Monday, November 17, 2014

Classical education and philosophy turn up in such interesting places

Some day I hope to have time to read a bit of Confucius.  Having read a bit of Plato and a lot of Lewis, I'm discovering that Confucius ought to be part of the Classical tradition.  I wonder if Asian Christians read him like we read Plato and Aristotle?

Last night the two oldest girls and I watched the Korean film "The Fateful Encouter," starring Hyun Bin as King Jeongjo.  If you have any familiarity with K-drama at all you'll know who that is, but for those of you who don't I'll give a bit of background info.

King Jeongjo of Joseon

Jeongjo became king in 1776 on the death of his grandfather, King Yeongjo, who had been forced by one political faction to put his own son, Crown Prince Sado (Jeongjo's father), to death for siding with the other political faction.  So it was a mess he inherited, and it is said that on the day he took the throne, he sat there and said to everyone in the court, "I am the son of the late Crown Prince Sado," which was practically a declaration of war against the faction that had had his father put to death.

The movie covers the 20-hour period leading up to an assassination attempt the year after Jeongjo became king.  I'm not sure whether the event is actually historical, but it's a wonderful piece of storytelling, beautifully filmed, well-acted, and I'm going to show this one on our next family movie night.

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Well, I said all that to say this -- a few minutes into the film, Jeongjo quotes a passage from Confucius' book The Doctrine of the Mean:

What Heaven confers is called Nature.
Accordance with this Nature is called the Way.
Cultivating the Way is called Education.

Isn't that perfect?

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The literal title is "The King's Wrath,"
which I like much better than the one under which
it was marketed to English speaking audiences.

This isn't a movie review, but I thought I'd mention to anyone who's interested in watching it that it would probably be a PG-13 on account of lots of blood during the assassination attempt, plus some blood and implied cruelty of a horrific nature when one person is accused of treason and is "questioned," and a few scenes involving cruel treatment of slaves.

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