Asian Centre #223
Canada
Winter ’14: (T1) T 12:45-1:45pm, Th 11am-12pm, or by appt.
604-822-4478

Major Research Interests

Don Baker studies the cultural and religious history of Korea.

He received his Ph.D. in Korean history from the University of Washington and has taught at UBC since 1987. He teaches the department’s introduction to Asian civilizations for first-year students as well as undergraduate and graduate courses on Korean history and thought (religion, philosophy, and pre-modern science). In addition, he teaches a graduate seminar on the reproduction of historical trauma in Asia, in which he leads graduate students in an examination of how traumatic events in Asia in the 20th century, such as the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the bombing of Hiroshima, partition of India, China’s Cultural Revolution, and the killing fields of Cambodia have been reproduced in eyewitness accounts, historiography, fiction, and film.

He was a co-editor of the Sourcebook of Korean Civilization and is also the author of Joseon hugi yugyo wa cheonjugyo eui taerip (The Confucian confrontation with Catholicism in the latter half of the Joseon dynasty). His most recent book is Korean Spirituality (University of Hawaii Press, 2008). In 2008, he was awarded the Tasan prize for his research on Tasan Chŏng Yagyong, a writer and philosopher in Korea in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 2013 he was been asked by the National Institute of Korean History to serve as the chairperson of the International Advisory Committee for the English Translation of the Annals of the Chosŏn Dynasty.

Courses Taught

ASIA 100 – Introduction to Traditional Asia 

ASIA 101 – Introduction to Modern Asia

ASIA 200 – Cultural Foundations of East Asia

ASIA 317 – Rise of Korean Civilization

ASIA 337 – The Korean People in Modern Times

ASIA 377 -  History of Korean Thought

ASIA 405 – Interaction of Science, Religion, and Philosophy in East Asia

ASIA 466 – History of Christianity in Asia

ASIA 477 – New Religious Movements of East Asia

ASIA 484 – History of the Choson Dynasty

ASIA 561 – Problems of Modernization in Eastern and South Asia, focusing on the reproduction of traumatic events in the 20th century.

ASIA  581 – Directed readings in Korean Studies

Publications

Books

Korean Spirituality (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2008)

Choson Hugi Yugyo wa Chonju-gyo ui Taerip (The ConfucianConfrontation with Catholicism inthe Latter Half of the Choson Dynasty (Seoul: Iljogak Publishing Co., 1997).

Translation

Heo Gyun, Korean Gardens: Harmony with Intellect and Nature (London, UK: Saffron Books, 2005)


Co-Edited Book

Sourcebook of Korean Civilization , Volume II (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996) (Also available in paperback as Sources of Korean Tradition, II)

Don Baker, Chang Yun-shik and Seok Hyun-ho, co-editors, Korea Confronts Globalization, (Routledge, 2008)

Don Baker, Larry DeVries, and Dan Overmyer, co-editors, Asian Religions in British Columbia (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2010

Recent Book Chapters and journal articles

From Pottery to Politics: The Transformation of Korean Catholicism,” in RELIGION AND CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY IN KOREA, edited by Lew Lancaster and Richard Payne, Institute for East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1998. Pp.127-168.

“Tasan and His Brothers: How Religion Divided a Korean Confucian Family,” in Sang-oak Lee and Duk-so Park, ed. PERSPECTIVES ON KOREA (Syndey, Australia: Wild Peony Press, 1998), pp. 172-97.

“Christianity Koreanized.” Constructing Korean Identity, ed. Hyung Il Pai and Timothy R. Tangherlini (Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1998), pp.108-125.

“A Different Thread: Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, and Catholicism in a Confucian World,” in Martina Deuchler and JaHyun Haboush, ed. Culture and State in Late Choson Korea (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 1999), pp. 199-230.

“Rebels within Tradition: Thomas Aquinas and Tasan Chong Yagyong,” TASAN HAKBO [Journal of Tasan Studies], no 3 (2002), pp.32-69

“Hananim, Hanûnim, Hanullim, and Hanollim: The Construction of Terminology for Korean Monotheism,” REVIEW OF KOREAN STUDIES, vol. 5, no. 1 (June, 2002), pp.105-131

“Victims and Heroes: Competing Visions of May 18,” Contentious Kwangju: The May 18 Uprising in Korea’s Past and Present (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), pp. 87-107.

“Oriental Medicine in Korea,” in Helaine Selin, ed. Medicine Across Cultures: History and Practice of Medicine in Non-Western Cultures (Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003), 133-153.

