The international congress on “Korea and the Muslim World: Historical and Cultural Encounters” was co-organized by IRCICA and the Research Lab for Korean Studies in the Middle East at Hanyang University of Korea. It was held at IRCICA headquarters, on 24-25 April 2018. It was observed during the congress that although Korea and the Muslim world are culturally distinct from each other, they share similarities in national historical experiences, social values and traditions. Common memories of the past and interactions of their peoples deriving from trade, travels and learning contribute towards their mutual understanding today.
The congress and the resulting book are situated at the crossing between Islamic studies and Korean studies. The articles touch upon aspects and epochs of relations between the two worlds. At the same time, they reflect some current academic focuses situated at the intersection of Korean studies and Islamic studies. The book contains twelve articles.
The congress was first of its kind, organized through IRCICA’s cooperation with Prof. Hee Soo Lee, Director of the Research Lab for Korean Studies in the Middle East at Hanyang University. In his address at the opening of the congress, Prof. Hee Soo Lee pointed out that the history of relations between Korea and the Muslim world is more than 1300 years old, as evidenced among others by artefacts showing their commercial and political relations. The cross-cultural aspect contained in this history deserves to be explored; it would yield illuminating facts towards deeper understanding of the relationship and many other aspects of history and culture in Korea and in the Muslim world. The sessions of the congress focused on: historical aspects of Korean-Muslim world relations, literary and cultural aspects, intellectual encounters, and economic, industrial and commercial aspects of the relations.