equity and Korean women’s liberation by Catholicism has been unchallenged so far, still maintaining its status as orthodox in the field not only of the history of the Church in Korea but of Korean history in general. 16 Kim Ok-hŭi, Han’guk Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏngsa: Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoe 200-Chunyŏn Kinyŏm [A History of Korean Women Catholics: In Memorial of the Bicentennial of the Catholic Church in Korea], vol. II (Masan, Kyŏngsang namdo, Korea: Han’guk Inmun Kwahagwŏn, 1984), p.251-252. 17 Pang Sang-gŭn, “Pyŏng’in Pakhaegi Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏng Sinja ŭi Chonjae Hyŏngt’ae wa Yŏkhal “[Existence and Roles of Catholic Women during the Persecution of Pyŏng’in Year], Kyohoesa Yǒn’gu 19 (2003): 61–88, p.69, p.71. 18 Pang Sang-gŭn, “Pyŏng’in Pakhaegi Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏng Sinja ŭi Chonjae Hyŏngt’ae wa Yŏkhal” [Existence and Roles of Catholic Women during the Persecution of Pyŏng’in Year], Kyohoesa Yǒn’gu 19 (2003): 61–88, p.71-75. 12 This dissertation thus aims at placing the history of Catholic women in the field of Korean women’s history by delving into Confucianism and Catholicism, women’s actions, and reactions between these two religions from China and the West, respectively. I pay particular attention to the hidden struggles between French missionaries and Korean female virgins, which have been ignored by historians of Korean history thus far. Delving into Korean women’s religious agency by revealing the religiosity at the core of Confucian patriarchy, I will also reevaluate the different meanings of Korean Catholic women’s practice of perpetual virginity within Confucian society and the Catholic Church, respectively, both of which commonly enforced marriage as the only life choice for women. By doing so, I intend to draw their voices, hitherto hidden in the lines of documents, out of obscurity. 1.2 Structure of the Dissertation This dissertation consists of three mains parts: an introduction, six main chapters and a conclusion. In Chapter 2, I will discuss the beginning of the history of Catholicism and the Catholic Church in Chosǒn Korea and their influence on Korean women from the late eighteenth century. This chapter will pay special attention to Kang Wan-suk (1761-1801), a female leader in the nascent Catholic Church in Chosǒn, discussing her contribution to the Church and misinterpretation of her activities by contemporary scholars of Korean history. In this chapter, I will argue against the misinterpretation that Catholicism brought modern marriage with freedom of spousal choice based on love, divorce, and remarriage, which promoted equality between partners. By doing so, I will point out that the new marriage, practiced by Korean Catholic converts of Chosǒn Korea was not the practice of love marriage with equality but Catholic 13 matrimony, one of the Holy Sacraments under strong regulation by the Canon Law and priestly authority. Chapter 3 will examine how young female Catholics in Korea had adopted, practiced and transformed the Catholic notion of perpetual virginity in Chosǒn Korea under the continuous bloody persecutions from 1784 to 1839. This chapter will demonstrate how consecrated female virgins of Chosǒn Korea had developed consciousness of their own identity as Catholic virgins and articulated it differently over generations, confronting Confucian society, which considered them to be abnormal, disturbing, and dangerous. In Chapter 4, I will discuss how and why choosing abstinence could empower women under the patriarchal social environments. This chapter is dedicated to examinations of the meaning of engaging in sex for women themselves and how women subverted the imperative of prenuptial sexual purity, an original device of the patriarchy to control women’s sexuality, as a means to create their subjectivity. Also, this chapter will delve into how women’s refusal to surrender their virginity by relying on religious institutions provided them limited empowerment by focusing on the case of Catholic virginity as an example. In Chapter 5, I will turn the focus of the discussion to Confucianism, focusing on its religious nature related with spirits and the afterlife, particularly of women of Chosǒn Korea. By doing so, I will show Confucianism is indeed a religion based on ritual performance defined by family-oriented orthopraxy and discuss how the religious nature of Confucianism required women to switch their religious space into the domestic sphere. I will argue that this dovetailed with women’s overall oppression throughout the Chosǒn dynasty and that women of Chosǒn actively developed their own religious world. Also, I will connect this discussion with the reasons why women in Confucian societies were constantly identified as a source of ritual 14 impurity. This will explain why the Confucian literati were destined to fail to completely eradicate heteropraxy in their families and had to protect ritual purity in the family by identifying (only) the women as a source of potential danger to ritual purity. In chapter 6, I will explore the traditional understanding of women’s virginity and the lives and deaths of unmarried women in Chosǒn Korea. This chapter will examine the state efforts to control women’s virginity through regulations forcing them to marry and banning them from joining the Buddhist sangha. Also, paying special attention to virgin ghosts and posthumous marriage, performed mostly in the Confucian cultural societies, I will argue that the reason for the prevalence of female virgin ghosts in Chosǒn Korea was the exclusion of unmarried women from Confucian orthopraxy. In this respect, I will point out that Korean Catholic girls’ desire for virgin martyrdom shows that a tremendous paradigm shift occurred among Koreans. In chapter 7, I will discuss how the French missionaries attempted to control Korean virgins by prohibiting them from voluntarily choosing a life of perpetual virginity, and how female virgins in Chosǒn Korea had developed and exercised their subjectivity against the missionaries’ control. Specifically, I will analyze female Catholic virgins’ ways of practicing their subjectivity and resistance to the Catholic Church that differed from those of their predecessors, who had to confront the Confucian society. By doing so, I aim to demonstrate why their dramatic disappearance from documents should not be read as their surrender to the authority of the missionaries. I also aim to show what form of subjectivity they had developed, in contrast to the concept of autonomy in the discourse of modernization. Finally, the conclusion will briefly discuss how the first Western convents came to be established in Korea and how the hidden Korean female virgins emerged from obscurity in order 15 to join the newly built nunnery. It will demonstrate that Korean female virgins continuously practiced perpetual virginity on their own in spite of strong priestly efforts to discourage them. 1.3 Theoretical Frameworks of the Dissertation 1.3.1 Analyses of Primary Sources Scholars of women’s history have inevitably faced a common obstacle: a lack of documents on women as well as a lack of women’s voices in the extant records. This dissertation shares the same problem, because there are few primary sources to explore not only the lives of women outside the Catholic Church under the influence of the Confucian majority, but also the lives of women in the Catholic Church, who were a minority in Chosǒn society. Most of the documents on women were written by men: officials, Confucian literati, French missionaries, or male Catholics. They commonly do not contain women’s direct voices in that they were not written by women themselves. They thus reflect a male point of view. Although some testimonies of victims of persecutions contain voices of female witnesses and martyrs, they are not sufficient to scrutinize women’s lives in the Church. That is because the stories are too simple, focusing on descriptions of the moment of the victims’ executions, and the narratives are also embellished by religious eulogy to praise the religious zeal for martyrdom. Nevertheless, as this research is fundamentally a thesis in the field of history, the first and major methodology I will use for this dissertation is analysis of primary sources. The primary sources used in this dissertation encompass the official history records as well as government documents of the Chosǒn dynasty, Confucian texts, interrogation records of arrested Catholic converts, French missionaries’ letters and reports, and witnesses’ testimonies on female martyrs. 16 Even though women’s voices are still scarce in these records, they are still the most useful sources to excavate their hidden voices, if we read them against the grain. I also use literature created by and for women to find the voices of those excluded from the historical records. Particularly, I employ the genre of kyubang kasa (A Song from the Inner Chamber) and sijip sari norae (A Song about A Life of Patrilocal Marriage) to read the real-life contexts of women. These genres of songs began to be sung by high class and lower-class women from the eighteenth century, when Chosǒn Korean society had become completely Confucianized.19 That the authors and singers of these songs were women gives us direct access to voices excluded from the historical sources. 1.3.2 Analyses of Secondary Sources The second methodology I will use for this dissertation is examination of secondary sources, such as articles or books by contemporary scholars written in Korean, English, and French. The history of Catholicism and the Church in Korea is a little explored field in North America and most of the research has been published in Korean. Therefore, scrutinizing the articles and books published in Korea and in Korean is a major tool for this dissertation research. Also, I will examine articles and books written by contemporary scholars in English. These include research on Catholicism and the Church in China, conducted by contemporary scholars in North America. The academe in North America has long studied Catholicism in China, and 19 The genre of sijip sari norae has not been introduced in English yet. However, Sonja Häußler introduced the genre of kyubang kasa in English. For more detailed discussions, see: Sonja Häußler, “Kyubang Kasa: Women’s Writings from the Late Chosŏn,” in Creative Women of Korea: The Fifteenth Through the Twenties Centuries, ed. Young-key Kim-Renaud (New York: Routledge, 2004), 142–62. 17 thus has produced and accumulated abundant research results. Such research results are also useful sources for comparative research for the case of Catholicism and the Catholic Church in Korea. I will also use research on the history of women in the West, particularly nuns and female Catholic virgins. The field of women’s history in the West has analyzed the multi-dimensions of women’s relationship with the Catholic Church under its long-lasting domination for more than a thousand years. These are also very useful sources for comparative research applied to the case of Korean women in the Catholic Church. 1.3.3 Comparative research I will also use the methods of comparative research to overcome the difficulties caused by the lack of primary sources and enhance the quality of the research. Firstly, this dissertation will explore the common situation that women Chosǒn Korea faced under Confucian domination from the late fourteenth century. Showing the features of their post-nuptial lives that Korean women shared with their Chinese counterparts, I will discuss the impact on Korean women’s lives brought by the adoption of Confucianism and the subsequent social reconstitution based on Confucian teachings. Secondly, this dissertation will compare the research on Catholic Virgins in China and Korea under control of the French missionaries from the Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris (hereafter M.E.P.). The French missionaries from the M.E.P. controlled missions in East Asia from the mid eighteenth century, establishing their base in Hong Kong. Most of the M.E.P. missionaries sent to Korea had once engaged in missions in China or followed the decisions made by M.E.P. missionaries in China. Thus, comparative research on the M.E.P missionaries’ policies and activities both in China and Korea is a prerequisite for research on the Catholic 18 Church in Korea after the beginning of their mission in the 1830s. Particularly, comparison of those missionaries’ treatment of Chinese female virgins and their Korean counterparts will be crucial to reveal the unheard voices of Korean female virgins related to their sudden disappearance from the records under the mission by the M.E.P. in Korea in contrast to the constant activities of their Chinese counterparts. Comparative research will also be utilized to identify the common patterns and meanings of women’s utilization of religious sexual renunciation under the diverse patriarchies confronted by Buddhist and Catholic women and by Catholic virgins in the West and East, which can be helpful for overcoming the limitations caused by the lack of written sources. 1.3.4 Theoretical Framework for Chapter 4 and Chapter 7 18.104.22.168 Staying in the Church: Saba Mahmood’s Discussions on Women’s Subjectivity in Traditional Religions (Chapter 4 and Chapter 7) In Chapter 4 and Chapter 7, I will utilize Saba Mahmood’s reconceptualization of women’s subjectivity in the traditional religions and Michel Foucault’s ethical subject. These theories will be applied to scrutinize how Korean female virgins practiced their agency differently to confront the prohibition of their spontaneous choice of perpetual virginity by the Catholic Church or the Confucian society and how their responses could be also viewed as a practice of their agency. Also, I will examine how the women’s actions reacted differently toward the Catholic Church and the Confucian society despite their common enforcement of marriage. Women’s agency has been understood as the ability of a female agent “to act without constraint in the world” based on their free will to achieve universal freedom and equality. 