4 November 2020
1. The process of invention of Hanănim as a “new term” for God in Korean Protestantism.
Traditionally, Koreans have believed in Hananim, who is one God in heaven. The word Hananim was used by conservative Christians in Korea, while Roman Catholics and liberalists used Haneunim. Hananim equivalent in China is the heavenly emperor. Cheonje is above emperor, and Sangje is heaven lord. Before 1876, Korean traditional religions had been established before the western world religious influence was introduced (Clark, 1986). Initially,in the prehistoric period, shamanism and Hananim faith were most popular. Later, during the fifth to the fourteenth century, Buddhism was popular. After the fourteenth century, the Korean people were exposed to Confucianism. Finally, after the nineteenth century, Christianity became the most dominant religion across all divides of life in Korea. It is Koreans' religiosity in a shamanistic and syncretistic religious climate that created the way for the establishment of Korean Protestantism.
The concept of Hananim as a new term for God in Korean Protestantism can be explained in three views. One, Hunanim, was the original faith in heavenly God by many Koreans from an ethnocultural and religious perspective (Buswell et al., 2007). The second view is that Hananim is the highest God of shamanism from a socio-religious perspective. In the third view, the historians argued that hananim is a heliolatry of primitive Korean animism. Missionaries such as Homer Hulbert affirmed that the Koreans possess the belief in Hananim other than worshipping other crude cults. Missionary Gale further affirmed Hananim is the Great one and the great ruler and a God who cannot be compared to anything else in the world. Rudolf, a religious scholar, asserts that the belief in Hananim gives a clear link to Koreans way of thinking and how Christians view God.
Shamanism was another prototype of the Korean primitive religion. It was more popular with older people and especially among contemporary Korean grass-roots. Shamanism is a pan-cosmic phenomenon, although it was very popular with north Asian people (Kim, 2001). It was more attached to Jahweh worship and a large number of deities ranging from sundry evil spirits to the heavenly God. Shamanism preaches about a good God who blesses and drives away misfortunes caused by evil spirits. The only difference between shamanism and Hananim is that they did not have God's idea and the concept of God's kingdom (Kim, 2001). However, shamanism is gaining popularity due to the changes of values in today's Korea, and people are even calling society to make it a cultural phenomenon. The Chinese-Korean shamanism is said to have come from the Siberian shamanism through ecstasy, trance, and possession. Shamanism occurs in three main types of shaman rituals. One is Chibyeong-je , which is responsible for casting out demons and healing the sick. The second is Gibok-Je, which was responsible for peace, long life, and property. The third ritual is Songnyeong, responsible for appeasing the spirits of the dead.
The roman catholic church in china, also called Tanzhu Jiao, has a long history. They worship the lord of heaven and have existed in China in various forms since the Tang Dynasty[footnoteRef:1] in the 8th century AD. After the communist party of China took over, the Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and protestants were expelled on the basis that these religions were a sign of western imperialism. In the 13th century, Latin catholic church Latin priests entered China. In the 12th century, Franciscan priest John arrived in Beijing and started translating the new testament and the psalms and later built a church there. The climax of the roman catholic in China was during the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. Missionary efforts on Catholic Reformation in Asia were frustrated by the widespread of Buddhism. However, people hoped that the government does not discriminate between Catholicism and Protestantism. Clergy who continued with the Holy See concept of worshipping were tortured, for instance, Cardinal Kung. [footnoteRef:2] [1: This is not Roman Catholicism, but Nestorian Christianity from Syria] [2: redundnat]
Christians contributed massively in inventing a new term Hananim. Protestants and Catholics worship harmoniously in Korea to promote the new term Hananim. Due to migrations in the 14th century in the northern provinces, there was the creation of mixed backgrounds and without well set religious institutions (Oak et al., 2003). Catholics and protestants missionaries went there to preach the gospel of Hananim through bringing the western knowledge and establishing schools, hospitals, and churches. Catholics later started adopting Hangul as its main script. A Scottish Presbyterian missionary, John Ross, translated the new testament to Korean. Bishop Simeon Berneux suggested that every child should be taught how to read Hangul. The Methodist Paichai and Ewha school was established in 1885 to help in teaching Haninim ideologies and participate in the mass distribution of new testament materials. Many Korean Christians were adored because of their social behavior towards women and children. Christians have created the right image of Hananim in Korea. However, Christians have encountered the challenge of Buddhists and other traditional faiths across Asia. Confucian and Buddhist customs do not believe in the existence of Hananim in South Korea, which is advocated by Catholics and protestants.
Insufficient logical or chronological explanation of making Hanănim as a new Christian term for God
Some redundant and awkward information; typos
2. Consequences of the first encounters between Protestantism and shamanism in Korea.
Shamanism religion was the most dominant in Korea. However, the protestants are establishing their ideology through missionaries across Korea. Shamanism is anti-biblical and does not believe in a heavenly God and life after death. It is associated with evil influences that lie deep in the Korean people (Kim et al., 2004). Korean is religious man, and that is why they adopted shamanism from the Manchurian and Mongolian areas in China. When Nestorian first introduced Christianity in Korea, it met a hostile group of people who had been fully fed with shamanism principles. James Gale, one of the missionaries, asserted that shamanism was part of Korean society's Korean fabric. When the Sorae church was founded in Korea, the Suh brothers preached that God should be the center of everything, and all other gods should be disregarded. The suggestions brought a strong wave of resistance from the people. Later, people started progressing towards Christianity. After some time, the Sorae church had managed to uproot shamanism from the whole village. Missionaries managed to defeat superstition and evil spirits and thus proved shamanism wrong.
The protestants were well assured of defiance and resistance from shamanism followers. Thomas Memorial Evangelist group focused on rooting out superstition. The protestants opened a new church and burnt down shamans practice houses (Oak et al., 2003). However, the locals threatened the missionaries that the spirits of the mountains would punish them. Incidences of fighting were witnessed between the locals and the protestants, but they remained steadfast to preach the true God's gospel. Finally, the protestants were successful in eliminating idols and superstitions in fishing villages and rural regions. It was regarded as a culture shock by Prof. Shin Kwan of Hankook Theology university.
The western religions and modernization defeated Buddhism and Confucianism in what came to be known as the second culture shock. Buddhism was very popular across Korea and Asia at large and was successfully replaced by the Western Impact. However, there was a clash between foreign and traditional elements within the Korean culture. There was an acrimonious confrontation between the two sides, with more than10000 followers killed in the skirmishes while Catholics continued to be persecuted. On the other hand, protestants learned from the Catholics approach and used better methods to avoid conflicts.
Overcoming shamanism culture was an obstacle to realize God's dreams. After japan's unification in 1945, the Korean republic was formed. People were given a chance to enjoy religion's freedom without any kind of discrimination, unlike in the previous constitution. Koot was allowed together with the homage of the spirits of the mountains. Buddhists, Confucianists, and Christians were meant to harmoniously worship their gods (Oak et al., 2003). Shamans have formed Moodang association with more than 70000 paying members headquartered at Samkak mountain. In rural areas, fishing boats are put in operations after koot. Even intellectual people seek Moodang to inquire about their luck, success, and failure of their businesses and whether their kids will make it to universities. Also, shamans were required to pay tribute to their ancestors so that they can be lucky in life. The ancestral rituals made Moodang lose their importance.
Christian missionaries had an easy time to teach Koreans about God because they had existed knowing Hananim through shamanism. Koreans believed in Hananim as the lord in the sky, controlling everything (Davies et al., 1994). Protestants understood that Koreans had some background to worship God of Christianity. Koreans are mainly monotheists, and they give their God all honors and power, which was similar to Jehovah that foreign protestants were preaching about. Shamans traditionally worshipped Hananim as the supreme God and creator of heaven and earth, whom they believed had the power to give them rain and good harvests. Because Hananim could not provide answers to all issues, they had smaller gods. Missionaries used this comparison between Korean shamanism and Christianity to preach in Manchuria in japan. Many churches promised people would get wealth, prestige, and good health as a strategy to win many hearts. Additionally, Koreans had strong desires for good luck and blessings, and that is why they joined Christianity because they were promised that if they continue playing.
The missionaries described Jesus as a powerful munding. According to the Korean shamans, a mudang provides blessings of any kind and invokes evil spirits in the invisible world. Protestants compared Jesus with a powerful munding to convince Koreans that if they accepted Jesus in their hearts, they could be blessed with anything they prayed for. Mudang-shaman was a link between the world of the living and the world of the spirits. People could pay tribute to their ancestors to appease them through rituals. However, Koreans were assured that instead of all that, Jesus could heal them and remove all superstitions. Koreans were advised to do away with their gods and worship the real Gods. Mudang religion was the ideal source of hope for all Koreans. But with the advent of Christianity in Korea, Jesus was positioned as a powerful Mudang so that people can adapt quickly to the new religion.
