[Korean Culture Series 2] Seowon


Lee Sang-hae


Culture & General Information



Publication Date



19 x 24cm (hardcover) / E-Book


19,800 KRW




9781565912182(H) / 1-56591-219-5(S)


This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the private institutions, which were dedicated to higher learning that eventually emerged at the forefront of Neo-Confucianism in Korea. It examines in detail the various roles that these unique institutions played during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), while also paying much attention to their noteworthy architecture.

A look at the private institutions that were dedicated to higher learning, the same ones that eventually became the crowning glory of Neo-Confucianism, Seowon examines the role these schools had on society during the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) while also taking a closer look at their architecture.

본 서적은 한국 고등 사학교육의 메카였던 서원에 대한 종합적인 설명을 제공한다. 서원은 후일 신유교주의의 중심지로 부상하였다. 조선 왕조 (1392-1910)에서 서원이 갖는 독특하고 다양한 역할을 구체적으로 분석하고 주목할 만한 서원 건축물에 대해서도 조명한다.
이 책의 구성은 1. 한국의 서원개관 2. 성리학적 세계관과 서원건축 3. 서원 및 건물의 명칭과 성리학의 반영 4. 서원이 설립되는 장소 5. 서원의 기능 6. 서원건축의 특성 7. 서원을 구성하는 공간, 건물 및 시설물 8. 서원건축 실례 등의 내용으로 이루어져 있다. 서원은 조선시대 유생(儒生)들의 유교적 이념을 행위적 실천을 통하여 체화(體化)하는 교육 및 종교공간으로서 조선시대를 대표하는 건축양식으로서의 예술적, 역사적 가치뿐만 아니라 주변 환경과의 조화, 상생으로 자연친 화적인 건축의 배경까지 포괄하는 총체적인 개념이다. 본 서에서는 우리나라에서 서원이 지어지는 역사적 과정과 그것이 갖는 건축적 특성과 이념적 배경에 대해서 설 명하고, 각각의 구성요소들과 함께 전국에 산재한 모범적인 서원 8곳에 대한 상세한 해설을 담고 있다.



1. What are seowon?
Confucian society and private academies of the Joseon period
1) Background to the emergence of private academies
2) Function of the private academies
3) Location of the private academies
4) History of the private academies

2. Neo-Confucian worldview and seowon architecture
1) Neo-Confucian worldview and the “Unity of Heaven and Man”
2) “Unity of Heaven and Man”and the architecture of pavilions and academies

3. Architecture of private academies
1) Spatial arrangement and location of buildings
2) Main buildings and facilities of private academies
3) Names of private academies and buildings: a reflection of Neo-Confucian ideas

4. Examples of seowon architecture
1) Sosu seowon
2) Dosan seowon
3) Oksan seowon
4) Namgye seowon
5) Dodong seowon
6) Donam seowon
7) Piram seowon
8) Byeongsan seowon

5. Hallmarks of seowon architecture

Map of seowon sites


Lee Sang-hae 이상해
Lee Sang-hae is interested in how architectural themes and ideas are carried over from the past, and his research focuses on how the architecture of each historical period creates new forms while grounding itself in the architecture of previous periods. Another facet of his research deals with the topical and cultural contexts in which architecture is created, and how architecture can influence the characteristic features of the place in which it is implanted.
Mr. Lee was born in Korea in January 1948. After graduating from Seoul National University in 1970 with an architecture degree, Mr. Lee worked at the architectural offices in Korea for seven years. Later he left for the United States where he obtained his master’s degree in architectural design and his Ph.D. in architectural history at Cornell University. Since 1986 he has been serving as a professor of architecture at Sungkyunkwan University in Korea, and was a visiting scholar for a year each at Tsinghua University in Beijing and Southeast University in Nanjing, China where he conducted research on the architectural history of East Asia. Over the years Prof. Lee has filled various posts such as president of the Korean Association of Architectural Historians, president of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites)-Korea, and advisory member of the National Committee for Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea.
In addition, he has written many books in Korean such as Korean World Cultural Heritage (co-author); Palace and Confucian Architecture in Korea; Recent 100 Years of Korean Architecture; Jongmyo; Seowon; History of Korean Architecture (co-author); Feng-shui of Korea (co-author); Hahoe Korean Historic Village; and World Heritage: Gyeongju Yangdong Village (co-author) and books in English such as Dwellings, Settlements and Tradition (co-author); Asia’s Old Dwellings: Tradition, Resilience, and Change (co-author); Korean Traditional Landscape Architecture (co-author), Yangdong Korean Historic Village.