19 Scholars of social science and Western feminism commonly regard these as shared interests among all women regardless of time, space, or cultural diversity.20 This definition of women’s agency is helpful to analyze Korean female virgins’ overt defiance towards the Confucian society. However, it becomes an obstacle to articulating their covert disobedience to the prohibition of voluntary choice of consecrated virginity by the Catholic Church, in that they did not intend to change the Church’s policy or were eager to obtain the Church’s permission. Therefore, I will use two theories which are useful to read primary documents against the grain. The first theory I will use is Saba Mahmood’s different conceptualization of the difference of women’s agency from Western feminism. Saba Mahmood raises the question of the problems caused by universal application of the aforementioned conventional definition of female agency by Western feminism to her research on the Muslim women’s participation in and support of the piety movement in Egypt. The piety movement is part of the larger project of Islamic world revival with the purpose of bringing religious principles into the daily lives of the world’s Muslims including in Cairo, Egypt since at least the 1970s. A large number of women have participated in this movement, gathering to hold public meetings in mosques and teaching Islamic doctrine to one another for the first time in the history of Egypt. However, this movement was structured to promote and support traditional Islamic norms and practices which have imposed subordination upon Muslim women, such as wearing the veil (hijab) and “feminine virtues”— i.e. shyness, modesty, and humility, and obedience to male authority. Liberalist feminism has understood that female agency mostly refers to those 20 Jessica Johnson and Ian S. Fairweather, An Analysis of Saba Mahmood’s Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject (London: New York: Routledge, 2017), p.19-22. 20 who resist or revolt for autonomy, and ignores situations in which the women “may be socially, ethically, or politically indifferent to the goal of opposing hegemonic norms.”21 Thus, in her book, Politics of Piety, Mahmood points out that the female participants of the Piety Movement can be seen to lack agency or be subordinate to the patriarchal norms, if the conventional definition of female agency is applied.22 The first element that I will utilize from Mahmood’s research is that agency can be exerted to work within the system. I believe that this argument is also applicable to my discussion on female virgins in the West and East including Korean virgins, who commonly wanted to stay within the Catholic Church by obeying Christian teachings, when the Church became the field of their struggles. In the first section of Chapter 7, I will argue that Korean female virgins endeavored to use their agency to follow and stick to the Church and Christian teachings for self-realization. Their conflicts with Confucian society may compatible with the argument of liberal ideology in that they tried to leave the society. However, Mahmood’s discussion is helpful to understand why the virgins endeavored to remain under the Church’s authority and set themselves up as a better example of a “good Catholic girl.” I believe that her argument is helpful for discussing women’s lives before the advance of the modern concept of “feminist consciousness” after the twentieth century, such as the case of Korean female virgins and their subjectivity. 21 Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005), p.8. 22 Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005), p.2-6. 21 22.214.171.124 Michel Foucault’s Ethical Subject (Chapter 7) The second theory I will use for chapter 7 is Michel Foucault’s notion of the ethical subject, which is interconnected with Saba Mahmood’s theorization of female agency through subjectification of women themselves as the agents of self-realization.23 One of the important key themes of Mahmood’s research in The Politics of Piety is “ethical self-formation,” or how ethical action is connected to individual freedom and agency when developing the virtuous self.24 These notions of ethical self-formation and ethical subject are applicable to argue the subject formation and practice of subjectivity of Korean female virgins by using the Foucauldian notion of ethics, which emphasizes outward behaviour based on the idea that virtue is derived from action. Although Mahmood does not elaborate upon her discussion to the extent of arguing for the possibility of Muslim women’s resistance within the mosque, I will utilize this concept to articulate Korean virgins’ indirect resistance against the French missionaries through self-realization as ethical subjects. This notion of the ethical subject is the least known of Michel Foucault’s theories, which he discussed for several years from the early 1980s until his death in 1984. Although Foucault delved for most of his life into how the modern subject is constituted by power and knowledge, he admitted that his earlier research insistence on the formation of subjectivity by knowledge and power outside of the subject was too much.25 Maintaining the core of his previous argument that 23 Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005), p.32-36. 24 Jessica Johnson and Ian S. Fairweather, An Analysis of Saba Mahmood’s Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject (London: New York: Routledge, 2017), p.35. 25 Michel Foucault, The Essential Works of Michel Foucault, ed. Paul Rainbow, vol. 1: Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth (New York: The New Press, n.d.), p.177, 225. 22 a subject is fundamentally a thing to be constituted, he turned his search to the dynamics of the subject formation inside of the subject. Turning his focus to different ways of subject formations during the Hellenistic Greek, Imperial Roman, and early Christian periods before the domination of Christianity in the history of Western culture, he named it the care of the self.26 Here, the ethics denote that “the intentional work of an individual on itself in order to subject itself to a set of moral recommendations for conduct and, as a result of this self-forming activity or ‘subjectivation,’ constitute its own moral being.”27 The most important thing, according to Foucault, is that this subjectivation cannot be simply achieve “self-awareness” but should be done by self-formation as an ethical subject by a series of practices.28 By applying the Foucauldian notion of the ethical subject, I will argue that Korean Catholic virgins constituted themselves as ethical subjects who governed themselves and believed they could display their connectedness with God by practicing asceticism and Catholic teachings. Also, this process of subjectivation as the ethical subject provided them the dynamic to resist the 26 The works on the notion of the ethical subject are less known than Foucault’s other theories, because they were published around the time of his death in 1984. The major discussions are in the History of Sexuality Volumes 2 and 3, but more detailed explanations by Foucault are scattered in his interviews and lectures. The essential concepts are arranged very well in Bob Robinson’s online article at https://www.iep.utm.edu/fouc-eth/. 27 Bob Robinson, “Michel Foucault: Ethics,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: A Peer-Reviewed Academic Resource, accessed December 1, 2018, https://www.iep.utm.edu/fouc-eth/. 28 Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: The Use of Pleasure, trans. Robert Hurley, vol. 2 (New York: Vintage Books, 1990), p.28: (…), for an action to be “moral,” it must not be reducible to an act or a series of acts conforming to a rule, a law, or a value. Of course, all moral action involves a relationship with the reality in which it is carried out, and a relationship with the self. The latter is not simply “self-awareness” but self-formation as an “ethical subject,” a process in which the individual delimits that part of himself that will form the object of his moral practice, defines his position relatives to the precept he will follow, and decides on a certain mode of being that will serve as his moral goal. And this requires him to act upon himself, to monitor, test, improve, and transform himself. 23 control of the French missionaries, who refused to recognize them as Christian virgins through the example of Yi Theresa discussed in Chapter 7. 24 Chapter 2: Korean Women’s Encounter with Catholicism 2.1 Introduction of Catholicism in Korea Women’s roles had been clearly crucial for the establishment, development, and survival of the Catholic Church in Korea throughout the history of Chosǒn dynasty for one century from the late eighteenth century to the late nineteenth century. However, the acceptance of Catholicism occurred by male Confucian scholars of Korea who first had encountered it as a field of scholarship called Sǒhak (Western Learning) in the early seventeenth century. Thus, women’s conversion to Catholicism might have happened after their male counterparts had elevated their academic passion into religious zeal through their scrutiny of Catholic theology for one century. Korea’s encounter with Catholicism and the establishment of the Catholic Church in Korea are unexpected fruits in the history of the Christian missions in Asia since their start in the fifteenth century. Acceptance occurred by Koreans’ voluntary embrace of the new faith even in the absence of missionaries, through reading Jesuit publications in Chinese. Moreover, they even built the Catholic Church in Korea on their own first, and then made repeated efforts to invite missionaries in the midst of bloody persecutions which persisted for almost a century. The Catholic Church had long hesitated to send missionaries to Korea to seek converts. There were several unrealized plans to establish missions in Korea among Jesuits in China as well as by 25 Franciscans,29 but Korean converts themselves pioneered the ways to open the Catholic missions in Korea. As mentioned above, Korea’s first encounter with Catholicism in the early seventeenth century occurred as a by-product of the Jesuit mission in China. Overcoming upheavals in Europe brought by the Reformation of the early sixteenth century, the Catholic Church had engaged in missions outside Europe as an endeavor to rehabilitate its waning authority due to the division of Christendom by the Protestants in Europe. Instead of recovering its lost power inside Europe, the Catholic Church began its foreign missions, particularly in Asia, along with Spanish and the Portuguese quests for both gold and God. The Jesuits, members of what was formally known as the Society of Jesus, took the roles of pioneers and became the spearhead to broaden the frontlines of the mission. The Jesuit mission in East Asia had begun with the Jesuits’ arrival in Japan and southern China in the sixteenth century. It was Francis Xavier S.J. (1506-1552) who contributed to opening the Jesuits’ East Asian mission, successfully entering Japan in 1549. However, he also began another effort to pioneer a new mission in China, believing that success from the evangelization of China would also elevate the effectiveness of Japanese missions due to China’s influence on Japan. Although he died on the way to China in 1552, his successors, particularly 29 Antonio de Santa Maria Caballero (1602-1669), a Franciscan friar and missionary in Shandong, wished and attempted to establish the mission in Korea but gave up his plans and worked for the mission in Shandong: D. E. Mungello, The Spirit and the Flesh in Shandong, 1650-1785 (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, INC., 2001), p.9-10,14-15, 17-18. 26 Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), reached southern China and achieved huge success in evangelization in the country.30 The success of the Jesuit mission in East Asia can be seen from their accommodation policy, which aimed to integrate native culture and tradition to evangelize Christian messages for the foreign mission. Matteo Ricci and the Jesuits in China strategically adopted Confucian terms and knowledge to proselytize Catholic teachings in China and published books on diverse topics such as theology, science, and cartography in Chinese. Those publications were highly valued among Chinese literati and contributed to spreading Christianity and obtaining prominent Chinese converts including Li Zhizao (1517-1630), Xu Guangqui (1562-1633), and Yang Ting-yun (1562-1627), the so-called three pillars of Chinese Catholicism.31 The Jesuits’ accommodation policy also attracted Korean literati, stimulating their curiosity and fascination with the new knowledge from the West via China, and motivated them to delve into it. Even though Jesuits had never actually carried out direct missions in Korea, the publications of Jesuit missionaries resulted in indirectly introducing Catholicism to Korean literati. Sharing Confucian knowledge and rhetoric and the Chinese writing system with their Chinese counterparts, Korean literati also learned new knowledge through those books. This new knowledge created a passion for and a boom in this “Western learning” among Korean literati, who wanted to find a different path to study Confucianism in the early and mid eighteenth century. Therefore, the regular and special envoys to Beijing soon became an 30 D. E. Mungello, The Great Encounter of China and The West, 1500-1800, 2nd ed. (New Yok, Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, INC., 2005), p.15-18. 31 D. E. Mungello, The Great Encounter of China and The West, 1500-1800, 2nd ed. (New Yok, Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, INC., 2005), p.18-24. 