No discussion on missionary conversion to continuationism and missionary Orientalism
No discussion of Bible women and cross-over mudang, their Christian exorcism
Read the book chapter carefully
3. Ancestral veneration for Korean Christians and modernization in the 1890s-1910s
The author discusses about the modernization of societies. The last quarter of the 19th century was characterized by new religions replacing traditional worship methods like shamanism in Korea and the wider Asian region. Modernity was associated with an increased number of ideological changes brought through the western impact. Although Korea's transition was chaotic, which involved conflicts between westerners and Koreans, modernization bore the sweet fruits of industrialization, capitalism, and urbanization (Kim, 1995). The normative view of modernity became popular with leaders and intellectuals borrowing customs, ideas, and institutions from the west. However, even with modernization, Korea continued to use Neo-Confucian as its ruling ideology. It was encrypted in traditions while implementing all these reforms, which slowed social, political, and economic development. The rise of capitalism threatened the use of neo-Confucian practices in governance. The author stresses the need to change from what is to what it should be. Teachings of new religions seemed similar to the old religions in the sense that both were founded on the basis of a charismatic person and syncretistic. New religions facilitated the circulation of sentiments, knowledge, information, and desires from different people. Koreans who adopted new religions became civilized and developed networks of intimacy that helped them deliver change in their societies through beliefs embodied in their religion.[footnoteRef:3] [3: Discuss the topic directly]
One of the new religions was Tonghak, which was the eastern learning. It became very effective in the modernization and sharing of ideas. Tongkak had originated in 1864 from a group of people led by Ch’oe Che-u. Choe was confused because of many community problems and the threat of westerners who wanted to spread Christianity. Confucianism and shamanism could not help him solve his problems, which made him seek the help of Sangje, who gave him a symbol of the "elixir of life" to cure his illness. Choe started explaining to people the foundations of his new religion, especially the roles of Chigi and Sangje. He finally named his religion Tongkak, which he suggested that it will help his people achieve "ultimate Reality". He borrowed most of his ideas about God from the Roman Catholics. Tongkak continued to grow and even caught the attention of the government because of its popularity. The religion was organized with established rituals, doctrines, and a comprehensive governance structure. The followers had to attend seminars and abstain from drinking and smoking.[footnoteRef:4] [4: redundant]
Later in 1884, protestant Christianity arrived in the area through Dr. Allen, who was a Presbyterian missionary who gave Koreans a new and better religion to practice. It became more popular than Tongkak because the Choson state supported it. With the arrival of the Methodist North church in 1885, king Kojong welcomed them on condition that they will help civilize Korea by introducing technology, western medicine, and education (Grayson, 1985). Contemporary protestant Christians attribute a quick spread of Christianity to a period of spiritual, religious influence in Korea. Christianity grew fast because it builds mechanisms of spreading the gospel and fostering networks through schools and churches. However, the P’yongyang Revival in 1907 became the transformation point of protestant Christian activities in Korea. Missionaries erected big tents for prayers and Christian meetings in P’yongyang, which was considered as the epicenter of Christianity in Korea. In the first few meetings, the turnout was not very promising, but later, many people attended night long fellowships, and many people got transformed and confessed their sins. People confessed against hating others, misuse of church funds, adultery, murder, pride, and other sins. Missionary continued bringing more souls to God and urged them to stay away from sins. The P’yongyang Revival became a defining moment for protestants because it shows all Koreans the value of Christianity. By 1905, there were 321 churches in Korea, which was a remarkable achievement because of the traditionalists' fierce resistance. [footnoteRef:5] [5: redundant]
Protestant groups continued with modernization missions through constructing new health facilities and learning centers. Western medicine and technology were also introduced in Korea. Methodist Missionaries, Young Men's Christian Association, and Presbyterian groups build technical schools and introduced an elaborate education system (Kim, 2001). Men were taught vocations like machinery, while women were taught occupational skills. Industrial Educations Departments taught young Koreans how to manufacture commodities, running businesses, and marketing their products. They also taught people to conceptualize Korean society into a working economic system to produce and sell goods and services for a profit. All these activities were meant to strengthen Korea economically, political and social structures. Yun Ch’i-ho (1865-1945) attributed the need for Christians-based social and educational reforms to make Korea great(Palmer, 1967).
Christianity has been valued as the machinery for transforming Korea from a traditional emerging country to a modernized and robust economy. Korean Christians and western missionaries condemned Japanese imperialism and vowed to continue cultivating their relationship with God. The author shows the relationship between religion and social processes can serve as a vehicle to civilization and modernity, which will answer human problems. Christianity today remains a powerful social institution that influences social, economic, and political structures in Korea. Koreans value religion as a tool for negotiating modernity through people's growth, hard work, unity, and discipline.
You did not say anything about the issues of the question
Buswell, R. E., & Lee, T. S. (Eds.). (, 2007). Christianity in Korea. University of Hawaii Press.
Clark, D. N. (1986). Christianity in modern Korea. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
Davies, D. M. (1994). The Impact of Christianity upon Korea, 1884–1910: Six Key American and Korean Figures. Journal of Church and State, 36(4), 795-820.
Grayson, J. H. (1985). Early Buddhism and Christianity in Korea: a study in the implantation of religion (Vol. 47). Brill.
Kim, A. E. (1995). A history of Christianity in Korea: From its troubled beginning to its contemporary success. Korea Journal, 35(2), 34-53.
Kim, A. E. (2001). Political insecurity, social chaos, religious void, and the rise of Protestantism in late nineteenth-century Korea. Social History, 26(3), 267-281.
Kim, J. H. (2004). Christianity and Korean culture: The reasons for the success of Christianity in Korea. Exchange, 33(2), 132-152.
Oak, S. (2003). The indigenization of Christianity in Korea: North American missionaries' attitudes towards Korean religions, 1884–1910.
Palmer, S. J. (1967). Korea and Christianity: the problem of identification with tradition. Monograph series.
= Korean Original Monotheism
“Tan’gun Worshipped Hananim.”
1. Gale: “One Great One”
하늘 (heaven) = 하나 (one)
2. Hulbert: Trinitarian Understanding of Tan’gun Myth
— Trinitarian monotheism
3. Underwood: Primitive monotheism from the myths
— Comparative religious monotheism
4. The Term Question in Korea (II):
Inventing a Monotheistic God
Constructing Hanănim as the “One Great Lord,” 1900-1906
Original Korean Monotheism? Tan’gun Wanggŏm
The legendary founder of Old Chosŏn, the first Korean kingdom, around present-day Liaoning, Manchuria, and the Korean Peninsula. He is said to be the "grandson of heaven," and to have founded the kingdom in 2333 BCE. The earliest recorded version of the Tan’gun myth appears in Samguk Yusa (三國遺史 Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms, 1281-83), by the Buddhist monk Iryŏn (一然 1206-89) of Koryŏ, which cites China's Book of Wei and Korea's lost historical record Kogi (古記).
Once upon a time, Heavenly God, Hwan’in 桓因, noticed that one of his sons, Hwan’wung, always had his heart set on the world of mortals below. Hwan’in looked down upon it and found the Samwi-T’aebaek mountain the most befitting place for human beings to live. He gave his son three Ch’ŏnbu-in (God-given seals of king) and let him go down to the earth to rule over the human beings.
Hwan’wung 桓雄, with three thousand subordinates, took leave of his father and came down to the human world and held his ground under the Shindan-su (sandalwood) on top of the T’aebaek mountain. He named the place Shin-si (神市 divine city) and he had himself called Divine King Hwan’wung. He gave people their first lessons in right living and ruled over them, taking care of human affairs of as many as three hundred sixty kinds, such as farming, death, disease, punishment and good and evil, with the three spirits of P’ung-baek (wind), Wu-sa (rain) and Wun-sa (cloud) under his command.
At this time it so happened that a bear and a tiger were living together in a cave. They always prayed to the Divine king Hwan’wung that they be made human beings. Taking notice of their admirable wish, the divine king gave them a bundle of sacred mugworts and twenty cloves of garlic and said, "If you eat these and do not see sunlight for one hundred days you will become human beings.“ The bear and the tiger immediately began to practice abstinence, living on the mugworts and garlics in cave. After twenty one days the bear became a woman, but the tiger, unable to endure the abstinence, violated the injunction of the divine king, and failed to become a human being.
Now the woman could not find any man to marry her, so she always prayed under the sandalwood to be given a child of her own. Hwan’wung took notice of her prayer, transformed himself into a man temporarily and married her. She gave birth to a son, who was to be Tan’gun-Wanggŭm 檀君 王儉.
