Sungkyunkwan University, which is founded in the philosophy of Confucianism, is an institution for education which has inherited the tradition of national education for over 600 years. As one of the most renowned graduate programs for CEOs and societal leaders, the Special Graduate School of Confucian Studies is a unique asset derived from SKKU’s origin and philosophy. The school provides two majors in the Department of East Asian Thought and Cultural Studies.
The spirits of 3 religions such as Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism are underlying in Asian ideology, as is well known, and they are also the roots of its culture and emotions in national history and traditions. Therefore, understanding the culture and the spirit of the Orient is a task for succeeding and developing the traditional culture of our nation, which is considered to be a request of the 21st century society.
Nov. 1987. Department of Confucian Scriptures and Department of Korean History and Ideology established as a master’s course of the Graduate School of Confucian Studies. (limit of 80 students)
Sept. 1997. Professional Graduate School renamed to Special Graduate School according to a Presidential decree number 15304.
Oct. 1997. Limit number students in the College of Confucian Studies changed from 32 to 26 and Department of Korean History and Ideology renamed to Department of Korean Ideology.
Nov. 1998. Two departments of College of Confucian Studies (Department of Confucian Scriptures and Department of Korean Ideology) combined to Department of Eastern Ideology. Two departments are changed to majors, and Chinese Ideology is newly established as a major. (1 Department; Department of Eastern Ideology, and 3 majors under the department; Confucian Scriptures, Korean Ideology and Chinese Ideology)
Mar. 2005. Department of Eastern Ideology renamed to Department of East Asian Ideology and Culture. 3 majors established- Confucian Scriptures and Courtesy, Korean Culture and Arts and Calligraphy.
Mar. 2007. The three majors adjusted to two majors; Confucian Scriptures and Courtesy and Calligraphy.
Mar. 2012. Department of Confucian Studies & Eastern Philosophy renamed to College of Confucian Studies. The Confucian Scriptures major under the Department of East Asian Ideology and Culture in College of Confucian Studies renamed to Confucian Scriptures and Korean Ideology.
2. Confucian Classics and Korean Thought
Confucianism is an academic study that is aimed at cultivating individual characters, therefore seeking for the philosophical principles that help pursue co-prosperity of families, society and the nation, and finding a way for world peace as well.
Students not only are taught to understand the history of Confucianism that links the spiritual tenets of Korea, China and Japan, but also are able to make a comparative analysis of the diverse philosophies of the East － including Confucianism and Daoism － as part of the process to objectively understand Confucian thoughts. Students can also make a systematic research of the special features of the study of rites and its historical changes, thereby figuring out the essence of the study in Korea and reilluminate it in close comparison with Eastern and Western philosophies and the contemporary philosophy.
Based on the required curriculums, this course will cultivate professional scholars who will inherit the traditional thoughts of Korea and can contribute a lot to reestablishing Korean culture in the 21st century, which is also called the age of cultural industry.
3. Calligraphic Art and Oriental Aesthetics
The twenty-first century is commonly called the age of culture or sensibility. East Asian Calligraphy, a traditional art in Northeast Asia is in the middle of the age. It is essential to study East Asian Calligraphy for understanding Northeast Asian thoughts or arts. East Asian Calligraphy conjoined with poet, calligraphy and painting is an unique Confucian scholars’ world of art. East Asian Calligraphy is not only a formative art of artistic craftsmanship, but a figuration of the movement of spirit and energy(Qi). It transfers the way(Tao) of nature to the way of human. And also, by using writing brush and ink stick, it visualizes the figure of life of constant change by implication on a blank space. In this way, East Asian Calligraphy has been considered Confucian scholars’ art with dignity.
A master’s course in Studies of East Asian Calligraphy: Sungkyunkwan University is rooted in Confucian thoughts and artistic spirit, and follows the union of truth, goodness and beauty by balance between freedom and control of human conduct. This course aims at academic work on Confucian scholars’ spirit, transfer of the spirit to artistic sense, and aesthetic sublimation of human life. The course focuses on achievement of educational objectives through omnifarious lectures and studies such as Confucianism classics, East Asian Aesthetics, Confucian’s Aesthetics, Aesthetics of East Asian Calligraphy, Theory on East Asian Calligraphy, etc. Both at home and abroad, graduates are to be found in various fields, achieving recognition as artists, curators, art critics, educators, etc.
4. Processes Out of Degree
Advanced Eastern Culture
The process of Eastern Culture is an affiliated lifelong education process with 20 years of history. The process manages 4 different courses; "Four Scriptures of Confucian", "Three Scenes of Korea", "Korean Poetry· Paintings and Calligraphy" and "Tradition Tea Drinking and Courtesy Education". The lectures are given systematically according to the levels of the students by the best authorities of the academy, from the professors of College of Confucian Studies in SKKU and other universities with more than 10 years of work experience.
Yulim Leader's Process
This process fosters leaders of a new generation to understand and reinterpret the nature of the Confucian ideas, to compensate the defects of the present, contribute to the human society, and enhance the superiority of the Confucian and Eastern culture to the world.