On October 29, 2018


Werner Sasse (Univ. Hamburg / 교수)


Korean Culture - World Culture


The lecture will focus on two purposes:
1) Introduction of some aspects of Korean culture in light of the conflict between traditional culture and the emerging new culture following the rapid industrial and social changes during the last two generations
2) Necessary changes in the view of Korean history in light of the ongoing process of modernization and globalization

Subsections in the presentation can be summarized as follows:
1) The connotation of the concept of "culture" in Korean and in English
2) The Crisis of Traditional Culture / Old and modern views in conflict
a) example "Three kingdoms period"
b) "5000 years of history"
c) Koreans as "mono-ethnic people": Mythical founder Dangun
3) Korean Culture, World Culture
a) Korean peoples have always incorporated immigrants
b) "multi-cultural society" international and national "multi-cultural society"
c) Korean cultural history and surrounding countries
i) Hangeul and Indian Phonology
ii) "Golden Ratio" and Sijo Chanting
iii) Korea sirhak 實學 = China shixue 實學 = Japan Jitsugaku 實學


Being the first Ph. D. holder in the newly established Korean Studies program at Bochum, he continued teaching Korean Studies in the German traditional understanding, that is, as a branch of philology. Concentrating on Middle and Old Korean languages he tried to connect Korean with Altaic language family studies. Later he turned to general culture studies, working on selected problems in historical, ethnological, and traditional poetic literature, with the aim of finding reference frames beyond the traditional borders of academic disciplines. Living in Korea since his retirement 2006, he is now fascinated by the re-invention of “traditional Korea”, where people living in cities and working in an industrial and IT-centered world give new meanings to traditions rooted in ca. 2000 years of agricultural society and that were then almost completely lost during the rapid economic development and urbanization process.