27 essential vein to obtain more Jesuit publications and interact with missionaries directly in China. At first, Korean literati were attracted more to the Western sciences such as astronomy, mathematics, geography and cartography, as well as weaponry. However, it did not take long for them to expand their curiosity to Catholic theology and ethics.32 The most influential Jesuit catechism for Korean literati to learn Catholic theology was Matteo Ricci’s Ch’ǒnju sirŭi (Ch. Tianzhu shiyi, The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven). This book was introduced to Korean literati almost as soon as it was published in China in 1603, and circulated widely among Korean literati. Prominent Confucian scholars in Korea such as Yi Su-kwang (1563-1628) and Yi-Ik (1681-1763) wrote their own analyses of Ricci’s book.33 In addition, later Catholic converts in Korea also confessed that they learned Catholic faith from this book and its influence was tremendous for their conversions to Catholicism. Moreover, other Jesuit publications such as Kyoyo sǒron (Jiaoyao jielüe, Essential Teachings of the Church Briefly Explained) and Ch’ǒnhak ch’oham (Tianxue chuhan, An Introductory Collection of Works on Heavenly Learning) were also soon introduced in Korea and provoked scholarly curiosity, attracting a wide range of readership among the Korean literati.34 As knowledge of Western Learning increased, there were two contrasting reactions among Korean literati: rejection and acceptance. Both reactions were more visible among 32 Yi Chang-u, “Chosŏn kwa Ch’ŏnjugyo ŭi Mannam” [Encounter between Chosŏn Korea and Catholicism], in Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoesa [History of Korean Catholic Church], vol. 1 (Sǒul, Korea: Han’guk kyohoesa yǒn’guso, 2009), 106–28, p.127-124. 33 Yi Chang-u, “Chosŏn Hugi Sŏhak ŭi Suyong kwa Ch’ŏnju Kyohoe ŭi Sŏllip” [Acceptance of Western Learning and Establishment of Catholic Church in the Late Chosŏn Period], in Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoesa [History of Korean Catholic Church], vol. 1 (Sǒul, Korea: Han’guk kyohoesa yǒn’guso, 2009), 140–225, p.166-169. 34 Yi Chang-u, “Chosŏn Hugi Sŏhak ŭi Suyong kwa Ch’ŏnju Kyohoe ŭi Sŏllip” [Acceptance of Western Learning and Establishment of Catholic Church in the Late Chosŏn Period], in Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoesa, vol. 1 (Sǒul, Korea: Han’guk kyohoesa yǒn’guso, 2009), 140–225, p.169-171. 28 disciples of the aforementioned Yi Ik, who had an ambivalent attitude towards Western Learning. Yi Ik found that Catholic creeds indeed contained valuable philosophical claims to complement Neo-Confucian teachings. However, in contrast to his high evaluation of Western technologies, he disagreed with most of the theology of Catholic teachings.35 His disciples divided into those who considered that Catholic theology could be a new resource for complementing Neo-Confucianism and those who totally rejected its values and stigmatized it as a heterodox. As a result, Yi Ik’s disciples, politically associated with the Southerner party among many political factions, came to be split into pro- and anti-Western Learning sides, based on their contrasting attitudes toward Catholicism. Moreover, the major anti-Catholic polemicists, such as An Chǒng-bok (1712-1791) and Sin Hu-dam (1702-1761) and the early Catholic converts such as Kwon Ch’ǒl-sin (1736-1801), are all linked to Yi Ik.36 Particularly, the first Catholic converts and Church leaders came from a group of students of Kwon Ch’ǒl-sin called the Nog’am school (Kwon Ch’ǒl-sin’s literary name) in the second half of the eighteenth century. After the deaths of Yi Ik and Yi Pyǒng-hyu (1710-1776), Kwǒn Ch’ǒl-sin became a leader of intellectual discussions among Yi’s former disciples. It is unclear exactly when the scholars of the Nog’am school actually transformed their knowledge of Catholicism into Catholic faith. It seems clear that Kwǒn eventually turned his attention to 35 Yi Wǒn-sun, Chosǒn Sǒhaksa Yǒn’gu [Studies on the Western Leaning in Chosǒn Korea] (Sǒul, Korea: Ilchisa, 1986), p.131. 36 Ch’a Ki-jin, Chosǒn Hugi ŭi Sǒhak kwa Ch’ǒksaron Yǒn’gu [A Study on the Western Learning and Discussions for Ostracizing Catholicism in the Late Chosǒn Korea (Sǒul, Korea: Han’guk kyohoesa yǒn’guso, 2002), p.103-107, p.127-131. 29 Catholicism after 1780 and the scholars of the Nog’am school joined Kwǒn’s intellectual journey among Neo-Confucianism, Wang Yangming’s Confucianism, and Catholic theology, forming the school around 1776.37 In the midst of the journey, it seems they had religious epiphanies one by one and came to develop their faith in Catholicism around at the end of the eighteenth century. The meetings at Chu’ǒ Temple in 1777 or Ch’ǒnjin Hermitage in 1779 have been discussed as the important turning point for the development of faith among scholars of the Nog’am school. Since there are several different sources on the times and places of this gathering, it is unclear whether it occurred only once or multiple times.38 Nevertheless, it seems certain that Kwǒn Ch’ǒl-sin and his students from the Nog’am school gathered for intellectual discussions, once either at Chu’ǒ Temple in 1777 or Ch’ǒnjin Hermitage in 1779, or twice at Chu’ǒ Temple in 1777 or Ch’ǒnjin Hermitage in 1779. Another possibility is that there was one meeting at the Ch’ǒnjin Hermitage at Chu’ǒ Temple in 1777, as Charles Dallet records in his Histoire de l’Église de Corea (History of the Korean Catholic Church), written in 1874. According to Dallet’s account, most of attendees at the meeting(s) such as Kwǒn Ch’ǒl-sin, Chǒng Yak-young, Chǒng Yak-chong, and Yi Pyǒk became Catholic converts and church leaders several years later.39 37 Ch’a Ki-jin, Chosǒn Hugi ŭi Sǒhak kwa Ch’ǒksaron Yǒn’gu [A Study on the Western Learning and Discussions for Ostracizing Catholicism in the Late Chosǒn Korea] (Sǒul, Korea: Han’guk kyohoesa yǒn’guso, 2002), p.128-129. 38 Chǒng Yak-yong, one of the attendees, wrote in the eulogy for Kwǒn Ch’ǒl-sin that they had a gathering in 1779 and criticism toward them happened seven years from the day of the gathering, which presumably means that in the incident they were caught by the police from the Ministry of Punishments in 1785. Several different scholarly opinions have arisen about this gathering, since these records provide different years and places for the meeting. 39 Charles Dallet, Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoesa [Histoire de l’église de Corée], trans. An Ŭng-nyŏl and Ch’oe Sŏg-u, vol. 1 (Kyŏngbuk Ch’ilgok-kun Waegwan-ŭp: Pundo Ch’ulp’ansa, 1979), p.300-302. 30 Despite currently ongoing controversies on the purposes of this meeting and whether it was a Catholic or a Confucian gathering,40 most of the important leaders of the Korean Catholic Church came from among the participants. They were eager to learn more about Catholicism and attempted to reach Western missionaries with the religious purpose of learning about the Catholic Church from them for the first time almost a century after Korea’s first encounter with Catholicism. Yi Sŭng-hun’s baptism in Beijing in 1784, which was the first time in history a Korean adult living in Korea had been baptized, became the watershed moment in the history of Korea’s Catholic Church. Yi Sŭng-hun was one of the participants of the meeting(s) at Chu’ ǒ Temple and went to China in 1783 following his father, who had been appointed as an envoy. Actually, it was Yi Pyǒk (1754-1785), who strongly insisted that Yi Sŭng-hun meet Western missionaries in Beijing and receive baptism from them. Yi Pyǒk was also one of participants of the meeting at Chu’ ǒ Temple and had enthusiastically studied Catholicism on his own. Since Yi Sŭng-hun’s knowledge of Catholicism was not that deep, Yi Pyǒk taught him before his departure to Beijing.41 Despite concerns and opposition based on his lack of knowledge of the religion, he was baptized with the name Peter by Jean-Joseph de Grammont S.J. (1736-1812?) at the 40 The controversies over the nature of the gathering arose because two primary sources are reporting the participants read different books and discussed different topics in the meeting. Dallet claims that the participants read only Catholic books and debated Catholicism (Charles Dallet, Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoesa [Histoire de l’église de Corée], trans. An Ŭng-nyŏl and Ch’oe Sŏg-u, vol. 1 (Kyŏngbuk Ch’ilgok-kun Waegwan-ŭp: Pundo Ch’ulp’ansa, 1979), p.300-302). However, the writings by Chŏng Yak-yong, the brother of one of the participants of the meetings say that these meetings were all about Confucian self-cultivation rather than the worship of the Catholic God or even the reading of Catholic publications. (Donald Baker, Catholics and Anti-Catholicism in Chosǒn Korea (Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2017), p.65) 41 Hwang Sayǒng, Silk Letter, lines 43 and 44. 31 Northern Cathedral in Beijing in 1784. Fr. Grammont gave him baptism with the wish that he would be the foundation for the Catholic Church in Korea. Yi Sŭng-hun returned to Korea in 1874 with diverse Catechist books such as Sǒngnyǒn kwang’ik (Sheng nian guang yi, Wide Spread of the Sacred Century), Koyo sǒron (Jiao yao xu lun, Brief Introduction to the Essential Teaching on Catholicism), Sǒnggyǒng chikhae (Sheng jing zhi jie, Direct Explication of the Scriptures), and Sujin ilgwa (Xiu zhen ri ke, Pocket-size Guide to Daily Timetable), which were soon translated into Korean, for Catholic converts’ daily religious practices. It seemed the depth of understanding of the Catholic creed could go beyond the knowledge in Ch’ǒnhak ch’oham which Koreans had before Yi Sŭng-hun’s baptism.42 These books contributed to broadening and deepening Catholic converts’ knowledge through self-learning. Returning to Korea in 1784, Yi Sŭng-hun established the Catholic Church in Korea by baptizing ten people who had learned Catholicism from Yi Pyǒk. The books Yi Sŭng-hun took to Korea contributed to deepening Yi Pyǒk’s Catholic faith. He successfully evangelized his friends and relatives such as Chǒng Yak-chǒn, Chǒng Yak-yong, and Kwǒn Il-sin by teaching them Catholicism as a religion. Also, he proselytized Kim Pǒm-u (? - 1786), a man of the Chung-in (technical expert) class, who would contribute to spreading Catholic faith to others of his rank. Moreover, Yi Pyǒk provided his house as place for the first baptism by Yi Sŭng-hun in 1784. Yi Sŭng-hun baptized ten people including Yi Pyǒk, Kwǒn Il-sin, and Kim Pǒm-u. Those who were baptized there also spread the Catholic faith to their families, friends, and neighbours. Kwǒn Il- 42 Cho Han-gǒn, “Chugyo Yoji Wa Han’yǒk Sǒhaksǒ ŭi Kwan’gye [Relations between Chugo Yoji and Other Books on Western Learnings in Chinese Translation],” Kyohoesa Yǒn’gu 26 (2006): 5–74, p.11-12. 32 sin evangelized Yi Chon-ch’ang, Yu Hang-gǒm (1756-1801) and Yun Yu-il, and Kim Pǒm-u proselytized to Ch’oi In-gil (1765-1795), Chi Hwang (1767-1795), and Yun Chi-ch’ung (1759-1791). They all became important leaders as well as catechists for the newly established Church. The nascent Catholic Church was soon detected by the government and caused turmoil in the society of Chosǒn Korea, which solely promoted Confucian orthodoxy. The Ministry of Punishments uncovered the regular gatherings of Catholic converts by accident in 1785, which caused the death of the aforementioned Kim Pǒm-u, a Catholic the Chung-in (technical expert) class.43 This incident also resulted in the loss of its major leaders, particularly yangban. Yi Pyǒk was forced to leave the church by his family and died of illness in 1785. Yi Sŭng-hun, two of the Chǒng brothers (Chǒng Yak-jǒn, and Chǒng Yak-yong), and other converts from the yangban class also had to keep their distance from the church and write statements that they disapproved of Catholicism to prove they were not converts. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church in Korea swiftly overcame the first crisis and began flourishing rather than waning. Despite the absence of yangban converts, Catholics of the technical expert class as well as the lower class began their proselytization activities outside Seoul. Also, the major yangban converts including Yi Sŭng-hun came back to the Church and resumed their roles in around 1786. Their return contributed to the fast recovery of the nascent Church from the impact of the incident and secured its foundation. Yi Sŭng-hun set up an ecclesiastical hierarchy in 1786 based on his memory of what he had seen and heard at the Northern Cathedral in Beijing, and it stayed in place until 1787, 43 Yi Ki-kyǒng, Pyǒg’wip’yǒn [A Writing for Expulsion Heterodox and Protection of Orthodox], trans. Kim Si-jun (Sŏul, Korea: Myǒngmundang, 1987), p.95-96. 33 because the increase of converts required a more systematic organization. Church leaders including Yi Sŭng-hun felt they needed a systematized ecclesiastical organization to perform Catholic rituals such as baptism, Confirmation, Mass, Confession and so on for the increasing number of converts. Based on his memories in the Northern Cathedral in Beijing, Yi Sŭng-hun organized the clerical organization by appointing himself and ten devoted and respected converts as priests.44 However, one of the priests raised a problem after reading a catechism in 1787, which said that only the Church had the authority to appoint priests. As soon as they realized they were violating church regulations, they stopped practicing all Catholic rituals and dismissed the ecclesiastical hierarchy in 1787. At last, leaders realized they needed to invite priests for orthodox rituals based on Church laws and sent Yun Yu-il to Beijing in 1789 to request priests to be sent to Korea. Yun Yu-il arrived at Beijing with the envoy to China disguised as a merchant in order to inquire of the missionaries whether they had committed blasphemy by creating an unauthorized priesthood. Learning the news of the establishment of the Catholic Church in Korea, Alexander De Gouvea (1571-1808), the Bishop of Beijing Diocese, handed Yun Yu-il a pastoral letter with instructions on how to practice the Catholic faith properly. Through the letter, Korean Catholics learned that they had indeed violated Church law and yearned to have a real priest even more, sending Yun Yu-il several times more to Beijing as a messenger. Another letter from Bishop Gouvea gave a tremendous shock to Catholic converts in Korea, when Yun Yu-il returned from Beijing after his second journey in the winter of 1790. In 44 Cho Kwang, Chosǒn Hugi Ch’ǒnjugyosa Yǒn’gu [A Study on the History of Catholicism in Late Chosǒn Korea] (Sǒul, Korea: Kodae Minjok Munhwa Yǒn’guso Ch’ulp’anbu, 1988), p.56. 