Wanggŭm succeeded Hwan’wung as king. He selected Pyongyang as his capital and named the country to Asadal at the Paek-ak mountain and reigned over the country for 1,500 years. Thus he became the founding father of Korea.
Hulbert’s Understanding of the Structure of the myth
(One Heavenly Lord)
migrating tribe indigenous tribe
Current situation: Two camps
Hananim 하나님 camp (Protestants)
Revised V (1954-97), RRV (98-), SV (2002-)
Hanŭnim 하느님 camp (RC, Anglican, Orthodox, & N. K.)
Union V (1977-), Pyongyang V (1988), RCV (2005-)
Traditional name Hanănim = hanăl (heaven) + nim (honorific & personality)
→ = Hanănim (One Great Heavenly Lord)
Transformation a new term of Oneness + Greatness + Heavenliness
Christians have no right to call their god “Hananim”?
Jewish Jehovah ≠ Korean Hananim
God = generic = uniquely Korean
Protestant missionaries appropriated the term for their god to make him appear no different from the God Korean ancestors worshipped. (stolen & borrowed god = kills Korean god, religion, culture, & identity)
Taejong-gyo (established by Na Ch’ŏl in 1911) borrowed the monotheistic
Hananim from Protestantism, for monotheism was regarded as an important elements of modern religion.
Protestantism invented a new term for God Hananim from an indigenous god
= Two methods (invention + indigenization) were combined uniquely in Korea.
Korean Theism and
— Korean Terms for Christian God
— Koreanization of Christian God
The Term Question in Korea
Term Question in China
Roman Catholics: From Shangdi 上帝 to Tianzhu 天主
Protestants: Dominance of Shangdi 上帝 over Shen 神
Term Question in Korea (I)
Roman Catholics: Exclusive Use of Tianzhu 天主
John Ross’s Adoption of Hananim 하나님(하느님)from 1878
H. G. Underwood’s Experiments in 1890s
Rivalry of Tianzhu 텬쥬 and Hanănim , 1894-1904
Term Question in Korea (II): Inventing a Monotheistic God
Constructing Hanănim as the “One Great Lord,” 1900-1906
Fulfillment Theory and Hanănim, 1910-1930
“Rites Controversy” (ancestor worship)
“Term Controversy” (monotheism)
Establishing Christian monotheism
Western understanding East Asian religions
contemporary theology of religions
Interaction among mission groups & churches
Q. The Term Question, why is it important?
Types of Theism
Monotheism: Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Baha'i Faith, Sikhism
Henotheism one particular highest god out of several tribal gods
Polytheism: Hinduism, Shintoism —- pluralism
Pantheism: Creator = creation —- spiritualism
Panentheism: Creator > creation
Deism: creator(s) does not alter the original plan for the universe –– “a watchmaker”
Autotheism: one's self is a deity
Eutheism is the belief that a deity is wholly benevolent.
Dystheism is the belief that a deity is not wholly good, and is possibly evil.
Misotheism is the belief that a deity exists, but is wholly malicious.
Q. Original Monotheism?
Two models up to 1940s
Method of Creation (Invention)
Inventing a new term for Christian identity
天主 as a neologism
Conservatives: blocking syncretism
Weakness: communication (foreignness- strange name)
Two Options in Term Question
2. Method of Incarnation (Indigenization)
Adopting a pre-existing name & Christianizing it & educating it
Liberals: promoting understanding th. pragmatic accommodation
Weakness: compromising Christian identity (syncretism)
2. The Term Question In China
Shen 神 Shangdi 上帝 Americans British
M. Ricci’s World Map (part), 1602
RC Rites Controversy in China
From Shangdi 上帝 to Tianzhu 天主
From the 1630s: a dispute within the Catholic Church to the early 18th century about whether Chinese folk religion’s rites and offerings to the emperor constituted idolatry or not.
1715 Papal bull Ex illa die officially condemned the Chinese rites. Pope Clement XI decided in favor of the Dominicans (who argued that Chinese folk religion and offerings to the emperor were incompatible with Catholicism), which greatly reduced Catholic missionary activity in China.
It was related to larger controversies between the Dominicans and Jesuits over the adoption of local practices of other countries.
1939 Pope Pius XII modified his predecessor's decision.
Shen 神 Shangdi 上帝 Americans British
3. The Term Question in Korea (1)
French RC missionaries (1837 – 1908)
Terms for God = Translations of Chinese Terms
Tianzhu 텬쥬 天主 was adopted
Shangdi 샹뎨 上帝
Shangzhou 샹쥬 上主
Protestants missionaries used Hanănim
insisting that Koreans had primitive monotheism before missionaries came to Korea
The Tan’gun Myth and Korean Religions
Korea has “5,000 years of history” = Antiquity of the Nation
During the late Goryŏ Kingdom, the Tan’gun legend has played an important role in national unity and patriotic mobilization against the Mongolian invaders.
Kosindo (古神道), a version of Korean shamanism that considered Tan’gun a god, had a small following, but had largely died out by the 15th century.
In 1910s, with a resurgence in Korean nationalism and the beginning of Japanese colonial rule in 1910, the movement was revived in Taejong-gyo 大宗敎, promoted by Na Ch’ŏl (1864-1916).
Korea is a Unitary Ethno-Nation 單一民族 = Ethnic Purity
Tan’gun is the original ancestor of all Koreans
After the liberation in 1945, Syngman Rhee government emphasized the One Nation theory (ethnic unity under Tan’gun) for the unification of the divided nation.
Taejong-gyo was revived, although it remains a minor religion.
Tan’gun is worshipped today as a deity by the followers of Ch’ŏndo-gyo and Taejong-gyo.
Q. Ancient Indigenous Monotheism in Korea?
Donald Baker (UBC, 2002) = No
= No existence before Christianity came
Tan’gun Myth is not monotheistic
No documentary evidence until 1880
RC did not use “Hanănim,” but “Tianzhou”
Tonghak’s “Hanălnim” was influenced by RC
Protestant “Hanănim” was invented by J. Ross & J. S. Gale
Most, including Oak (UCLA, 2002)= Yes
Invented, yet Indigenized new term
French Missionaries’ Use of Hanălnim
Donald Baker insists that French missionaries dictionaries = No entry for “Hanănim”
They used only “Shangdi” and “Tianzhou”
But I found that they used “Hanănim”
“Les payens par respect superstitieur a disent Hanălnim”
= The pagans say Hanălnim with superstitious respect.
The late 19th century French conservative theology
regarded Korean spirituality and all forms of worship
of spirits as idolatry and demon worship.
Dictionaire Français-Coréen (1869), p. 55
심양 문광셔원 간
John Ross’s Bible Catechism, 1881
the First Protestant Korean Tract—adopted Hanŭnim 하느님
The Gospel of Luke, 1882—the same 하느님
Wenli Version, 1854
Ross’s John, 1882
= spelling system change
Yi Su-jŏng’s Version
in 1884 (Yokohama) 1887 (Yokohama) 1891 (Seoul)
Shin Shangdi Shangdi
1900, Gospel of John (Seoul) 1899, Underwood, Study of John (Seoul)
Tianzhu vs Hanănim
Underwood Gale, Moffett
Christian identity indigenization
new term old name
Co-existence of two terms and two camps
in the Korean Protestant Scriptures and Literatures
Jan. 26, 1897
On Oct. 12, 1897
Competing Names for God in Korean Scriptures, 1882-1904
C. Japanese Researchers
Professional Scholars, 1916-1945
Similarities b/w Japanese and Koreans; The same ancestor 同祖同根
= Policy of total assimilation 同化
2. Differences b/w
Japanese and Koreans:
shamanism= inferior, superstitious,
premodern, female religion
= justification of colonization
Korean beliefs in spirits were at the root of Korean consciousness; it should not be ignored in changing Korea
Japanese government = a gardener who tries to graft a new branch = need to study the tree and the soil
1. Yong-gi Cho’s Pentecostal Theology of the Holy Spirit, Yoido Full Gospel Church
Tent Church Taejodong, 1958
Seodaemun Church, 1961
Main Sanctuary, Yeouido, 1973
D. Modern Theology of the Holy Spirit, 1970-2000
Rev. Cho Yong-Gi
1964 2,400 20
1965 2,400 20
1966 5,000 150
1968 8,000 150
1980 150,000 10,000
1997 709,000 23,316 cell group
2000 837,569 (?)