“The Transformation of Religion in Modern Korea,“ Korea Herald, ed. Insight into Korea (Seoul: Herald Media,2007), pp 312-32

“Introduction” pp.1-31, “Catholic Rites and Liturgy” pp. 376-392(with Frank Rausch), “The Great Transformation: Religious Practice in Ch’ondogyo” pp. 449-463, “The Korean God is Not the Christian God:Taejonggyo’s Challenge to Foreign Religions” pp. 464-475, “Renewing Heaven andEarth: Spiritual Discipline in Chungsan’gyo” pp. 487-496,“Rites of Passage in the Unification Church” pp. 497-507, “Internal Alchemy inthe Dahn World School” pp.508-513, in Robert Buswell, editor. Religions of Korea in Practice Columbia University Press, 2006

“Sibling Rivalry in Twentieth-Century Korea: Comparative Growth Rates of Catholic and Protestant Communities,” in Robert E. Buswell, Jr., andTimonthy S. Lee, ed. Christianity in Korea (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2005) pp. 283-308.

“Modernization and Monotheism: How Urbanization and Westernization Have Transformed the Religious Landscape of Korea,”in Sang-Oak Lee and Gregory K. Iverson,ed., Pathways into Korean Language and Culture : Essays in Honor of Young-key Kim-Renaud .(Seoul: Pajigong Press, 2003), pp.471-507.

“Tasan’s Pragmatic Approach to the Confucian Classics,” Tasanhak 22 (June, 2013), pp. 107-142.

“The Transformation of the Catholic Church in Korea: From a Missionary Church to an Indigenous Church,” Journal of Korean Religions,4: 1 (April, 2013) 11-42.

“Rhetoric, Ritual, and Political Legitimacy: Justifying Yi Seong-gye’s Ascension to the Throne.” Korea Journal, 53, no. 4 (winter 2013): 141-167.

“Finding God in the Classics: The Theistic Confucianism of Dasan Jeong Yagyong” Dao: a Journal of Comparative Philosophy. 12 (2013): 41-55

“Constructing Korea’s Won Buddhism as a New Religion: Self-Differentiation and Inter-religious Dialogue,” International Journal for the Study of New Religions 3:1 (2012), pp. 47-70.

“Korea’s Path of Secularization,” Ranjan Ghosh, ed. Making Sense of the Secular: Critical Perspectives from Europe to Asia (New York: Routledge, 2012), pp. 182-194

“Writing History in Korea, 1400-1800,” Oxford History of Global History Writing,( New York: Oxford University Press, 2012) pp. 103-118

“Exacerbated Politics: The Legacy of Political Trauma in South Korea” in Barry Schwartz and Mikyoung Kim, ed. Northeast Asia’s Difficult Past: essays in Collective Memory (New York: Palgrave-McMillan, 2010), pp. 193-212

“Ethics, Morality, and Religion: Directional Transitions and Trends, East and West,” Jose V. Ciprut, ed. Ethics, Politics, and Democracy: From Primordial Principles to Prospective Practices (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009), pp. 201-26

“Impotent Numbers: Korean Confucian Reactions to Jesuit Mathematics” The Korean Journal for the History of Science, 34:2 (2012), 227-256

“The Transformation of Confucianism in Contemporary Korea,” Han’guk hak nonjip [Keimyung Korean Studies Journal], 44 (2011), pp. 425-455.

“Globalization, Nationalism, and Korean Religion in the 21st Century,” Asia Pacific Perspectives, X:1 (May, 2011), pp. 24-43

“A Slippery, Changing Concept: How Korean New Religions Define Religion,” Journal of Korean Religions, vol I, no. 2 (September, 2010), p. 57-85

“Practical Ethics and Practical Learning: Tasan’s Approach to Moral Cultivation” Acta Koreana, 13: 2 (December, 2010), pp. 47-61

“Shamans, Catholics, and Chŏng Yagyong: Tasan’s defense of the ritual hegemony of the Confucian state,” Tasanhak 15,(December, 2009), 139-79.

“Koreans in Vancouver: A Short History, ” the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 19:2 (July, 2009), pp. 154-178.

“Early Modernity in Chosŏn Korea: An examination of two ‘Practical Learning’ scholars” Yugyo Munhwa Yŏn’gu (Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture), vol 10 (August, 2008), pp. 137-175

“Seeds of Modernity: Jesuit natural philosophy in Confucian Korea” Pacific Rim Report (from the Center for the Pacific Rim, University of San Francisco) no. 48 (August, 2007),pp. 1-16.

“The Religious Revolution in Modern Korean History: From ethics to theology and from ritual hegemony to religious freedom” Review of Korean Studies Vol. 9, no. 3 (Sept. 2006), pp. 249-275

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