34 this letter, Gouvea promised to send a missionary to Korea and, in response to the converts’ questions about the ancestral rituals for Korean Catholic believers, ordered them to completely stop practicing Confucian ancestral rituals. From 1643 to 1742 the Catholic Church in China had already gone through an almost century-long contention, which would later be called the Rites Controversy, until the Papal decrees of 1715 and 1742 completely banned the Chinese Rites.45 The denouement of the Chinese Rites Controversy, at last reached Korean Catholic converts with Yun Yu-il’s return with the Bishop’s instruction in 1790. The order prohibiting the Confucian ancestral rituals threw another wrench into the creation of a Catholic community in Korea and resulted in most of the yangban leaders abandoning the church. Among those who left at this time were Yi Sŭng-hun, Kwǒn Il-sin, Kwǒn Ch’ǒl-sin, Chǒng Yak-chǒn, Chǒng Yak-yong, and Hong Nak-min. The prohibition of Confucian rituals soon produced a bigger incident, which cost the lives of two yangban converts. It would later be called the Chinsan Incident of 1791. The two victims were Yun Chi-ch’ung (1759-1791) and his maternal cousin Kwǒn Sang-yǒn (1750-1791). In the fall of 1791, a rumour was widely spread in the Chinsan area of Chǒlla Province that Yun Chi-ch’ung and Kwǒn Sang-yǒn did not perform proper funerary or ancestral rituals for Yun’s deceased mother and instead had burned the ancestral tablets. Sin Sa-wǒn (1732-1799), Magistrate of Chinsan County, reported this rumour to the government and visited Yun Chi-ch’ung’s house. Confirming the missing ancestral tablets, he ordered the arrest of both men and sent them to Chǒng Min-si, the Governor of Chǒlla Province. After continuous interrogations, 45 D. E. Mungello, “An Introduction to the Chinese Rites Controversy,” in The Chinese Rites Controversy: Its History and Meaning, ed. D. E Mungello (Sanit Augustin; San Francisco: Steyler Verlag and Nettetal: Institut Monumenta Serica; The Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, 1994), 3–15, p.4-5. 35 the government confirmed that they had burned the ancestral tablets and buried the ashes. King Chǒngjo, in shock, agreed to execute both Yun and Kwǒn, but still did not want to create a national turmoil. As the result, only a few important Catholic believers were arrested but they were soon released. However, Kwǒn Il-sin died on his way to exile as the result of torture and several converts including Yi Sŭng-hun were released after publicly declaring their apostasy. This incident reshaped the leadership of the nascent Catholic Church in Korea centering around the lower classes because of the departure of a massive number of yangban converts. Even after this incident, the Church still had some yangban converts who stayed as believers and were actively involved in works for the Church, such as Chǒng Yak-chong, Chǒng Ch’ǒl-sang, Hwang Sa-yǒng, Yun Chi-hǒn and so on. They ascended as new Church leaders and led the converts throughout the ups and downs of the Church from then on. However, they were a minority, and most of the believers consisted of people below the technical expert class, which made them the main believers from then on. In contrast to their male counterparts, this incident did not shake the Catholic faith of women of all social classes in the Chosǒn dynasty. When the first Catholic missionary arrived at Chosǒn and began his mission, these female converts’ roles became more crucial for the development and survival of the nascent Catholic Church in Korea. 2.2 Korean Women in the Catholic Church under Kang Wan-suk’s Leadership The Chinsan Incident and entrance of Father Zhou Wen-mo (1752-1801), a Chinese priest, enhanced the importance of female Catholic coverts and Kang Wan-suk’s leadership for the nascent Catholic Church in Chosǒn Korea. The role and leadership of Kang Wan-suk Columba (1761-1801) become even more important in respect not only to the increase in the 36 number of women in the Church but also to the survival of the Church. Kang Wan-suk Columba was a descendant of a secondary wife of a yangban family and had been married to Hong Chi-yǒng, also a son of a secondary wife of yangban family, in Naep’o of Ch’ungch’ǒng Province, where Catholicism had spread faster than in other areas in Korea at the time. Interacting with a widow whose family name was Kong, she converted to Catholicism and abandoned her faith in Buddhism.46 Her name appears at a quite early stage of the history of Korean Catholic Church. She was arrested by the police during the Chinsan Incident but was released without punishment. However, she moved to Seoul with her mother-in-law and Hong P’il-ju (1773-1801), her stepson, after her husband expelled her for fear of being punished due to her Catholic faith.47 Moreover, her name is also listed as one of the church leaders who planned and contributed money towards Fr. Zhou Wen-mo’s mission to Korea in 1791. Catholic converts in Chosǒn did not stop their efforts to invite missionaries to Korea, repeatedly sending messengers to the Church in China. Arriving at Beijing with Korean envoys in 1794, the messengers reported the situations the Korean Church had confronted to Bishop Guvea and requested him to send a priest in order to avoid the total collapse of Church in Korea. At last, Bishop Gouvea decided to send a missionary and appointed Zhou Wen-mo to establish a mission in the country. Bishop Guvea believed that it would be easier for a Chinese priest to avoid the danger of being detected 46 Sahak ching’ǔi, Interrogation of Kang Wan-suk. 47 Sahak ching’ǔi, Interrogation of Kang Wan-suk. 37 in Korea due to his similar appearance to Koreans.48 Thus, Fr. Zhou Wen-mo became the first Catholic missionary and priest for the Catholic Church in Korea Born in Suzhou of Jiangsu Province in 1752, Zhou Wen-mo was raised by his aunt after his parents died when he was very young. He married at the age of twenty but his wife died three years later. At first he studied for the civil service exams but he decided to enter the priesthood after failing to pass them several times.49 He was one of the first to graduate from the seminary of the Beijing Diocese and was forty-two years old when he was chosen for the mission in Korea.50 He arrived at Seoul in January of 1795 with the assistance of Korean believers including the messengers Chi Hwang (1767-1795) and Yun Yu-il (1760-1795). He stayed in the home of Ch’oi In-gil (1765-1795) in Seoul, learning Korean, performing baptisms and taking confessions. Although the existence of a priest contributed to a rapid increase of the number of Catholic converts from 4000 in 1794 to 10,000 after 1795, although the majority of the new converts were still men of lower classes and women of all classes. Recognizing the importance of her role for the Church, Fr. Zhou appointed her as the leader for female believers as soon as he arrived.51 And after the government discovered Zhou 48 Charles Dallet, Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoesa [Histoire de l’église de Corée], trans. An Ŭng-nyŏl and Ch’oe Sŏg-u, vol. 1 (Kyŏngbuk Ch’ilgok-kun Waegwan-ŭp: Pundo Ch’ulp’ansa, 1979), p.377-378. 49 Pang Sang-gŭn, “Chu Mun-Mo Sinbu ŭi Ipkuk kwa Chosŏn Kyohoe [Entrance of Father Zhu Wen-Mo and the Church in Chosŏn Korea],” in Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Gyohoesa [History of Catholic Church in Korea], vol. 1 (Sǒul, Korea: Han’guk kyohoesa yǒn’guso, 2009), 311–314, p.312. 50 Charles Dallet wrote that Priest Zhou Wen-mo was chosen as a missionary for Korean mission at the age of 24 (Charles Dallet, Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoesa Vol. 1, p.377). However, the footnote in the Korean translation correct that his age was forty-two based on Bishop Gouvea’s letters, written in August of 1797. Korean Catholics, who had seen him, also testified that he was a middle-aged man, who was nearly fifty. 51 Donald Baker and Franklin Rausch, Catholics and Anti-Catholicism in Chosŏn Korea (Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2017), p.180-181. 38 Wen-mo’s arrival in 1795, which led to the deaths of several important Church leaders including Ch’oi In-gil Matthew (1765-1795), Yun Yu-il (1760-1795) and Chi Hwang (1767-1795), she took on the role of concealing him in her women’s quarters. From then, Zhou Wen-mo remained hidden in Kang Wan-suk’s house and continued his mission in secret until the first nationwide persecution in 1801. Overcoming the limits on his activities, Fr. Zhou Wen-mo devised a congregation for lay believers and appointed important leaders. Among them, Kang Wan-suk Columba was appointed as a female leader (yǒ hoejang) for the women’s congregation(s). Discovering that one of the new converts had informed the government of Zhou Wen-mo’s presence in Korea, Zhou Wen-mo became extremely vigilant in his interaction with Korean converts. He cautiously moved around only reliable believers’ houses, narrowed the boundaries of his movements, and allowed only very few Korean converts to meet him in person, which extremely limited his activities. Therefore, in 1795 he organized the several lay-believers’ congregations in Seoul, including Myǒngdohoe.52 Kang Wan-suk was appointed as a leader for the female converts’ congregation, and was successful in obtaining new female converts. 52 Fr. Zhou Wen-mo created Myǒngdohoe in Korea by modeling on the lay believers’ organization of the Beijing Church. The goal of the Myǒngdohoe was “deepening knowledge on Catholicism with goals to spread Catholic faith widely to both Catholic believers and non-believers” (Charles Dallet, Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoesa Vol. 1, p.391). Myǒngdohoe helped the nascent Catholic Church in Korea to overcome the previously limited pattern of conversion, which occurred mainly among families or friends, and to expand evangelization outside blood ties. (Pang Sang-gŭn, “Ch’ogi Kyohoe e Issǒsǒ Myǒngdohoe ŭi Kusǒng kwa Sǒnggyǒk” [The Characters and Organization of Myǒngdohoe at the Nascent Catholic Church in Chosǒn Korea], Kyohoesa Yǒn’gu 11 (1996): 213–26, p.216.) Zhou Wen-mo divided the Myǒngdohoe into sub-organizations called, hoe (confraternity or congregation), mostly with five or six members including the leaders. The appointed hoejang by Zhou Wen-mo were Ch’oi Ch’ang-hyǒn (Ch’ong hoejang), Chǒng Yak-chong (Myǒng hoejang), Kang Wan-suk and Yun Chǒm-hye (yǒ hoejang). There were local hoejang for Seoul (Kim Sŭng-jǒng, Hwang Sa-yǒng, and Son Kyǒng-yun) and Naep’o (Chǒng San-p’il) (Pang Sang-gŭn, “Pakhae Sidae Chosǒn Ch’ǒnju Kyohoe ŭi Hoejangje” [The Catechist System of Chosǒn Korea during Period of the Persecutions], Kyohoesa Yǒn’gu 51 (2017): 7–42, p.22-23). However, it is impossible to know more about these hoe established outside Seoul due to massive loss of primary documents during continuous persecutions. All the members of each hoe had to abide by the regulations made by Zhou Wen-mo and regularly gathered to study the catechism and participate in masses. Names of new candidates for membership in the hoe were 39 Kang Wan-suk Columba, as a yǒhoejang, successfully spread Catholicism among Chosǒn women more than any other hoejang of the Myǒngdohoe from 1795 and 1801. The meaning of yǒ (female) hoejang (leading catechist) can indicate either “a female catechist” or a “catechist for female converts.” Kang Wan-suk successfully implemented both roles, contributing tremendously to spreading the Catholic faith widely among women of all social classes from the royal family to slaves. In the royal family, she proselytized Song Maria (1753-1801), wife of Prince Ŭn’ǒn (1754-1801), Shin Maria (?-1801), her daughter-in-law, who were confined to an isolated palace together,53 and Sǒ Kyǒng-ŭi (?-?), Kang Kyǒngbok Susanna (1762-1801), and Mun Yǒng-in Viviana (1776-1801), three court ladies who had served the two unfortunate women in the royal family. Also, most of the women of the yangban and commoner classes who appear in documents before 1801 were closely related to Kang Wan-suk’s activities as a catechist. Accounts in the Sahak ching’ŭi demonstrate that most of the important female converts from yangban to slaves were directly connected with Kang Wan-suk. Some of them converted to the reported to Zhou Wen-mo and they was obliged to study catechism for one year. Only those who studiously studied the catechism and obtained enough knowledge over that one year were permitted to join (Pang Sang-gŭn, “Ch’ogi Kyohoe e Issǒsǒ Myǒngdohoe ŭi Kusǒng kwa Sǒnggyǒk” [The Characters and Organization of Myǒngdohoe at the Nascent Catholic Church in Chosǒn Korea], Kyohoesa Yǒn’gu 11 (1996): 213–26, p.216, p.221.) Even though the Myǒngdohoe seems to have disappeared after the persecution in 1801, the hoejang system persisted and contributed to leading the Church and Korean converts throughout the continuous persecutions and absence of missionaries in Korea (Pang Sang-gŭn, “Pak’ae Siadea Chosŏn Ch’ŏnju Kyohoe ŭi Hoejangje,” Kyohoesa Yǒn’gu 51 (2017): 7–42, p.13.) 53 Song Maria was a primary wife of Prince Ǔn’ŏn (1754-1801), a step-brother of King Chŏngjo, and Shin Maria was a primary wife of Prince Sang-gye (1769-1786), Song Maria’s son. Since Prince Sado, father of King Chŏngjo and Prince Ǔn’ŏn, was killed in the middle of political turmoil, King Chŏngjo and his step-brothers had to go through diverse perils. Although King Chŏngjo attempted to protect them, Prince Sang-gye committed suicide after unintentionally becoming embroiled in a scheme related to succession of the throne in 1786. Subsequently, his family were denounced as traitors and exiled to Kanghwa Island. Although Prince Ǔn’ŏn himself was not a Catholic convert, he was also executed during the Persecution of the Sin’yu year due to the conversion of his wife and daughter-in-law. Their status as members of the royal family was recovered when Song Maria’s grandson ascended as King Ch’ŏljong in 1849. 