2004 250,000 attending members
Cho’s Holy Spirit
Biblicism + Spirit-orientation + Evangelism = Church Growth
Healing of minjung: Faith healing
Pentecostalism: Revivalism – Speaking Tongues
Five-fold: Regeneration, baptism in Spirit, divine healing,
return of Christ + gospel of blessing
Three-beat Salvation: Spiritual + physical + material
Theory of H.S:
Pray to the HS
HS as his Senior partner
2. Minjung Theology
The results of some theologians’ engagements in the sufferings
of the people, and political and social mission activities
in the military regimes of the 1970s and 1980s, and their self-reflections
“I met Jesus in the suffering people”
Suh Nam-dong, 1918-84
Ahn Pyŏng-mu, 1922-96
Joachim of Fiore (c. 1135 – 1202)
Father – Son — Spirit (The third Age of Spirit)
Beyond the limitations of historical Christology
Eschatology –post-Christian era – Collective Soul – millennial kingdom
Confluence – Re-actualization ← the work of Holy Spirit
Korean Minjung Mvnt (Tonghak) + Minjung tradition in Christianity
People’s Movement = Spirit working in history = continuous revelation
Pneumatological historical interpretation of history
Criteria: socio-political justice
Re-incarnation of the paradigmatic crucifixion-resurrection event
3. Ryu Tong-sik
Paternal –Minjung – political
Maternal –Pentecostal – healing
Han 한+ mŏt 멋+ sarm 삶= Great beautiful life
religious + artistic + social dimension
P’yungnyu 風流 – original Korean spirituality
Conf. + Buddhism + Daoism = living all things together
Yi Yongdo + Kim Chaejun + Ham Sokhon
HS has been working in Korean culture, art, music, literature, religion, society
4. Chung Hyun-Kyung
7th WCC Assembly at Canberra, 1991
invoked spirits of the dead in suffering
Spirit of Jesus = a han-ridden spirit
Identified the Holy Spirit with Kwanin
Shamanism + Buddhism
8th WCC Assembly, Zimbabwe, 1998
Denied the finality and uniqueness of Jesus
Contemporary Korean theology of the HS
Pentecostalism ———— shamanism + Buddhism
Minjung Theology ———- Tonghak
Indigenization Theology —- Confucianism + Buddhism + Daoism
Religious pluralism ———– shamanism + Buddhism
Traditionalists (Wesleyans, Calvinists) – Pentecostalized
Continuationism is popular in SK churches.
B-1. Missionary Iconoclasm against “Demon Worship”
Received Tradition: Strict Prohibition of Demon Worship by RC & P in 19th C
Performed Ceremony: Burning Fetishes and Destroying Devil House
A Crowd gathered
Matching – Hymns – Prayer – Hymns
Result: Home Worship
“Christian Home” and “Home Altar”
3. Applied Theory: the Germ Theory, Defeats Evil Spirits
B. The first Encounter between Protestantism and shamanism
It is not psychological, biological, or pathological, but exactly biblical and spiritual phenomena.
Similar folk religious context between Shandong and Korea
3. Demon Possession and Christian Exorcism
What has not been said by the scholars is about the influence of this book on the Korean missionaries
In this apologetic book, Nevius asks the question
“Is there such a thing as Demon-Possession in this latter part of the Nineteenth Century?”
He has investigated the phenomena and cases for 12 years. And then he sent out a circular to the missionaries and Chinese pastors about the phenomena
He criticizes both scientific materialism–the evolutionary, biological, pathological, psychological theories– and the extreme spiritualism–spiritualists, theosophists and all apostles of Oriental or Occidental occultism.
He concludes with the biblical spiritualism.
The people of North China believed in the possession of wo/men by evil spirits.
When, therefore, Christianity was introduced into China, and the narratives of demoniacal possession given in the NT were read, the correspondence that was at once recognized by the native Christians seemed complete.
In relation to this particular form of NT miracles, there has never been any difficulty on the part of Chinese Christians … And what is striking in the accounts given by Dr. Nevius, is their uniform confidence shown in the power of Jesus, or even of an appeal to His name to expel the spirits and set the victims free.
Bible women as New Exorcists
– A Case of Mrs. Sim’s Exorcism Ceremony, 1906
1) Confrontational Dialogue with the Possessed at her own room
“Are you possessed of a demon?” repeated until answered.
The spirits beg to stay.
2) Praying for the woman who hissed, spat, and struck at them
3) Congregational Hymns repeated
until hatred on the woman’s part subsided into a low crying
4) Order the Spirits Come Out, yet they resist
5) Prayer and Hymns
6) Midnight Ordering the Spirits Go Away
“THOU FOUL SPIRIT, I ADJURE THEE IN THE NAME OF JESUS NAZARETH, COME OUT OF HER!”
1. Transformed Missionaries
Accepting the “Pre-Modern” Korean View of
Spirits, which was similar to that of the NT
–“a factor of Protestant success in Korea”
David K. Lambuth, “Korean Devils and Christian Missionaries,” Independent (Aug., 1907), 287-8.
B. Accepting Korean God, “Hananim”
as the Term for Christian “God” and
emphasizing its “original monotheism”
2. Emergence of Bible Women: New Spiritual Leadership
Biblicism + Chinese Christian practice + Korean shamanistic healing ceremony
Iconoclasm + Indigenization
Empowerment of Bible woman
Christ as the most powerful shaman (wonder worker)
Continuationism vs Cessationism
II. Points of Conflict
Built in 1925
II. Points of Conflict
II. Points of Conflict
Tonga Ilbo, Dec. 10, 1935
Reporter: sacrifice of 100,000 students?
“Shrine worship is against the will of God”
Cl0sed 8 mission schools in Pyongyang in 1936
II. Points of Conflict
May 18, 1936
Shinto shrine veneration
May 16, 1939
Korean RC Church
Supported the 2nd Sino-Japanese War and its total mobilization (militarism)
–No Ki-nam, Chang Myon
Anglicans and Methodists took
the same position
In 1936, a new Governor-General Minami (南次郞) arrived. He pushed the policy of the total assimilation (Japanization 皇民化) of the Korean people, and mobilized the total resources of Korea for the wars.
One Shinto Shrine at each town, 1938
Pledge of the Subjects to the Emperor at the Shrine
Japanization of the School System from 1938
1) “National Identity” “Military Training”
2) Prohibition of the Korean Language
4. Volunteer System to the Japanese Army, 1938
5. Changing the Korean name into the Japanese, 1939
6. Enforced draft of the Laborers for the war
7. Enforced drafting system
8. Comfort women
9. Requisition for the war—all church bells donated
April 22 Cholla pukto 200 churches
29 Chollanamdo 60 churches
May 3 Kusan
6 Ch’ungchong amdo
11 Chonnam Presbytery
Aug. 27, 1938
Pyongyang Presbytery declared
it was not against the doctrine of the Presbyterian Church.
Presbyterial Size of the Presbyterian Church, 1934
In the fall of 1938, the 27th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church was held in Pyongyang. The Japanese police threatened the 400 representatives to decide to participate in the Shinto shrine worship. They had to vote for the worship as a civil ceremony compatible with Christian faith. Rev.Hong Taek-Ki, chairman, declared
"We understand that Shinto shrine worship is not a religious ceremony, and that it is not against to the Christian doctrines. As we recognize the shrine worship as the ceremony of patriotism, we should take part in the shrine worship in person and do our best as the citizens of this nation (Japan)."
Sept. 10, 1938
a Moran-dae b Ulmil-dae c Pyongan Shinto Shrine d Central Presbyterian Church
Northern City of
Chairperson Hong (#1) and Executive leaders of
the General Assembly of the Korean Presbyterian Church, 1938
#2 Kim Kil-ch’ang pro-Japanese collaborator
#3 Secretary Kwak Chin-gŭn became chairperson in 1940
when he was 44 years old, Yet de dined in 1941
But it was not statement that all the Christians of Korea followed up.
Many ministers including Rev. Chu Ki-ch’ŏl fought against the Shinto shrine worship on the front line.
As the results, Pyongyang Seminary had to close the door and about 200 churches was closed.
2,000 Christians were imprisoned, and 50 were martyred for keeping their faith.
Rev. Chu Ki-Chŏl
Chu(朱基徹 1897-1944) was imprisoned five times, totally for 5 years 4 months, in 1938-1944.
He fought against the Japanese Government’s enforcement of Shinto Shrine worship to the Church.
He resisted against the militaristic Japanese Emperor system.
He raised a prophetic voice and was martyred.
Oh Chung-Mo & Chu Ki-Chul
Rev. Chu and
Sanjŏnghyŏn Church Leaders,
Pyongyang, Nov. 1937
Theology of the glory
Theology of the cross
2. Buddhist Idol Worship
OT: no images
NT: based on the incarnation of Jesus Christ
Eastern Orthodox: panels → iconoclasm (8th c) → icons
Western RC: icons and statues
Islam : no faces (iconoclasm)
Protestantism: Lutheranism—icons and status acceptable
Calvinism/Puritans—no icons, but pictures of Jesus acceptable
II. Points of Conflict
3. “Polygamy Question”
Context: half of the population were children of concubines in 19th c Korea
What was controversial for the church?
