[SEMU-YÉOL LECTURE] 2017 December - Solitary Sage: the Profound Life and Legacy of Korea’s “Go-un” Choi Chi Won작성일   2017-11-27

[SEMU-YÉOL LECTURE] 2017 December

Solitary Sage: the Profound Life and Legacy of Korea’s “Go-un” Choi Chi Won

Lecturer: David A. Mason                                                       
Associate Professor, Korean Cultural Tourism at Sejong University

Great scholar, writer and spiritual sage Choi Chi Won (857-?) is one of the most interesting yet enigmatic figures of all Korea's cultural history, displaying many virtues and talents and symbolizing many key themes. He exemplifies the tragic spirit of the Unified Silla Dynasty’s waning days, and the incipient harmony among Korea’s Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism – a general "culture hero" of Korean tradition. He served as a brilliant government official in both Tang China and Korea, but then adopted the scholar-name Go-un [Lonely Cloud] to reflect his feelings about his life, during which he practiced Daoism and lived in great Buddhist temples and recorded their histories, which remain inscribed on stone monuments today. Finally, he attained “immortality” at Gayasan Haeinsa Temple. This lecture will tell the fascinating story of his life, showing many photos of the lovely sites associated with him, and explain the profound effect that his legacy left on the next 1,100 years of Korea's cultural development.

David A. Mason is a Professor of Korean Cultural Tourism at Sejong University, Seoul Campus, and a longtime researcher on the religious characteristics of Korea's mountains. Previously, he worked for the national Ministry of Culture and Tourism for 5 years. He is a native of Michigan in the USA, and has been living in South Korea for 33 years now. He earned a Masters' Degree in the History of Korean Religions from Yonsei University in 1997, and has authored ten books on Korean culture and tourism, including “Spirit of the Mountains” about Korea's sacred mountains and traditions of venerating them. His popular website on mountain-spirits can be found at

Education room (1st floor), Seoul Museum of History
55 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Date and Time
December 4th, 2017 (Mon)
11:30 A.M. to 13:00 P.M
No Admission Fee.
Contact (Registration required)
T: 02-745-5878
F: 02-736-5878