40 Catholic faith by learning it from her and worked as her assistants. Particularly, Kang Wan-suk held chǒmrye, regular religious meetings for praying and studying catechisms for female converts in her own house. Female converts, under Kang Wan-wuk’s leadership, joined the meetings regularly at her house. Moreover, female slaves, owned by Church leaders including Kang Wan-suk, also converted to Catholicism and secretly served the Church, working as maids or messengers for leaders, Zhou Wen-mo and other converts. In another important role as a yǒ-hoejang, Kang Wan-suk also took care of and nurtured a group of female converts in Korea, who chose lives as consecrated virgins in the service of God. The Catholic Church and Catholic creed introduced the converts to the consecration of virginity for religious life and a group of young girls hoped to practice it as their vocation. However, their families—even Catholic families—refused to allow their daughters to reject marriage and choose to live as consecrated virgins; Catholic girls thus often had to leave their families in defiance. Kang Wan-suk provided her house as a shelter, a school and a church for those girls and educated them in the Catholic creed. Yun Chǒm-hye Agatha (1776-1801) is one example. She found shelter in Kang’s home, studied Catholicism under Kang’s patronage, and transformed herself as a catechist for other female virgin converts. I return to the female converts in Chapter 3. The recently discovered Sugi by Pak Chong-ak (1735-1795) provides a glimpse of Kang Wan-suk’s activities to proselytize women in Naep’o area, her hometown, in 1791 and those she met after moving to Seoul. Sugi is a document which transcribes Pak Chong-ak’s replies to King Chǒngjo’s letter on his reports related to the investigations of Catholic converts in Naep’o area during the Chinsan incident in 1791. Particularly, his report on December 11 of 1791 shows that Hong Chi-yǒng, Kang Wan-suk’s husband, was arrested and interrogated in the local 41 government office in Hongju. Hong Chi-yǒng was soon released after saying that his mother and wife had read Western books but he himself did not care about it due to his illiteracy.54 This testimony matches with Kang Wan-suk’s accounts that her husband expelled her from his house after being arrested and interrogated by the local government in 1791 in the midst of the Chinsan Incident. Moreover, Pak Chong-ak’s reports illustrate the active roles of Catholic women from yangban families in the Naep’o area, which included Kang Wan-suk. The reports state that women of the yangban class did not hesitate to invite male and female Catholic converts into their homes whenever they encountered fellow believers. His reports further explain that yangban women taught Catholic catechist books written in Chinese by reading and explaining them in Korean to lower-class women. These women of the lower classes memorized them in Korean, because they could not read Chinese.55 Kang Wan-suk might have been familiar with this method based on her experience in her own hometown and adopted it for teaching the female converts gathered in her house after moving to Seoul. Kang Wan-suk’s activities contributed tremendously to introducing Catholic faith into women’s inner chambers, where male converts were forbidden: as in China, Chosǒn Korea also severely segregated male and female spaces. Kang Wan-suk evangelized other women, protected the country’s only Catholic priest in her home, and educated female converts, penetrating other women’s inner chambers and integrating the separated spaces of men and women. As a result, 54 Chang Yu-sŭng, “1791 Nyǒn Naep’o: Pak Chong-Ak kwa Ch’ǒnjugyo Pakhae [Naep’o in 1791: Pak Chong-Ak and Persecution of Catholicism],” Kyohoesa Yǒn’gu 44 (2014): 63–104, p.87. 55 Chang Yu-sŭng, “1791 Nyǒn Naep’o: Pak Chong-Ak kwa Ch’ǒnjugyo Pakhae [Naep’o in 1791: Pak Chong-Ak and Persecution of Catholicism],” Kyohoesa Yǒn’gu 44 (2014): 63–104, p.91. 42 Sahak ching’ŭi articulates that Kang Wan-suk was the most important leader not only for women but also for men.56 Also, Hwang Sa-yǒng’s Silk Letter states that the number of Korean converts increased from four thousand to ten thousand after Father Zhou Wen-mo’s arrival, and women represented two thirds of the new converts thanks to Kang’s passionate proselytization.57 It is true that Kang Wan-suk was one of the most conspicuous women who contributed to opening a new chapter in the history of the Catholic Church in Korea, but that fact has been distorted by contemporary scholars. First of all, it is problematic to claim that the appointment of Kang Wan-suk as female catechist can be regarded as a symbol of Catholic modernization for the women of Korea. Scholars in the field of Catholic history in Korea have suggested that the Church accepted women’s social activities outside the domestic sphere for the first time in history.58 However, this claim neglects the fact that Buddhist nuns had existed outside of the domestic sphere in Korea for almost 1,300 years. Upon transmission of Buddhism to Korea and the formation of the monks’ order, a Buddhist nuns’ order was also established at almost the same time.59 Since then, for hundreds of years there had always existed ordained Buddhist nuns as well as abbesses of Buddhist hermitages such as the Chǒngǒpwǒn, the Anliwǒn, and the 56 Hwang Sa-yǒng, Silk Letter. Line 20. 57 Hwang Sayǒng, Silk Letter, line 20. 58 These claims can be seen in Kim Ok-hŭi, Han’guk Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏngsa: Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoe 200-Chunyŏn Kinyŏm [A History of Korean Women Catholics: In Memorial of the Bicentennial of the Catholic Church in Korea], vol. I (Masan, Kyŏngsang namdo, Korea: Han’guk Inmun Kwahagwŏn, 1983), p.83; Kim Yŏng-sun, “Han’guk Ch’ŏnjugyo e Itŏsŏŭi Yŏsŏng Kyoyuk” [Women’s Education by Catholic Church in Korea] (Master’s Thesis, Kyŏnghŭi University, 1976), p.25~26; Song Ok-hwa, “Ch’ŏnjugyo Chŏllae Ga Yŏsŏng ŭi Kŭndaejŏk Ŭisik Sŏngjang e Mich’inYŏnghyang” [Acceptance of Catholicism and Its Influences on Women’s Cultivation of Modern Consciousness] (Master’s Thesis, Hong Ik University, 1995), p.29. 59 Cho Eun-su, “Female Buddhist Practice in Korea - A Historical Account,” in Korean Buddhist Nuns and Laywomen: Hidden Histories, Enduring Vitality, ed. Cho Eun-su (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 2011), 15–44, p.16. 43 Greater and Lesser Sǒwǒn, although none of were officially recognized cloisters.60 On the contrary, in the Catholic Church in Korea, it is difficult to find women in prominent roles equivalent to that of Kang Wan-suk after her death in 1801. Second, it is also problematic to interpret Kang Wan-suk’s active proselytization of women of all classes as proof of Catholic modernization, which aimed to abolish the social hierarchy of Chosǒn society.61 It is true that the spectrum of Kang Wan-suk’s evangelization broadly encompassed all the social classes from court women to slaves. Particularly, Kang Wan-Suk’s attempts to convert So-Myŏng have been regarded as proof that she spread the egalitarian message of Catholicism.62 However, this does not mean that the purpose of Kang Wan-suk’s wide proselytization was to abolish social classes or to attempt to bring social equality to Chosǒn Korea. So-myǒng (dates unknown) was Kang Wan-suk Columba’s female slave and appeared in many interrogation documents as the most active secret messenger, who had connected important church leaders before the persecution of 1801. In the documents So-myǒng states that she had been a slave of Cho Sin-ae, a female Catholic convert, but was sent to become Kang Wan-suk’s slave due to her refusal to convert to Catholicism. Since she still strongly rejected 60 Heo Heung-sik, “Two Female Masters of Two Eras: Differences and Commonalities in Roles,” in Korean Buddhist Nuns and Laywomen: Hidden Histories, Enduring Vitality, ed. Cho Eun-su, trans. John Jorgensen (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 2011), 91–118, 114. 61 These claims can be seen in Park Sŏng-hye, “Chosŏn Hugi Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏng Hwaldong Yŏn’gu” [A Study of Catholic Women’s Activities in the Late Chosŏn Period] (Master’s Thesis, Kyŏnghŭi University, 2005); p.28; Yi Hyŏn-a, “Sibp’al Segi Chosŏn Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏng Sinja ŭi Ŭisik Pyŏnhwa” [A Study on the Change of Women Catholics’ Consciousness in the Chosŏn Dynasty of the 18th Century] (Master’s Thesis, Chunggan University, 2005), p.27; Song Ok-hwa, “Ch’ŏnjugyo Chŏllae Ga Yŏsŏng ŭi Kŭndaejŏk Ŭisik Sŏngjang e Mich’inYŏnghyang” [Acceptance of Catholicism and Its Influences on Women’s Cultivation of Modern Consciousness] (Master’s Thesis, Hong Ik University, 1995), p.37. 62 Kim Ok-hŭi, Han’guk Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏngsa: Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoe 200-Chunyŏn Kinyŏm [A History of Korean Women Catholics: In Memorial of the Bicentennial of the Catholic Church in Korea], vol. I (Masan, Kyŏngsang namdo, Korea: Han’guk Inmun Kwahagwŏn, 1984), p. 91; p. 177. 44 conversion, Kang Wan-suk Columba beat her severely until she acquiesced.63 Considering the fact that So-myǒng renounced her Catholic faith during her first interrogation, it is possible that she might have lied. But if there is still credible factor in her testimony, Kang Wan-suk might have forced her own faith on her unwilling servant by taking advantage of her own status as a master. Third, the established discussions assert that Kang Wan-suk taught anti-Confucian ideology by teaching Catholicism to female Catholic believers without providing concrete evidence.64 As those discussions put it, it is true that Kang Wan-suk taught them how to practice Catholicism at her house by reading, praying and memorizing important parts of the catechism. Women who were converted to Catholicism by Kang Wan-suk had regular gatherings on the seventh day of each month at her house and learned Catholicism from her and studied together.65 But studying Catholic theology does not mean that these women learned anti-Confucian attitudes: it was orthodox Catholic catechism which Kang Wan-suk made efforts to teach the female converts, not anti-Confucian ideology. Even male church leaders and converts had never promoted anti-Confucian ideology to subvert Confucianism. In fact, this assertion is a product of a naïve presumption that everything in Catholicism was the opposite of Confucianism, because it is a Western religion and thus was connected with modernization from the West. These established discussions begin from several fundamental 63 Sahak ching’ǔi, Interrogation of So-myŏng. 64 These claims can be seen in An Hwa-suk, “Chosŏn Hugi ŭi Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsŏng Hwaldong Gwa Yŏsŏnggwan ŭi Paljŏn” [Catholic Women’s Activities and Development of Understanding of Women in Late Chosŏn Period] (Master’s Thesis, Ewha Women’s University, 1979), p.28. 65 Sahak ching’ǔi, Interrogation of Kang Wan-suk. 45 agreements: first, Catholicism created Korean women’s “feminist” consciousness by enlightening them to the fact that they were oppressed by the Confucian patriarchy; second it liberated Korean women from the shackles of Confucian patriarchy and brought social equality for all Korean people. In other words, the notion of modernization brought by Catholicism in late eighteenth-century Korea suggests that Catholicism introduced (or even accomplished) social and gender equality in Korean society before the beginning of the nineteenth century. Therefore, the influence of these premises has been much greater particularly when it comes to analyses of Catholic women in Chosǒn Korea thus far. It is undeniable that Kang Wan-suk’s role was pivotal for women’s conversion to Catholicism in the late eighteenth century, but there could have been other appealing factors or aspects that were more attractive to women than to their male counterparts. Currently, the established claim affirms that women were fascinated by the new marriage practices of the Catholic Church. They even argue that the Church liberated Korean women from patriarchal oppression and stimulated consciousness of gender equity through Catholic marriage practices. The next section will explore why this claim is not correct and how this misunderstanding was constructed. 2.3 Did Catholic Marriage Really Bring “Modernization” to Women in Chosǒn Korea? It is clear that Catholicism attracted both male and female converts in Korea despite its totally foreign elements. The reasons that Korean men were attracted to Catholicism have been discussed multi-dimensionally, particularly focusing on Confucian yangban scholars’ ethical or scientific curiosity and efforts to understand the new learning from the West with the purpose of complementing Neo-Confucianism. However, the reasons for Korean women’s attraction to the 46 religion have not yet been fully analyzed, mostly due to the lack of extant primary sources on the activities of Catholic women other than Kang Wan-suk. Nevertheless, when it comes to women of Chosǒn Korea, contemporary scholars have agreed that Catholicism attracted them through its “modernization.” The conclusion established by the previous research can be summarized by two main points: first, women of Chosǒn Korea were fascinated with the “modern factors” brought by Catholicism, and second, those “modern factors” not only created a sort of “feminist consciousness” among Korean women but also liberated them from Confucian patriarchy. Here, the meaning of “modern factors” is very ambiguous and can be connected with anything related to Western influence on Korea since the end of the nineteenth century. When it comes to Catholic women in Chosǒn Korea, the “modern factors” often specify gender equality and liberation from subordination by the Confucian patriarchy. However, the problems with these conclusions begin from the fact that they were not the results of academic endeavors based on analyses of primary sources, but a by-product of Korea’s collective trauma from Japanese colonization in the early twentieth century. It was Yi Nŭng-hwa (1869-1943) who initiated the discussion in his book published in 1928 that Korea had lost a pivotal opportunity to achieve enlightenment and civilization by rejecting Christianity—particularly Catholicism—throughout the nineteenth century.66 What Catholicism could potentially have brought to Korea was munmyŏng and kaehwa, Korean pronunciations of bunmei 66 Yi Nŭng-hwa, “Chosŏn Kidokkyo kŭp Oegyosa” [A History of Christianity and Diplomacy in Korea] (Sŏul, Korea: Sinhan Sŏlim, 1968), Part 1, p.4, p.92; Part 2, p.4. 