Total prohibition vs Partial Tolerance
PY Presbyterians Seoul Presbyterians
W. Baird’s Theses D. Gifford’s Study
Underwood & Moffett many senior missionaries in China
II. Points of Conflict
Missionaries in China
II. Points of Conflict
“Rev. John Ross (United Presbyterian Church of Scotland), Moukden:—
A few years ago the United Mission in Manchuria had the matter before them for final settlement. It was unanimously agreed that on account of the conditions of family life in China a man proved to be otherwise conducting himself as a believer should, could be baptized, tho he had a plurality of wives, but that he be not eligible for any office in the church; and that one of several wives be similarly admitted into the church. But that any member taking a second wife while his first was living would at once be put out of the church. This law has had to be enforced in the cases of three useful men who became inveigled into this forbidden relationship. We always consult our senior Christians in regard to every measure connected with church life, and the native eldership in the Presbytery were cordially at one with the Europeans there.”
—Daniel L. Gifford, “Polygamous Applicants,” 1897; Daniel L. Gifford, “Polygamous Applicants—II,” Missionary Review of the World (March 1897); 194.
II. Points of Conflict
Sŏ Sang-nyun’s case
1882 – baptized by John Ross, sent to Korea
1884 – began Sorae Church
1887 – evangelist/colporteur by Underwood
1888 – trained at the theological class
1890 – “helper”
1897 – Council fired him due to his “polygamy”
1898 – appointed him “helper” again
1907—Sŭngdong Church elected him “elder”
1907 – Council denied his ordination as elder
remained as a “deacon”
II. Points of Conflict
4. Geomancy (Fengshui)
A. House Site
B. Tomb Site
Moving the bones
Suites at the local government court
= non-interference policy
* Missionary Support for American Mining Business
II. Points of Conflict
Moving Ancestor’s Bones from the Old Tomb to a New
advised by a geomancy practitioner for the prosperity of the descendants
II. Points of Conflict
Worship or Veneration? Ancestor Worship, 1884-1910 Shinto Shrine Worship, 1936-1945 “points of conflict”
I. Points of Contact
1. Hananim & God
Term Question / Tan’gun Myth
2. Worship & Prayer
3. Immortality & Eternity
4. Demon Possession & Exorcism
5. Messianic Hope & Millennialism
Tonghak / Maitreya Buddha / Chŏnggam-nok
Buddhist Idol Worship
3. Confucian Polygamy
4. Daoist/Confucian Geomancy
5. Shamanistic Spirit Worship
II. Points of Conflict
1. Ancestor Veneration 祭祀 (祀先)
Extension of filial piety 孝
– by requiting the ancestors’ favor (報本)
– by keeping their memories alive (追遠)
Reinforcing the family ties and qi (氣)
– familyism 家族
Agnatic (父系 patrilineal) principle
Enatic (Matrilineal 母系) principle: legitimate son-centered
inheritance dispute –social issues
living semi-permanently with ancestors and descendants together
= continuation of the family blood lines and society
Loyalty to the King (= the state) –> State Shinto Statism
II. Points of Conflict
Regarding the problem of ancestral veneration for Korean Christians in the late nineteenth century: In around 1,500 words, analyze two sides of Dr. Oak's historical argument (that is, do not take a side in the argument the missionaries were having): what Dr. Oak says about the Protestant missionaries, and what he says about the Korean Christians.
The author is intervening into historical scholarship, especially of the last quarter century. What position is he arguing against? (Identify the scholarly consensus he is trying to shatter.)
How does he support his argument? (What kind of primary and secondary sources does he use to make this argument?)
Why does it matter? (What are the broader implications for the subject matter of this course—world Christianity?)
One professor’s assignment on the chapter
II. Points of Conflict
“Ancestor Worship” Question
(1) Influence of the China Mission
1826 W. H. Medhurst, On the Feast of Tomb
1859 John L. Nevius, Errors of Ancestor Worship
1877 First Conference – A/W Question – prohibited
1890 Second Conference—Minority’s tolerant attitude
1907 Centennial Conference—prohibited
Introduced to Korea and remained as the official guideline until 1937
“Shinto Shrine worship Question” in the 1930s-40s.
II. Points of Conflict
John Nevius, Catechism for
the Candidates of Baptism,
tr. by Samuel A. Moffett, 1895
The first requirements
Neither devil worship
Nor ancestor worship
But worship only one God
II. Points of Conflict
Theological iconoclasm (monotheism against idol worship)
Anti-Roman Catholic ritualism, purgatory, saints worship
3. Socio-cultural modernism (against pre-modern liturgical law)
Economic efficiency (against poverty caused by empty rituals and unnecessary waste)
Ethical emphasis on family and woman's right
(against early marriage, polygamy, gender discrimination)
Political progressivism and social Darwinism
(against the “stagnant” Asian society— unchanged old custom)
II. Points of Conflict
Protestant Tolerant Views
Liberal Evangelical Missionaries –John Ross, 1880s and W. A. P. Martin, 1890
No Pyŏng-sŏn, From Errors to Truth, 1897: Merit + Jesus Redemption = open soteriology
Ch’oe Pyŏng-hŏn, “On the Full Moon Festival,” 1897: Changeability of Rituals
Apostles’ Creed: “Jesus went to the hell”: possibility of salvation of ancestors
Editorials of Christian Advocate and Christian News, 1897: original monotheism
Kil Sŏn-ju, On Indolence, 1904: Saints of East in the kingdom of Achievement: limited inclusivism
Missionaries: cautious approach
D. Gifford, 1898. AW mixture of A, B, C, D = uniquely Korean – fate of the deceased decided
by the Ten Judges (Buddhism) and AW is related to the reputation of children
20th Anniversary of the Korean Mission, 1904
G. O. Engel, “– Mature Korean Christians should decide the issue
J. S. Gale, Korea in Transition, 1909: wait for Korean Christians’ decision
II. Points of Conflict
A. Theology of Filial Piety
1) 5th Commandment:
Filial Piety to the living parents, respect the dead
2) Trinity: God – Heavenly Father of all humanity
Jesus – Filial Son, Sacrifice for Redemption
Spirit of Filial Piety & Sacraments
Hope for Resurrection & Heavenly Kingdom
Jesus, the model of filial piety & brotherly love (孝悌)
Sacred Community sustained by the Holy Spirit
II. Points of Conflict
B. Christian Funeral
preserving Grafting Pruning away .
Place & Order: Confucian OK + chapel service
Garb, Bier: Confucian OK + flag of the cross,
badge of the cross
3) Lamentation: No. replaced by hymns
4) Burial site: Confucian OK No fengshui 風水
5) Annual Visiting to the tomb: OK No wine offering & bowing down
II. Points of Conflict
C. Christian Memorial Service (Ch'udohoe 追悼會)
It was grafted unto the Confucian memorial rite (祭祀).
– time (anniversary, evening), space (home), candle, family, food
+ keeping Genealogy(族譜) – anniversary, tomb site
2) It pruned away
Animistic (shamanistic) provocation of the departed spirits (招魂)
Buddhist post-mortal sentence of Ten Judges(十王)
Confucian prayer to ancestors & wine-offering (獻酒) for blessings
Daoist practice of fengshui (風水) for the grave site
Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory (鍊獄)
= a good case of Confucian-Christian integration.
II. Points of Conflict
T h e M a k i n g
k o r e a n C h r i s T i a n i T y
Protestant Encounters with Korean Religions 1876 – 1915
s u n g – D e u k o a k
The Making of Korean Christianity
The Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity Calvin College
Joel A. Carpenter Series Editor
SWC S T U D I E S I N
W O R L D C H R I S T I A N I T Y
The Making of Korean Christianity Protestant Encounters with Korean Religions,
Baylor University Press
© 2013 by Baylor University Press Waco, Texas 76798-7363
All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission in writing of Baylor University Press.
Cover Design by Nita Ybarra Cover Image: Members of the Session of the Central Presbyterian Church
in Pyongyang, Korea in 1909. S. A. Moffett, Kil Sŏnju, and G. Lee are in the center. From George T. B. Davis, Korea for Christ (New York: Revell, 1910), 20.
