The Visit of Brother Anthony of Taizé

The Bodleian libraries house many important Korean manuscripts and books brought back from Korea by missionaries since the end of the 19th century.  Br Anthony suitably follows in the footsteps of Bishop Trollope and Monsignor Richard Rutt by donating his personal library to the Bodleian.

His visit started with viewing some important Korean manuscripts and books at the Weston Library.  He then gave a talk ‘Books and People: a Korean Cornucopia’ in the Window on Korea Room, Nizami Ganjavi Library, commenting on selected books and the personalities behind them.

The lecture was followed by drinks and Janggu, a Korean drum performance in the Chapel, Hertford College and ended the evening with dinner.



Brother Anthony of Taizé (naturalized Korean name An Sonjae) studied Medieval and Modern languages at Oxford. In 1969 he joined the Taizé Community in France. After three years' service in a Philippine slum, in May 1980, Brother Anthony joined other brothers in Korea, invited by the late Archbishop of Seoul, Cardinal Kim Sou-Hwan. He taught English literature at Sogang University, Seoul, for nearly three decades, while translating works of modern Korean literature and also writing books and articles about literature and translation.

Brother Anthony has published a wide variety of works by classical writers and modern writers. In 1991 he won a Modern Korean Literature Translation Award from The Korea Times for his translation of "Headmaster Abe" by Ko Un. He served as President of the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch (2011-2020). He was awarded the Korean government's Order of Cultural Merit, Jade Crown class, in October 2008 for his work in promoting knowledge of Korean literature in the world. In 2015 he received an MBE. He currently lives in Seoul.