47 and kaika, Japanese translations of the English words civilization and enlightenment as well as the names of modern Japan’s goals for development through Westernization from the 1860s. After the end of colonization in 1945, Korean scholars of the post-colonial period not only shared the same views as Yi Nŭang-hwa but also elaborated them further for their Korean history decolonization projects with the updated term kŭndaehwa. Although the territorial colonization by Japan was over, Korea’s unique experience as a non-Western colony led post-colonial intellectuals to reconstruct their knowledge system based on Western measures. Under U.S. hegemony from the 1950s, “civilization and enlightenment” became “modernization.”67 Particularly, scholars of Korean history began their endeavors to decolonize Korea’s past by disproving Japanese colonial historians’ claims that Korea had never experienced the linear development of history, which Japan and the West had both gone through.68 Their arduous 67 American intellectuals (especially, the Charles River Group) began devising a metamorphosis of the idea of progress under the name of “modernization” to utilize it for the foreign policies of the government from the 1940s and, finally, they established ‘modernization theory’ at the end of the 1950s (Brett Bowden, The Empire of Civilization: The Evolution of an Imperial Idea (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009, p.69–70.) It came to be utilized for actual U.S. policymaking about the Third World by the Kennedy government in the 1960s .The purpose was to nurture abilities of the Third World countries to help themselves through their own economic development, to block the expansion of communism by developing them and by providing them abilities for self-survival (Hwang Pyŏng-ju, “Pak Chŏng-Hŭi Chibae Ch’eje ŭi Tamron” [Political Discourse of Pak Ch Ŏng-Hŭi’ Ruling System]” (Ph D. Dissertation, Hanyang University, 2008, p.73–75). In postcolonial Korea, kaehwa (enlightenment) had continued to be used as the discourse for indicating the idea of progress, instead of munmyŏng. The reason needs to be examined more in detail. Also, I believe kŭndaehwa might have been a Japanese translation and was imported from Japan to Korea before the 1950s to be used for modernization. It is surely Kim Chong-p’il, Pak Chŏng-hŭi’s right-hand man, and his followers, who began using kŭndaehwa in its present meaning. However, the process of importing and selecting “kŭndaehwa” from Japanese needs to be explored. 68 Since Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonization in 1945, historians of post-colonial Korea initiated several discussions on the reasons for Korea’s inferiority, conducted by Japanese historians during the colonial period with the purpose of proving the legitimacy of Japan’s colonization of Korea. The first and biggest goal was rebuffing Fukuda Tokuzō’s “stagnation theory” in the 1900s, which argued that not only was Korea never able to achieve development in spite of its dynastic changes but also the nature of Korean history or even Korea’s national character was doomed to be backward and stagnant, unable to join the universal progress toward bunmei kaika. He claimed the reason was Korea’s lack of experience of a Western-style medieval period, which he saw as an essential prerequisite for social and economic historical progress (Yi Man-yŏl, “Hanʼguk Kŭndae Yŏksahak ŭi Ihae” [Understanding Korea’s Modern Historiography] (Sǒul, Korea: Munhak kwa Chisŏngsa, 1981), p.282-283) 48 efforts to find this linear development within the history of Korea had continued since the 1950s and was firmly established as truth until the early 2000s. It was this endeavor which established the claim that Catholicism had successfully planted the “seed of modernization” in the history Korea in the late eighteenth century. Believing that all histories of the world had progressed linearly like that of the West, scholars of Korean history attempted to find the beginning point of the Western style of modernization in the history of Korea. Noting the economic and social changes of the late Chosǒn dynasty, they claimed that they had found developments equivalent to the modernization of the West—particularly the British model of capitalism—in Korean history.69 They also paid attention to a group of Confucian scholars’ new intellectual movements and named these Confucianists’ studies Sirhak (Practical Learning), since it was believed that they had tried to reject the dominance of orthodox Confucianism and wished to revamp the Chosǒn dynasty. Since some of these Confucianists had shown a passion for learning Catholicism and became early Catholic converts as well as church leaders, the historians strengthened their belief that Korea’s rejection of Catholicism was a fatal loss of the chance for Korea’s modernization prior to Japan and caused Korea’s colonization. Since then, research on the history of Catholicism and the Catholic Church in Korea has been enlisted to support or prove the credibility of the established conclusion from its foundation throughout the entire twentieth century. Historians have argued that there were two kinds of 69 Yun Hae-dong, “Sum’ŭn Sin ŭl Pip’an Halsu Innŭn’ga?” [Can We Criticize the ‘Hidden God’?], in 20-Segi Han’guk kwa Ilbon ŭi Yŏksahak [Historiographies of Korea and Japan of the Twentieth Century], ed. To Myŏn-hoe and Yun Hae-dong (Sǒul, Korea: Humŏnisŭtŭ Ch’ulp’an Kŭrup, 2009), 250–284, p.261. 49 modernization brought to Korea through Catholicism: material and spiritual.70 Material modernization means the Western technologies in the Jesuits’ publications in Chinese, and spiritual modernization was anti-Confucianism, equality of the social classes, and liberation of women. The connection between material modernization and Sirhak with Catholicism as a modernizer have been challenged in recent years but the gendered side of this argument has not yet even begun. The authority of the established hypothesis on Catholic modernization in late Chosǒn seemed to be unchallengeable until the 1980s. However, it was Donald Baker who began contradicting the seemingly invincible established hypothesis by discussing the fatal flaws of the previous arguments concerning the Western technologies and Catholicism brought by the Jesuits, which reached first China and then Korea. First, Baker correctly affirmed that the Western technologies, taken by the Jesuits first to China and then to Korea, were not modern technologies but the products of medieval and Renaissance Europe. Second, he also accurately pointed out that the Catholicism of the Jesuits was not a modern message of human rights or equality, but Scholasticism, which reflected Thomas Aquinas’s thirteenth-century theology of Europe.71 This challenge successfully stimulated an awareness in the field that the established conclusion could be flawed. Nevertheless, the established discussions on Catholic women have not been challenged but instead have been sustained as a proof of spiritual modernization in Chosǒn Korea. 70 Yi Wǒn-sun, Chosŏn Sŏhaksa Yŏn’gu [A Study on History of Western Learning in Chosŏn] (Sŏul, Korea: Ilchisa, 1986), p.17-18. 71 Donald L Baker, “Silhak ŭi Yŏksasŏng kwa Ch’ŏnjugyo” [Historical Correctness of Sirhak and Catholicism], in Chosŏn Hugi Yugyo wa Ch’ŏnjugyo ŭi Taerip [Conflicts between Confucianism and Catholicism in the Late Chosŏn Dynasty], trans. Kim Sae-yun (Sŏul, Korea: Ilchogak, 1997), 214–331, p.130-133. 50 The previous discussions on modernization by Catholicism related to women of Chosǒn Korea have focused on the new marriage practices that appeared among Catholic converts from the late eighteenth century. It is noteworthy that Korean Catholic converts adopted new forms of marriage practice almost from the establishment of Korean Church in the late eighteenth century, including chaste marriage, consecration of virginity, monogamy, and prohibition of concubinage. I return to the consecration of virginity by Catholic women in Chapter 3. Moreover, Catholic converts in Chosǒn Korea were commanded to perform Catholic marriage practices much more strictly by Bishop Siméon François Berneux (1814-1866), the fourth Vicar Apostolic of Korea, in his pastoral letter Chang chugyo yunsi cheusŏ (Bishop Berneux’s Pastoral Letter to all Catholic Brethren) in 1857. These can be placed into four categories: consent of women to their own marriages, permission for widows to remarry, prohibition of Catholics marrying non-Catholics without dispensation from the Church, and baptism or education of Catholicism for the bride or groom before their marriage.72 What this pastoral letter was emphasizing was that all Catholics in the Church of Chosǒn Korea were to practice a more orthodox form of Catholic marriage based on the regulations in Canon Law. These new marriage practices have been interpreted by contemporary scholars of the history of the Catholic Church in Korea as a “modern factor” brought to Korean women through Catholicism. They have argued that the new marriage practices were so revolutionary as to stir 72 Simeon Francois Berneux, “Chang Chugyo Yunsi Cheusŏ” [Bishop Chang’s Pastoral Letter to the All Believers],” in Sun’gyoja Wa Chŭnggŏha tŭl [Martyrs and Witnesses], ed. Han’guk kyohoesa yǒn’guso (Sŏul, Korea: Han’guk kyohoesa yŏn’guso, 1982), 165–78, p.172-173. Bishop Berneux used Chang Kyŏng-il as his name during his mission in Chosǒn Korea. 51 up Korean women’s awareness of the gender oppression of Confucianism and stimulate desires for women’s liberation. Based on this understanding scholars have argued that the requirement for women to consent to their own marriages was equivalent to freedom of spousal choice.73 Also, they also understood that the permission for widows to remarry meant freedom for women to divorce and remarry.74 They further argued that Yi Sun-yi Lutgalda and Yu Chung-ch’ǒl John’s chaste marriage is proof that Catholicism was promoting class equality in the choice of spouse. This claim was made based on the accounts on their marriage in Charles Dallet’s book.75 This marriage, however, was actually between two yangban. These misunderstandings, therefore, have caused contemporary scholars of the Catholic Church in Korea to overlook the fact that the Church’s endeavors to bring new marriage practices was intended to switch the orthopraxy of marriage from Confucian rituals to a Christian sacrament. The new marriage brought by the Catholic Church was not what we think of as contemporary love marriage, with freedom to choose one’s spouse, divorce, and remarry, but 73 Yi Mi-jin, “Chosŏn Huge Ch’ŏnjugyo Yŏsindo ŭi Kajokgwan Mit Kyŏlhongwn Yŏn’gu” [A Study on Catholic Women’s Understanding of Family and Marriage in the Late Chosŏn Period.] (Master’s Thesis, Sungshin Women’s University, 1994), p.49; Song Ok-hwa, “Ch’ŏnjugyo Chŏllae Ga Yŏsŏng ŭi Kŭndaejŏk Ŭisik Sŏngjang e Mich’inYŏnghyang” [Acceptance of Catholicism and Its Influences on Women’s Cultivation of Modern Consciousness] (Master’s Thesis, Hong Ik University, 1995). p.39. 74 Song Hye-yŏng, “Ch’ogi Ch’ŏnjugyo Wa Kang Wan-Suk ŭi Hwaldong Yŏn’gu” [A Study on Early Catholicism and Kang Wan-Suk’s Activities] (Master’s Thesis, Sungshin Women’s University, 1997), p.14-15. 75 Charles Dallet, Han’guk Ch’ŏnju Kyohoesa [Histoire de l’église de Corée], trans. An Ŭng-nyŏl and Ch’oe Sŏg-u, vol. 1 (Kyŏngbuk Ch’ilgok-kun Waegwan-ŭp: Pundo Ch’ulp’ansa, 1979), p.535: The social status of (Yu Chung-ch’ǒl) John’s family was much lower than (Yi Sun-i) Lutgalda’s, although his family were affluent yangban. Moreover, he lived in the Ch’onam area in the vicinity of Chǒnju in Chǒlla Province, far away from Seoul, where there were very few prominent yangban families. Yi Sun-I Lutgalda’s non-Catholic relatives were furious about the marriage, and they tried to break it up. 52 rather orthodox Catholic marriage. It was one of the seven Sacraments, “a ceremony that provided visible evidence of God’s grace of baptism,”76 in contrast to Confucian marriage, one of four major rituals. Therefore, Catholic marriage is regulated by Canon Law, and its validity requires obtaining permission from the Church. Catholic marriage was imposed upon Korean Catholics to replace the orthopraxy of marriage from a ritual to a sacrament, not to liberate Korean women from either patriarchal control or Confucian oppression or to bring gender equality. Women of Chosǒn might well have welcomed the monogamy and prohibition of concubinage in the new Catholic marriage: concubinage had been the biggest reason for domestic disputes and tensions among women in Korean households.77 However, the aims of imposing monogamy and prohibition of concubinage were not to liberate Korean women. Instead the goal was the establishment of the orthopraxy of Catholic matrimony and Catholic patriarchy replacing the authority of the patriarch of the Confucian patriarchy with that of priest and Church. In fact, it was the sacramental nature of Catholic matrimony which was misunderstood as the modernization of the marriage system by contemporary scholars of the history of the Catholic Church in Korea. As Merry Wiesner puts it, the sacramental nature of Catholic marriage created 76 Merry E. Wiesner, Gender in History: Global Perspectives (Chichester, West Sussex ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), p.37. 77 Pak Mi-hae, Yugyo Kabujangje wa Kajok, Kasan [Confucian Patriarchy and Family, Patrimonialism] (Sŏul, Korea: Ak’anet, 2010), p.114. 