Book Design by Diane Smith
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Oak, Sung-Deuk. The making of Korean Christianity : Protestant encounters with Korean religions, 1876–1915 / Sung-Deuk Oak. 437 pages cm. — (Studies in world Christianity) Includes bibliographical references (pages 347–396) and index. ISBN 978-1-60258-575-1 (hardback : alk. paper) 1. Christianity and other religions—Korea—History. 2. Christianity— Korea—History. 3. Protestant churches—Korea—History. 4. Korea— Religion. I. Title. BR128.A77O25 2013 275.19’08–dc23 2012043662
For Yoo Hyun, Eun Hyun, and Hyun Bhin
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It used to be that those of us from the global North who study world Christianity had to work hard to make the case for its relevance. Why should thoughtful people learn more about Christianity in places far away from Europe and North America? The Christian religion, many have heard by now, has more than sixty percent of its adherents living outside of Europe and North America. It has become a hugely multicul- tural faith, expressed in more languages than any other religion. Even so, the implications of this major new reality have not sunk in. Studies of world Christianity might seem to be just another obscure specialty niche for which the academy is infamous, rather like an “ethnic foods” corner in an American grocery store.
Yet the entire social marketplace, both in North America and Europe, is rapidly changing. The world is undergoing the greatest trans-regional migration in its history, as people from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific region become the neighbors down the street, across Europe and North America. The majority of these new immigrants are Chris- tians. Within the United States, one now can find virtually every form of Christianity from around the world. Here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I live and work, we have Sudanese Anglicans, Adventists from the Dominican Republic, Vietnamese Catholics, Burmese Baptists, Mexican Pentecostals, and Lebanese Orthodox Christians—to name a few of the Christian traditions and movements now present.
Christian leaders and institutions struggle to catch up with these new realities. The selection of a Latin American pope in 2013 was in
viii — Series Foreword
some respects the culmination of decades of readjustment in the Roman Catholic Church. Here in Grand Rapids, the receptionist for the Catho- lic bishop answers the telephone first in Spanish. The worldwide Angli- can communion is being fractured over controversies concerning sexual morality and biblical authority. Other churches in worldwide fellowships and alliances are treading more carefully as new leaders come forward and challenge northern assumptions, both liberal and conservative.
Until very recently, however, the academic and intellectual world has paid little heed to this seismic shift in Christianity’s location, vitality, and expression. Too often, as scholars try to catch up to these changes, says the renowned historian Andrew Walls, they are still operating with “pre-Columbian maps” of these realities.
This series is designed to respond to that problem by making avail- able some of the coordinates needed for a new intellectual cartography. Broad-scope narratives about world Christianity are being published, and they help to revise the more massive misconceptions. Yet much of the most exciting work in this field is going on closer to the action. Doz- ens of dissertations and journal articles are appearing every year, but their stories are too good and their implications are too important to be reserved for specialists only. So we offer this series to make some of the most interesting and seminal studies more accessible, both to academics and to the thoughtful general reader. World Christianity is fascinating for its own sake, but it also helps to deepen our understanding of how faith and life interact in more familiar settings.
So we are eager for you to read, ponder, and enjoy these Baylor Studies in World Christianity. There are many new things to learn, and many old things to see in a new light.
Joel A. Carpenter Series Editor
Illustrations, Tables, Diagrams, and Maps xi Preface and Acknowledgments xv Abbreviations xxiii
1 God 33 Search for the Korean Name for God, Hanănim
2 Saviors 85 Images of the Cross and Messianism
3 Spirits 141 Theories of Shamanism and Practice of Exorcism
4 Ancestors 189 Confucian and Christian Memorial Services
5 Messages 221 Chinese Literature and Korean Translations
6 Rituals 271 Revivals and Prayers
Conclusion 305 Appendix 317 Glossary 337 Bibliography 347 Index 397
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Illustrations, Tables, Diagrams, and Maps
Figure 1 Giulio Aleni (1582–1649), T`ien-chu chiang-sheng ch`u- hsiang ching-chieh 天主降生出像經解 [Illustrated Exposi- tions of the Incarnation of the Lord of Heaven] (Fukien: Chin-chiang Church, 1637), plate 26. Courtesy of Hough- ton Library, Harvard University. (p. 99)
Figure 2 A. Schall, Jincheng Shuxiang [Images Presented to the Chong- zhen Emperor], 1640, as shown in Yang Guangxian, Budeyi 不得已 (1664). Courtesy of UCLA East Asian Library. (p. 99)
Figure 3 Bixie jishi 辟邪紀實 (1861), 13, plate 1. (p. 106) Figure 4 John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress, 51st edition (Paisley:
A. Weir and A. M’Lean, 1757), 40. (p. 110)
Figure 5 John Bunyan, Tian lu li cheng 天路歷程 [The Pilgrim’s Progress], trans. William Chalmers Burns (N.p., 1852). July 5, 2010. Courtesy of the National Library of Australia. (p. 111)
Figure 6 John Bunyan, Tenro rekitei: iyaku 天路歴程 意譯 [The Pilgrim’s Progress: Free Translation], ed. and trans. Yosimine Satō 佐藤喜峰 (Tokyo: Jūjiyashoho, 1879). Courtesy of UCLA East Asian Library. (p. 111)
xii — The Making of Korean Christianity
Figure 7 John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress, with notes by the Rev. Robert Maguire, illustrated by H. C. Selous, Esq. and M. Paolo Priolo (London: Cassell, Petter, & Galpin, 1863), 73. (p. 112)
Figure 8 John Bunyan, T’yŏllo yŏkchŏng 텬로력뎡 [The Pilgrim’s Progress], trans. James S. Gale (Seoul: Korean Religious Tract Society, 1895), 38b. (p. 112)
Figure 9 Inferred Tonghak Yŏngbu. Roderick S. Bucknell and Paul Beirne, “In Search of Yŏngbu: The Lost Talisman of Korea’s Tonghak Religion,” Review of Korean Studies 4, no. 1 (2001): 213. (p. 116)
Figure 10 Inferred Tonghak Yŏngbu. Drawing by Sung-Deuk Oak. (p. 116)
Figure 11 The Designs of the Pulsap Used in the Chosŏn Period. Yi Seunghae and Ahn Pohyun, “Chosŏn sidae hoegyŏk hoeg- wagmyo ch’ult’o sab e taehan koch’al” [A Study of the “Sap” Excavated from the Tombs of Lime-Covered or Lime Coffins], Munhwajae 42, no. 2 (2008): 49. (p. 118)
Figure 12 The Sorae Church and Its Flag of St. George’s Cross, 1898. “Mission Albums of Miss Esther Lucas Shields.” Courtesy of the Samuel Hugh Moffett Collections, Princeton Theo- logical Seminary Archives. (p. 122)
Figure 13 A Typical Flagpole of a Rural Church, ca. 1902. Mission- ary Review of the World (February 1908): 101. Courtesy of UCLA Library. (p. 127)
Figure 14 Japanese Red Cross Society Hospital in Incheon, Korea, 1904. American Monthly Review of Reviews (June 1904): 667. Courtesy of UCLA Library. (p. 132)
Figure 15 Japanese Military Rule: Execution of Korean Farmers, 1904. Homer B. Hulbert, The Passing of Korea (London: Heinemann, 1906), 210. (p. 134)
Figure 16 Execution of Korean Patriots, 1907. B. L. Butnam Wheale, Coming Struggle in East Asia (London: Macmillan, 1909), 518. (p. 135)
Illustrations, Tables, Diagrams, and Maps — xiii
Figure 17 A Political Cartoon of The Sinhan Minbo, 1909. The Sinhan Minbo 신한민보 (September 15, 1909). Courtesy of UCLA Library. (p. 137)
Figure 18 Missionary Baptism, 1910. Yorozu chōhō 萬朝報 (March 21, 1910). Courtesy of UCLA Library. (p. 137)
Tables (in Appendix)
Table 1 The Names for God Used in the Korean Scriptures, 1882–1905
Table 2 Examples of the Korean Terms Adopted by the Ross Ver- sion, 1887
Table 3 Chinese Terms Adopted by Korean Versions from the Del- egates’ Version, 1887 and 1904
Table 4 The Most Popular Chinese Tracts and Books in 1893
Table 5 Chinese Books and Tracts Used in Korea without Transla- tion, 1880–1900
Table 6 Chinese Tracts Translated and Published in Korean, 1881–1896
Table 7 The Title and the First Stanza of “The Rock of Ages”
Table 8 Various Editions of “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know”
Table 9 Growth of Presbyterian Churches in Korea, 1907–1912
Table 10 General Statistics of the Christian Missions and Churches in East Asia, 1910
Table 11 Educational Statistics of the Korea Mission, PCUSA, 1907– 1908
Table 12 Statistics of the Presbyterian Churches in Korea, 1910
Diagrams (in Appendix)
Diagram 1 Religious and Political Factors in the Iconography of the Cross, 1801–1910
Diagram 2 Translation of Christian Texts into Korean, 1876–1915
xiv — The Making of Korean Christianity
Maps (in Appendix)
Map 1 Early Protestant Missionary Routes to Korea, 1879–1887
Map 2 Territorial Comity among the Presbyterian and Methodist Missions in Korea, 1912
Preface and Acknowledgments
Korean Protestant Christianity has been known for two things: rapid growth and conservative theological orientation. American evangeli- calism has been regarded as a driving force to that effect since the arrival of the first medical missionary to Korea, Horace N. Allen (1858–1932), in 1884, during Japanese colonial rule in 1910–1945, and in the post- war period of the North–South division since 1953. Already by 1900 there were more than twenty-five thousand Protestant Christians, about two hundred thousand in 1910, and then about eight million in 1990. As a result, the monolithic image of rapidly expanding fundamentalis- tic Korean Protestantism, influenced by American evangelicalism, has dominated its historiography. The missionary literature has lauded the Christian triumph over heathen Korean religions. Conservative Korean theologians and pastors have reproduced similar rhetoric to boost the domestic and foreign missions as well as to buttress their hegemony over any emerging new liberal theology and in their efforts to suppress lenient attitudes toward non-Christian religions. The conservative camp has tried to justify these positions by creating the image of intensely conservative pioneering missionaries. In contrast, the liberal or pluralist camp has crit- icized the exclusivist missionary theology, its Orientalism, and cultural imperialism that had destroyed traditional Korean religious culture and imposed a Western form of Christianity on Koreans. Most non-Korean scholars have not paid much attention to the history of Protestantism in Korea because it appeared to be a simple story of expansion and thus boring. This book challenges such a lineal historical understanding of
xvi — The Making of Korean Christianity
Korean Protestant churches and tries to affirm that the culturally sen- sitive and biblically sound identity can go hand in hand with a vitally growing constituency and social relevancy. Above all, the contemporary critical situation of declining Protestant churches in Korea calls for a seri- ous reflection on their first decades for their renewal.
