"The influence and ripple effect of "Chilgeuk" on intellectuals in the late Joseon Dynasty was considerable. The professor found the book was actually a more critical text in conveying Catholic ideas than "the book by Matteo Ricci 天主實義 (The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven).
Since May last year, the professor has been looking into Dasan Jeong Yak-yong's related Catholic literature by publishing a series of "Hidden Stories of Korean Catholic History". Dasan (a renowned scholar and one of Korea"s greatest thinkers who spent 18 years in exile for his connection with Catholicism), fascinated by the teaching contained in the original text of Chilgeuk he used it often. "Chilgeuk" was a book that many of its expression and proverbs would appeared often in the writings of late Joseon writers unrelated to Catholicism.
However, although there are existing translations of "Chilgeuk," it was not translated by Chinese literature majors. This present translation book can be put in the first place as it is a translation by a classical scholar.
"There has been no translation of the Seven Victories in China. Only the original text in Chinese characters exists. There is no Latin translation from the Chinese. If the professor's work is translated into English, it will be the first in a Western language.
"Chilgeuk" was a powerful channel for Joseon intellectuals to connect with Catholicism in the 18th century. Father Pantoja suggests seven diseases of the mind that humans are prone to and seven solutions to them. Humility Against Pride, Love Overcoming Jealousy, Tolerance To Eliminate Greed, Patience To Calm Anger, Moderation To suppress Gluttony, Chastity To Cool Off the Flames Of Lust, and Diligence Overcoming Laziness. Prescriptions for each of the maladies.
The professor explained unlike the Analects we don't have the exchange with the disciples, for Chilgeuk systematically focuses on overcoming seven sins with Western deductive reasoning. Father Pantoja has also raised the level of intimacy with Confucian intellectuals, citing the idioms and anecdotes of Western medieval saints, Greek philosophers, Aesop's fables and Chinese classics. This is why it feels like Western discipline rather than conveying doctrine. Although religious colors are not apparent on the surface, 154 quotes from the Bible are enough to internalize the meaning of the Bible.
The professor said, "It would not have been easy for ordinary readers to understand the contents of Chilgeuk through previous translations", and stressed, "Translation should also change depending on the era."
The preface of "Chilgeuk" is full of praise from Ming politicians, writers, and scholars. One scholar wrote: "Great reasoning and subtle meaning awaken the mind and open the eyes." A literary writer expressed it this way: "It pierces the bones and pierces the mind." Professor Jung wrote in the preface: "The outside world is full of risks, and anxiety is always present. I am presenting this book to people who are dreaming of a right way of living."