53 unique regulations such as indissolubility and illicitness of sexual relations outside of marriage, which promoted monogamy and prohibited concubinage.78 The elevation of marriage as a sacrament changed its meaning under the Church authority to God’s blessing. Therefore, as a sacrament, it was to be a monogamous contract between one man and one woman, and polygamy and concubinage are strictly banned. Also, both the groom and the bride had to be baptized Catholics and to mutually consent to the union. Since the basic principle of Christian marriage is that an “unbreakable bond [is] created by the consent of the two parties,”79 once the Church validates the marriage, affirming that there are no obstacles to its validity under Canon law, the marriage becomes indissoluble. This is the marriage that Korean Catholics practiced since the establishment of the Korean Catholic Church in the eighteenth century. Hence, in contrast to the arguments by contemporary scholars of Korea, consenting to marriage does not mean the freedom for women to choose their spouses. Although a young man and woman might fall in love and agree to marry, the marriage could be validated only by the Church. If one of the parties had any impediment and failed to remove the impediment according to Canon law, the couple could not wed. It is true that a woman could reject a coerced or unwanted marriage based on Canon law, but this did not mean that the Church encouraged people to select their own partners. 78 Merry E. Wiesner, Gender in History: Global Perspectives (Chichester, West Sussex ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), p.37. 79 Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, Or How Love Conquered Marriage (New York: Viking, 2005), p.107. 54 Also, permission for widows to remarry did not mean that the Church allowed women the freedom to request either divorce or remarriage. The Catholic Church did not allow divorce from a valid Catholic marriage for reasons such as discord between the spouses, because holy marriages are indissoluble. Only annulment was permitted, and only on very limited grounds for such reasons as impotence of the husband, polygamy, and later discovery of unresolved impediments to the marriage. Moreover, in Asia, consent in Catholic marriages was utilized for a special purpose: preventing Catholic women from marrying non-Catholic men. Catholic missionaries in China and Korea shared the same concerns on this matter. A Catholic man’s marriage caused less concerns both in terms of observance of orthopraxy for matrimony and the couple’s Catholic faith after the marriage, because it was often the case that the bride converted, following her husband and his family. However, it was extremely difficult or impossible for Catholic women to have Catholic weddings, maintain their faith after marriage, and refuse to participate in Confucian rituals, particularly ancestral rituals, if they married non-Catholic men. Therefore, the Sichuan Synod in 1803 produced rather unequal decisions regarding holy matrimony in Asia for Catholic men and women, taking a more lenient attitude towards marriages between Catholic men and non-Catholic women than those between Catholic women and non-Catholic men.80 The Synod explains that the reason for this unbalance was because a 80 The Sichuan Synod of 1803 and decisions made by it have a tight connection with the Catholic Church of nineteenth-century Korea. Recovering from the persecution of 1784 in Sichuan, Bishop Gbariel-Taurin Dufress, Vicar Apostolic of Sichuan, summoned all missionaries in Sichuan for the ordination of Pierre Trenchant as the Vice-vicar Apostolic of Sichuan and a synod in 1803. (Cho Hyŏn-bŏm, “1803 Sach’ŏnsŏng Sinodŭ Yŏn’gu” [A Study on the Sichuan Synod in 1803], Kyohoesa Yǒn’gu 24 (2005): 5–40, p.19-20.) And Pope Gregory XVI proclaimed in 1841 that the decisions of the Sichuan Synod were the rules for all missionaries not only in Sichuan but all of Asia (Chang Tong-ha, “Han’guk Kŭndaesa wa Ch’ŏnju Kyohoe” [Modern History and Catholic Church of Korea] (Sŏul, Korea: K’at’olik Ch’ulp’ansa, 2006, p.325.) 55 woman’s domestic position would make it more difficult to maintain her Catholic faith and easier to apostatize after her patrilineal and patrilocal marriage. There should be additional rules (like these). First, (except for very special and rare cases,) a dispensation would not be given to woman, who wants to marry a pagan man. The reason is that there are always relentless perils of apostasy (for a woman) from the day of entering her pagan husband’s home, as the experiences from the environment and daily life have usually shown. Second, it is possible to give a dispensation to a Catholic man, who wants to marry a pagan woman under these circumstances. As the experiences from the environment and daily life have mostly shown, if it can be clearly seen that there are no perils of apostasy from the side of Catholic man, his non-Catholic spouse shows her hope for conversion (to Catholicism), and they show their will certainly to educate their children in Catholicism, (dispensation can be given to them). (...) In fact, it is easy to provide dispensations for the marriage between a Catholic man and pagan woman. However, there are more danger for a Catholic woman to get married to a pagan man, because it is not easy for a Catholic woman to meet a Catholic man as her spouse.81 This situation, on the contrary, expected a non-Catholic bride to convert to Catholicism by marrying a Catholic man and building a new Catholic family. Prohibiting parents from marrying their Catholic daughters to non-Catholic men, the Church also commanded missionaries to lead Catholic women to reject marriage to non-Catholic men by educating and enlightening them. (Missionaries) must severely warn those who married off or betrothed their daughters to non-Catholics, forgetting love and justice and ignoring to obtain a certain form of dispensations. (…) (Missionaries), by all means, also must lead or even coerce the girls to break such a dangerous contract on their own as much as they can.82 However, (missionaries) must not stop helping to enlighten and strengthen these girls’ minds by insisting and enlightening them whenever (missionaries) can have chances so that they would never leave from Christian faith, duties, and activities. Moreover, 81 Chang Sin-ho, trans., “Ssŭnch’wan Taemokku Sinodŭ” [Synod in Sichuan Varicariate Apostolic] (Sŏul, Korea: Han’guk kyohoesa yǒn’guso, 2012), p.136-137. 82 Chang Sin-ho, trans., “Ssŭnch’wan Taemokku Sinodŭ” [Synod in Sichuan Varicariate Apostolic] (Sŏul, Korea: Han’guk kyohoesa yǒn’guso, 2012), p.128. 56 (missionaries) must ask or strongly request so that these girls would actually and efficiently practice these duties.83 The requirement for the consent of both spouses could be utilized as a means to prevent a Catholic woman being married off to a non-Catholic and forced to abandon her faith. In fact, the actual practices of Catholic matrimony in Chosǒn need more scrutiny through extant documents, in that the actual practices of marriage of Korean Catholics often caused difficulties for missionaries trying to establish their validity throughout their mission in Korea. In establishing clerical permission as a mandatory factor, missionaries in Chosǒn Korea quite often faced difficulties declaring the validity of a Catholic marriage. Particularly, a convert’s remarriage often created confusion among missionaries due to the continuous persecutions, which caused unexpected separations among Catholic families. It was quite usual that a Catholic would not know whether his or her missing spouse was alive. If a Catholic wanted to remarry, missionaries had to decide whether to permit a new marriage by annulling the previous marriage. Therefore, missionaries often sent letters for advice or solutions from Church authorities during their mission in Chosǒn Korea. Hence, Catholic converts’ actual marriage practices should be re-examined through scrutiny of extant documents, not by just assumptions based on the principle of Catholic matrimony. Even though certain aspects of Catholic marriage practice such as monogamy and prohibition of concubinage might have been appealing to women of the Chosǒn dynasty, the Catholic Church did not attempt to liberate them from patriarchal control or to bring gender equality. Rather, the Church aimed to replace Confucian patriarchy under the authority of the 83 Chang Sin-ho, trans., “Ssŭnch’wan Taemokku Sinodŭ” [Synod in Sichuan Varicariate Apostolic] (Sŏul, Korea: Han’guk kyohoesa yǒn’guso, 2012), p.129. 57 traditional father figures—the monarch and patriarch—with Catholic patriarchy under the control of the church and the clergy. Despite the established discussions insisting that Catholic marriage brought equity between spouses and liberation of women in the marriage, there had constantly been Catholic women who rejected all forms of marriage, to even Catholic men, through either Confucian ritual or Catholic matrimony. In the next chapter, I will explore the muffled voices of female Catholic virgins in Chosǒn Korea, who appeared between the late eighteenth and the end of the nineteenth centuries, to reveal why they tried to refuse marriage, often risking their safety or even lives for their goal, and to explicate what their goals were in choosing lives of perpetual virginity. 58 Chapter 3: Becoming A Catholic Virgin in Chosǒn Korea (1784-1840) 3.1 Introduction of Catholic Virginity in Korea (1784-1800) Among many foreign features of Catholicism, the notion of perpetual virginity was one of the most fascinating elements to practice among women of Chosǒn Korea. It is not clear exactly when Korean female converts first learned the notion of Catholic virginity and began practicing it in their lives. It is also impossible to ascertain when some young Catholic women first began practicing the Catholic concept of virginity unless new documents are uncovered. Considering the government’s discovery of virgin converts in during the persecution in 1801, it seems that a number of young female converts had already begun consecrating their virginity for religious devotion between the establishment of the Catholic Church in Korea in 1784 and the arrival of Zhou Wen-mo in 1796. They might have learned the notion with or from their male counterparts through the Jesuit publications written in Chinese. Also, it seems that Korean Catholic women began practicing the Catholic notion of perpetual virginity on their own through self-learning. Consecrated female virgins in China could learn the concept and ways for the practice directly through sermons by and discussions with Western missionaries from the late seventeenth century.84 However, Korean Catholic women had to study these foreign concepts and practice them on their own for almost for ten years, until Fr. Zhou Wen-mo entered Korea and helped them to enlarge and deepen their understandings. 84 Eugenio Menegon’s research shows that Dominican friars could observe that devoted Catholic girls in the Fuan area were fascinated with the lives of European nuns and holy women and asked to be allowed to follow the Western exemplars’ path of virginity and dedication to God (Eugenio Menegon, Ancestors, Virgins, & Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China, Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 69 (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Asia Center for the Harvard-Yenching Institute : Distributed by Harvard University Press, 2009, p.318-319). 59 Virginity here is one of various performances of human sexuality, which demonstrates the various wills of the agents who plays them, especially, through the choice of sexual renunciation. In English, there are three kinds of words to refer to sexual abstinence adopted by mankind: chastity, celibacy, and virginity. All three words commonly contain the meaning of “abstinence from sexual intercourse,” but they have different nuances respectively. Chastity accentuates meanings of abstention particularly from unlawful sexual intercourse more than the other two words.85 Celibacy means the state of “intentionally” not being married or having a sexual relationship, which emphasizes the agent’s intention.86 Virginity, on the other hand, refers to the state of “never” having had sexual intercourse, which places more emphasis on sexual inexperience.87 Despite these different connotations, they were all practices of human sexualities, demonstrated by diverse agents in the various societies. Moreover, virginity is also a multifaced concept in that the meanings of performance of virginity can bring different goals as well as meanings based on the agent’s gender and social roles. Sarah Sahih points out that virginities are multiple in the aspect that there are diverse ways to practice them.88 Women’s practice of virginity could be different from that of their male counterparts, religious virginity could be not the same when an individual performs it in the secular space, and vice versa. Among those multiple sides of virginity, I will focus mainly on 85 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chastity (Assessed August 14, 2019). 86 https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/celibacy?q=celibacy+ (Assessed August 14, 2019). 87 https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/virginity (Assessed August 14, 2019). 88 Sarah Sahih, Anke Bernau, and Ruth Evans, “Introduction: Virginities and Virgin Studies,” in Medieval Virginities, ed. Anke Bernau, Evans, and Sarah Salih (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2003), p.2. 