This book explores the history of the localization of North Ameri- can Christianity in Korea through its encounters with Korean religions at the turn of the twentieth century. Using archival materials, this book not only delineates the transpacific transmission of North American Christianity to Korea but also investigates trans–Yellow Sea interactions between naturalized Chinese Protestant mission theories, methods, and literature and emerging Korean Protestantism. The main concern, how- ever, lies in that third integration: the synthesis of Anglo-American–Sino Christianity with congenial elements of Korean religions. This geograph- ical and cultural convergence produced a unique Korean Protestantism in the first generation, and this indigenous identity contributed to the rapid progress of Protestant Christianity as a new national religion in modern Korea. The agency of Korean Christians in this triple integra- tion is particularly emphasized. This is a case study on the interplay between the globalization of Christianity in East Asia and the incultura- tion of Christianity as a national and local response.
In their encounters with Korean religions—a mixture of sha- manism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, Tonghak, and popular beliefs—young North American missionaries, influenced by the sea- soned missionaries in China, dropped their initial goal of radically dis- placing Korean “heathenism” and otherness with Western Christianity. The heuristic approach that followed was based on what they learned from studying and observing Korean religions and Korean Christians’ interpretation of the relationship between Western Christianity and Korean religions. In order to answer to both indifferent and respon- sive audiences and to become competitive in the rapidly changing reli- gious market, evangelical missionaries, as a utilitarian approach, were open to negotiations and accommodations to the congenial elements of Korean religions. Their evangelical mission theology firmly maintained the finality and superiority of Christ in relation to Korean religions, but they searched for the points of contact within Korean religions that had some foundation for accepting the Christian gospel. The mis- sionaries’ combination of confrontational and conciliatory approaches, cross-cultural sensitivity, and moderate fulfillment theory encouraged
Preface and Acknowledgments — xvii
Korean Christians to create an indigenous Christianity that grew rap- idly in the liminal space of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Korea, where trans nationality, translations, traditions, modernity, and coloniality interacted. North American Christianity and its missionary work had a profound impact on early modern Korean religious culture and society; and vice versa, Korean culture and spirituality shaped Protestant mis- sionary endeavors. The other side of the expansion of Western Christi- anity in Korea was its indigenization as Korean Christianity.
Missionaries and Korean leaders presented Protestantism as a faith to fulfill spiritual aspirations and prophetic longings of the Korean people. They proclaimed that the fulfillment of Korean religions by Christ would be similar to the fulfillment of Judaism by Christ. With- out ignoring discontinuities and differences, continuities and means for coexistence were emphasized. The mutual interdependence of Confu- cianism and Christianity, for instance, was depicted in 1898 through the metaphor of beautiful trees by a sunny spring. Although the prun- ing of traditional religions’ withered branches was needed, the sunlight of Western Christianity would make Korean Confucian trees luxuriant and fruitful, whereas the latter could reflect the brilliance of the spring. Christianity grown in New York, Chicago, Nashville, or Toronto was not brought to Korea in a pot, nor were its seeds scattered on the streets of Seoul and Pyongyang, but a well-naturalized Anglo-American-Sino Christianity was grafted onto Korean religions, so that a new Korean Christianity could flourish. The universal biblical model of the Chris- tian fulfillment of traditional religions took on a local form and facil- itated the invention of Korean Christianity, in particular among the plurality of globalized Christianities in non-Christian lands.
This book revises the image of the first-generation North American missionaries and Korean Protestant Christians as the fundamentalist destroyers of Korean religious cultures and instead describes them as moderate evangelicals whose fulfillment theory paved the way for the indigenization of Protestant Christianity in Korea. They searched for the preparations for the gospel in Korean religious culture—such as the monotheistic name for God, Hanănim, from the triune god of the founding shamanistic myth of Tan’gun—and Christianized those points of contact to proselytize in Korea. Though early twentieth-century fulfillment theory was not free from spiritual imperialism, it was the most liberal missionary attitude toward non-Christian religions at that time. The book argues that many representative first-generation North
xviii — The Making of Korean Christianity
American missionaries and Korean Protestant Christians were open- minded enough to accept the most advanced contemporary mission theology of religions. This is a specific case study of the cross-cultural theological development by mainline North American missionaries dur- ing the period of high imperialism. It challenges the generally accepted interpretation of mainline evangelical (Presbyterian and Methodist) missionaries’ role in that period and mitigates the common charges of cultural imperialism, white supremacy, and religious triumphalism.
The book discusses not only various points of conflict between mainline North American Christianity and multiple religions in Korea such as ancestral rite, spirit worship, and idolatry, but also their con- genial points of contact in the ideas and practices of monotheism, millenarianism, morality, and vernacularism in the context of nation building, modernization, and anti-Japanese colonialism. The combina- tions of intolerance and tolerance to the otherness in Korean religions and the ongoing process of negotiations across the boundaries of West- ern and Eastern religions formulated the indigenous form of Protestant Christianity on Korean soil.
Finally, this book’s thesis and findings confirm the general ideas that the globalization of Christianity goes together with the localization and plurality of Christianity; that authentic Christian mission works need networking partnerships among the diverse forms of local Christianity; and that world Christianity, as the totality of such an ongoing mutual friendship and enrichment, encourages open-mindedness to other reli- gious cultures and confidence in the Christian faith as well. The making of Korean Protestant Christianity is a good example of the globalization and localization of Christianity, and the first modernity Korea experi- enced was such a Christian modernity that facilitated the acceptance of the West from the foundation of the East.
The introduction is a critical and historical reflection of self-imposed interpretations of the first encounters between Protestant Christianity and Korean religions. It challenges the polarized conventional interpre- tations, which have relied on the prepackaged guidance of others rather than on one’s own examination of historical evidence.
Chapters 1, 2, and 3 address the contextualization of the Christian Trinity—God (monotheism, the name for God, the term question), Sav- ior (images of the cross, Christology, and messianic eschatology), and spirits (pneumatology, demon possession, and exorcism). Discussing a genealogy of the term “Hanănim,” chapter 1 examines a doctrinal side
Preface and Acknowledgments — xix
of Christianity in Korea and looks at it as a religion of intellectuals. It emphasizes the historical connections and mutual theological influ- ence among various Chinese, European, North American, and Korean groups, and the complex process of inventing a new Korean Protestant term for God, Hanănim, from the sky god of Korean shamanism to the Christian monotheistic God. Chapter 2 investigates the created images of Christ through the images of the cross and the flag of the cross. It covers the material, symbolic, and social aspects of Korean Protestant- ism as well the characterization of it as a religion of people in crisis. Chapter 3 deals with the conflicts and negotiations between Korean sha- manism and Protestantism, between the shamanic idea of disease and Western germ theory, and between missionaries’ Orientalist discourse on demon possession and shamanic healing ceremonies. It explores the spiritual and psychological sides of Korean Christianity, as a religion of women in particular. It stresses missionaries’ changing position on sha- manism and the continuous practice of Christian exorcising shamanic spirits from Koreans. Chapter 1 deals with the encounters of Protes- tantism with shamanism and Confucianism, chapter 2 discusses those with Tonghak and folk religion, and chapter 3 focuses on encounters with shamanism, which encompassed popular Buddhism and Daoism in many instances.