60 women’s practice of religious – particularly Catholic – virginity in Chosǒn Korea throughout this research. The terms for Catholic virgins and virginity in Korea all came along with the other Catholic terminologies, coined by the Jesuits from adaptations of Confucian words as part of their accommodation policy. These terms were also accepted among Korean converts through the books written by the Jesuits in China for Chinese converts, because Koreans shared the same understandings of the Confucian meanings and usages of those terms. Overall, teaching the concept of virginity was an important but difficult task for the mission in Asia, where the notion of “perpetual celibacy” was totally new and foreign. For example, one Jesuit missionary wrote that whenever he introduced the ideal of perpetual chastity and abstinence for male and female clergy in Laos, he encountered the native peoples’ astonishment.89 The mission in China, which influenced Korea as well, could not have been an exception. It was even more crucial to convince the Chinese that Christian virginity was not only different from what was seen in Buddhism but was also uniquely Christian. Introducing Christian virginity to China, the Jesuits had to create a new term to accentuate its difference from celibacy in other religious traditions, which had already existed in China and were more familiar to the Chinese. As Eugenio Menegon puts it, the Chinese had already experienced religious celibacy, particularly for women. Buddhist celibacy was recommended for both male and female clergy. Also, folk religions of China had provided 89 G. F. de Marini, A New and Interesting Description of the Lao Kingdom (1642-1648), trans. Walter E. J. Tips and Claudio Bertuccio (Bangkok, Thailand: White Lotus Press, 1998), p.16. 61 diverse female virgin deities such as Lady Linsui and Princess Miaoshan.90 Hence, on one hand, it was not difficult for the Jesuits to introduce the concept of religious celibacy. But on the other hand, they had to be very careful to differentiate Christian virginity from that of other religions by emphasizing that it was not only sexual renunciation but keeping virginity for both men and women as a way to maintain childlike innocence. At the same time, they also had to emphasize that the ideal of Christian virginity was a superior form of religious commitment. Finding a relevant word from Confucian tradition, the Jesuits could accomplish their goals of teaching the new notion without damaging the original meanings in the Christian tradition. It was in Matteo Ricci’s Tianzhu shiyi (The True Meaning of the Lord Heaven, published in Beijing in 1604), as Eugenio Menegon puts it, that the earliest Christian material introduced the Catholic notion of virginity.91 In this book Ricci attempts to introduce clerical celibacy to Chinese by explaining that Catholic clergy choose to remain chaste and stay unmarried in order to serve God and spread the gospel without distractions from mundane life. In this explanation, Ricci appropriates the concept of zhennü (貞女, Kr. chǒngnyǒ), virgin widow, to distinguish Buddhist celibacy, which was already familiar to the Chinese. There are at this time certain virgin widows [zhennü (貞女)] whose menfolk, to whom they have been betrothed, have died before they were married. To maintain their honor such women have refrained from a second betrothal. Confucians praise such action and emperors give public recognition to it. Chastity of the kind which results in a refusal to transmit life to later generations is merely due to a desire to keep faith with a spouse; and yet to remain at home and to refrain from further espousals results in public tribute being paid to that person. It is not unfair that we few friends should be censured when, due to our work for the Sovereign on High, and so that we 90 Eugenio Menegon, “Child Bodies, Blessed Bodies: The Contest Between Christian Virginity and Confucian Chastity,” Nan Nü 6, no. 2 (2004): 177–240, p.195-196. 91 Eugenio Menegon, “Child Bodies, Blessed Bodies: The Contest Between Christian Virginity and Confucian Chastity,” Nan Nü 6, no. 2 (2004): 177–240, p.228. 62 might conveniently travel throughout the world in order to transform all men, we have not time to concern ourselves with marriage?92 The notion of zhennü was particularly useful for Ricci to correctly deliver the Catholic notion of virginity to the Chinese. The prevalence of the chastity cult in Ming and Qing China had created the new phenomenon called the virgin widow in China. Virgin widows were women who had lost their fiancés after their betrothals. Although they were not actually widows, their betrothals were considered to be equivalent to marriage, and thus they were treated as such. However, never having actually married they were (expected to be) virgins, and had to maintain their virginity for their dead fiancés throughout their lives. Ricci found this concept very useful to illustrate for the Chinese two important implications related to Catholic virginity: staying unmarried for chastity and preserving one’s virginity perpetually at the same time.93 In this manner, Ricci successfully minted a new term for Christian virginity to imply a resolution for one’s sexual decision for religious life by not merely being chaste but by being virgin.94 Ricci’s aim to distinguish the Catholic notion of virginity from other religious virginity was accomplished by his successors, who added the word tong (童, child) to words for virgin widows and others. The neologisms with tong first appear in chapter three of Pantoja’s Qike, earlier than other Jesuit publications in Chinese. This chapter explains to the Chinese how and why among the seven cardinal sins of pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth 92 Tianzhu shiyi, Chapter 8, Matteo Ricci, T’ien-Chu Shih-i: The True Meaning of The Lord of Heaven, ed. Edward J. Malatesta (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1985), p.416-417. 93 Eugenio Menegon, Ancestors, Virgins, & Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China, Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 69 (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Asia Center for the Harvard-Yenching Institute: Distributed by Harvard University Press, 2009), p.317. 94 Eugenio Menegon, “Child Bodies, Blessed Bodies: The Contest Between Christian Virginity and Confucian Chastity,” Nan Nü 6, no. 2 (2004): 177–240, p.228. 63 Catholics overcome lust. Comparing to Ricci’s writing, the chapter in Qike provides more diverse and elaborated meanings and utilizations of neologisms to designate the Catholic concept of virginity and virgins: zhen (貞, Kr.: chǒng), zhende (貞德, Kr.: chǒngdǒk), shouzhen (守貞, Kr.: sujǒng), shoushen (守身, Kr.: sushin), tongshen (童身, Kr.: tongsin), and shoutongshen (守童身, Kr.: sutongsin). Also, the addition of the word tong enabled the Jesuits to clearly transmit the meaning of Christian virginity, which was supposed to preserve the bodily purity of childhood. These neologisms for Catholic virginity were also accepted smoothly by mendicant orders such as the Dominicans and the Franciscans and were used for their sermons on Christian virginity for Chinese converts.95 As a result, the missionaries could highlight the importance of the virgin body for Christianity and raise the meaning of Christian virginity to higher and more sacred status.96 Although Ricci selected the feminine metaphor of the zhennü (virgin widows) to indicate Catholic virginity, the Chinese terminologies for virginity were actually coined to refer to the male clerical celibacy. And Pantoja’s Qike also utilizes the aforementioned new terms for Catholic virginity to illustrate the importance of celibacy for Catholic clergy and as a way to overcome the lust of male lay believers, providing misogynistic examples. Also, women in Qike are described as rather negative figures such as femmes fatales, who take advantage of men’s lust and cause their self-destruction. 95 Eugenio Menegon, Ancestors, Virgins, & Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China, Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 69 (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Asia Center for the Harvard-Yenching Institute: Distributed by Harvard University Press, 2009), p.317-318. 96 Eugenio Menegon, “Child Bodies, Blessed Bodies: The Contest Between Christian Virginity and Confucian Chastity,” Nan Nü 6, no. 2 (2004): 177–240, p.230. 64 Nevertheless, this new term was soon applied to indicate Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Conception with a virgin body in chapter eight of Tianzhu siryi. One thousand six hundred and three years ago, in the year of Keng-shen, in the second year after Emperor Ai of the Han dynasty adopted the reign title Yuan-shou, on the third day following the winter solstice, God selected a virgin woman to be his mother (擇貞女爲母), became incarnate within her and was born. His name was Jesus, the meaning of which is “the one who saves the world.”97 But it was Pantoja’s Qike, despite the plenitude of misogyny in that book, which utilized diverse vocabularies to teach Christian women about the consecration of their virginity for a religious life in Christianity. Among them, shouzhen (守貞) and shoushen (守身) had been used as expressions to characterize the choice of virgin widows (zhennü) to be chaste but were appropriated to indicate Christian virgins’ consecration of their virginity for religious life.98 Therefore, there are various appellations for labeling Catholic virgins or virginity in China. Official accounts show names including those in the Tianzu siryi and Qike for women who consecrated their virginity such as xiaozhen (小貞, small chaste [women]), tongzhenshen (童貞身, virgin body), xiudao (修道, person who cultivates the virtuous way), or even shengnu (聖女, holy woman),99 shoutongzhen (守童貞, to keep one’s virginity), and shoutongshen (守童身, to 97 Tianzhu shiyi, Chapter 8, Matteo Ricci, T’ien-Chu Shih-i: The True Meaning of The Lord of Heaven, ed. Edward J. Malatesta (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1985), p.448-449. 98 Eugenio Menegon, “Child Bodies, Blessed Bodies: The Contest Between Christian Virginity and Confucian Chastity,” Nan Nü 6, no. 2 (2004): 177–240, p.228. 99 R.G. Tiedemann, Controlling the Virgins: female propagators of the faith and the Catholic hierarchy in China, Women’s History Review Vol. 17, No. 4, September 2008, (pp. 501–520), p.502.; Eugenio Menegon, Ancestors, Virgins, & Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China, Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 69 (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Asia Center for the Harvard-Yenching Institute: Distributed by Harvard University Press, 2009), p.138. 65 keep one’s virgin body). In addition, there were colloquial names for Catholic virgins in China such as zhujiadi (those who dwell at home) in certain parts of China and either guniang (old mother) or gu taitai (auntie) elsewhere.100 Catholic virgins in northeastern China developed a unique name for themselves: xiao shennu (God’s little daughters).101 Most of the terms written in Jesuit publications, except for the colloquial names in Chinese, were also transmitted to Korea. In Korea, Confucian scholars learned the Chinese terms for Catholic virgins and virginity from the Jesuit publications and adopted them. Among the many names, chǒngnyǒ (zhennü in Chinese) and tongsin (tongshen in Chinese) appeared much earlier than the establishment of the Korean Catholic Church in 1784. These appellations are mentioned mostly in Confucian literati writings which either evaluate or contradict Christian theologies, such as Yi Ik’s Pal ch’ǒnju sirŭi (A Short Introduction to Ch’ǒnju Sirŭi) and An Chong-bok’s Ch’ǒnhakko (A Consideration on the Teachings of the Heaven) as well as Ch’ǒhak mundap (Questions and Answers on the Teachings of the Heaven), respectively. It was Ri Ma-tu (Matteo Ricci), who wrote Ch’ǒnju sirŭi. Ricci was a man from Europe. (….. He) arrived at China by a ship in the third year (after his departure from Europe). His teaching considers only the Lord of the Heaven as the supreme God….. The one that proselytized and saved the world was called Yaso (Jesus) and Yaso is the name for the savior in the western world. (…) Hence, God wished to spread his mercy and save the world by coming down in person. He selected a virgin woman (chǒngnyǒ, 貞女) as his mother and was born in Judea by borrowing her womb without any intercourse between a man and a woman. He was called Yaso. (…..) After one thousand six hundred three years since the Yaso’s time, Ri Ma-tu arrived at China and his colleagues all had high noses as well as blue eyes and wore blue clothes and rectangular veils on 100 R.G. Tiedemann, Controlling the Virgins: female propagators of the faith and the Catholic hierarchy in China, Women’s History Review Vol. 17, No. 4, September 2008, (pp. 501–520), p.502. 101 Ji Li, “Chinese Christian Virgins and Catholic Communities of Women in Northeast China,” The Chinese Historical Review 20, no. 1 (2013): 16–32, p.16, p20. 66 their heads. Preserving the child (virgin) bodies (tongshin, 童身), they had never married. (….) <Yi Ik’s Pal Ch’ǒ nju sirui>102 Ri Ma-tu (Metteo Ricci) states in his Ch’ǒnju sirŭi, “in the year of Keng-shen, in the second year after Emperor Ai of the Han dynasty adopted the reign title Yuan-shou, on the third day following the winter solstice, God selected a virgin woman and was born in this world by borrowing her womb (擇貞女託胎降生). His name was Jesus and the meaning is the savior of the world.” (…) <An Chong-bok’s Ch’onhakko>103 These European priests live celibate lives (童身), and that is more than virtuous Chinese scholars are capable of… This was during the reign of Emperor Aidi of the Han dynasty, in the second year after he adopted the reign title Yuanshou. The Lord of Heaven selected a chaste maiden (貞女) to be his mother. Even though she had never had sexual relations, she became pregnant and gave birth. Her child was named “Jesus.” Jesus means “the messiah, he who will save the world.” <An Chong-bok’s Ch’onhak mundap>104 Since these documents are responses to Matteo Ricci’s Tianzhu siryi, the authors are using the same expressions found in that book, such as chǒngnyǒ (貞女, Ch.: zhennü) and tongsin (童身, Ch.: tongshen). Also, since Korea had already adopted the same notion of the virgin widow from China and practiced it widely, it may have been as straightforward for Koreans to understand the metaphoric meanings and intentions of the neologisms as for their Ch
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UBC Theses and Dissertations
Agency and oppression in Chosǒn religious women’s lives : an analysis of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century… Song, Jee-Yeon 2019
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