The next three chapters (chapters 4, 5, and 6) also recognize the importance of symbols, rituals, and tangible materials as well as printed texts in the understanding of Korean Protestantism, a new modern reli- gion in Korea. Chapter 4 investigates the Chinese background of Korean Protestantism’s ongoing prohibitive theology of ancestor worship, North American missionaries’ policies and Korean Christians’ attitudes, and the formation of Christian theology of filial piety and an indigenous memorial service as alternatives to the traditions. It reveals the encoun- tering of Confucianism and Christianity in the realms of anthropology, soteriology, and morality. Chapter 5 analyzes social classes of the church members and Korean translations of Chinese Christian literature (apolo- getics, Scriptures, and hymns) in order to identify the vernacularization of the Christian message. Chapter 6 focuses on prayers invented during the revival movement in the first decade of 1900. Chapter 4 empha- sizes the confrontational nature and the transformative power of Prot- estantism when it encountered premodern Korean Neo-Confucianism and its tight family system. The process of the demarcation in the Con- fucian practice reveals the serious conflicts and compromises between
xx — The Making of Korean Christianity
evangelical Protestantism and Chosŏn Neo-Confucianism. Chapter 5 touches on Confucianism and partly deals with Buddhism, and chapter 6 mainly discusses Daoism. I present the indigenized Korean Protestant- ism more visibly in the final two chapters.
This book is an expansion of the studies published in my disserta- tion of 2002. I lost an opportunity to publish it as it was, given by the American Society of Missiology in 2002, due to my teaching job at the University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA), other research projects, and above all the change to the target audience. The main audience of my dissertation was seminarians, ministers, and theologians of the Christian churches. My appointment at the Department of Asian Lan- guages and Cultures of UCLA, however, forced me to write for general readers and diverse Koreanists. I do not think that I have completely succeeded in accommodating the changed audience. If you find some biased perspectives and expressions in this book, please let me know so I can avoid them in further research.*
In 2008 I was awarded a generous grant to facilitate the writing of this book by the International Center for Korean Studies (ICKS), affili- ated with the Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University, Seoul. I was able to revise the manuscript extensively and add several new chapters with their generous support. ICKS was established in 2003 to support scholarship and exploration of Korea in the humanities and social sciences and to promote new research in Korean studies for a wide international audience. I would like to express my profound gratitude to professor Cho Sungtaek, director of ICKS; its editorial board; and reviewers of the Korean studies book series.
In the process of writing, UCLA and my department have provided me with research grants and nonteaching or sabbatical quarters. Spe- cial thanks go to the following, who are globally renowned scholars and my respected colleagues—Professors Robert E. Buswell Jr., John B. Duncan, Namhee Lee, Sung-Ock Sohn, Timothy L. Tangherlini,
* Korean words in the text are rendered using the McCune-Reischauer system, with the exception of proper names, such as Seoul, Pyongyang, and Incheon, for which alternative names are well established. Korean names follow the standard order—family name first—unless a particular name is traditionally rendered in West- ern order. In footnotes and bibliography, Korean names in the English source follow the original renderings. Unless a source is specified, all translations of Korean texts are mine.
Preface and Acknowledgments — xxi
Christopher P. Hanscom, and David C. Schaberg. I could not have fin- ished this project without their moral support and timely guidance. I owe a great debt of love to Mr. Im Dongsoon and Mrs. Im Mija of the Los Angeles Youngnak Presbyterian Church. Their generous donation created the Im Endowment Chair of Korean Christianity at UCLA in 2007, and my appointment as its first holder provided me the time and space to write this book.
Since I began to study the history of Korean Christianity in 1984, I have had several significant mentors and supporters. Dr. Yi Mahn- yol guided my studies in Korea from 1984 to 1993. My interest in the Koreanization of Western Christianity developed into my doctoral dis- sertation under the guidance of Professor Dana Lee Robert of Boston University School of Theology. I hope this book can repay my academic debt to my mentors. I also acknowledge those individuals and institu- tions that have munificently given research grants and project funds over the past eight years. The Henry Luce Foundation provided for my work as Luce Postdoctoral Fellow of Korean Christianity at the UCLA Center for Korean Studies from 2002 to 2003 and from 2005 to 2007. The Reverend Ha Yongjo of the Onnuri Community Church in Seoul gave me a grant to work as a research fellow at the same center from 2003 to 2005. To my great sadness, he passed away in August 2011. From 2003 to 2009, the Korean Bible Society awarded me a grant to put together three volumes of the society’s historical documents. In the same period, the Institute of Korean Studies of Yonsei University funded me to make the five-volume series H. G. Underwood and L. H. Underwood Papers. The Korean Nurses Association has funded me to research the nursing history of Korea since 2010. These grants have helped me to study diverse aspects of Korean Protestantism and revise this book. I owe a debt of gratitude to Professor Marion Eggert of Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. Her invitation to the Käte Hamburger Kolleg program as a research fellow in 2012 provided me with the time to finalize the manuscript.
Writing a book on the history of early modern Korea requires various kinds of assistance from archives and libraries. I would like to show my appreciation for the generous and professional support I received from the archivists and librarians of the following institutes—the American Bible Society Archives (New York), the British and Foreign Bible Soci- ety Archives, …
Korean Spirits & the Christian Holy Spirit
Theories of Shamanism and
Practice of Exorcism
Missionary Iconoclasm against “Demon Worship”
Received Tradition: Strict Prohibition of Demon Worship
Performed Ceremony: Burning Fetishes and Destroying Devil House
Applied Theory: Germ Theory, Defeating Evil Spirits and Epidemics
Missionary Study of Korean Shamanism
George H. Jones / Eli Barr Landis / James S. Gale / Homer B. Hulbert /Horace G. Underwood
Demon Possession and Christian Exorcism
John Nevius and Demon Possession in Shandong
Christian Exorcism in Korean
Korean Bible Women as Exorcists
Embracing the Premodern View of Demon Possession
The First Power Encounter between Protestantism and Shamanism
C. Japanese Colonial Understanding of Korean Shamanism
D. Modern Theology of the Holy Spirit in Korea, 1970-2000
Importance of theology of the Holy Spirit (pneumatology)
from structural evils
to total submission
Shaman’ dancing on the blade of the straw cutter 작두타기
Precarious life on the edges (existential sufferings of the oppressed and the marginalized)
Importance of theology of the Holy Spirit (pneumatology)
in Korea = Shamanism’s influence on Christianity
Especially Pentecostalism & Pentecostalization of the Korean Protestant Chruches
Osan-ri Prayer Center 오산리기도원
laying hands prayer for healing
Mudang: spirits—mudang—clients (han-ridden)
“Koreans were born from the womb of han and brought up in the womb of han.”
Rural Tang-gŭ-le: vanishing old hereditary shamans (Southern provinces, Jeju)
Urban Man-shin (10,000 gods):
Learned hereditary mudang
Possessed spiritual shamans –strong spiritual power (Migrated from NK since 1945)
Possessed mudang’s Initiation ceremony
spiritual disease—accepting the calling—inspired by the master spirit
—”gates of speech” opened
Calling spirits’ power to purify, exorcise, heal, and bring good fortune
Bosal (Bodhisattva) mudang
Han: wounded heart 恨
a feeling of unresolved resentment/grudge against injustices suffered
a sense of helplessness because of the overwhelming odds against one,
a feeling of acute pain in one's guts and bowels, &
an obstinate urge to take revenge and to right the wrong
— all these combine.”
From han to Han (great oneness & peace: mutual living)
Kut: healing clients by appeasing “hungry,” “wandering” or “angry” spirits
Healing/Purification ceremony for the rural old people and community
Fortune Kut for the urban business people
Materiality + Materialism + Magicality = greed + survival
kongsu (ancestor spirits)
Music (drum sound + singing) + dancing=trance = receptive to spirits
Practice = evolving+adapting = syncretic fusion = “eclectic syncretism”
Shamanism: “Shifting Intellectual Terrain”
Mu-sok (culture): from “superstition” to “culture”
1890s-1950s: enemy of modernization
1960-70s: Cultural politics of superstition (by the New Village Movement)
1980s: mudang and masses (used by the democratization movement)
Shamanism as an authentic Korean (minjung) culture
Mu-gyo (religion): 1990s-: from “culture” to “religion”
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