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A Hermeneutic on Dislocation as Experience

Creating a Borderland, Constructing a Hybrid Identity


Hemchand Gossai and Jung Eun Sophia Park

Dislocation, which involves moving from a familiar place to an unknown place, is a common experience in this era of globalization yet it can cause a deep sense of alienation – people feel invisible, voiceless, and anonymous. A Hermeneutic on Dislocation as Experience: Creating a Borderland, Constructing a Hybrid Identity employs socio-rhetorical criticism from a postcolonial perspective, providing a hermeneutic on the experience of dislocation from the perspective of Asian immigrant women. The author’s focus on Asian immigrant women’s spirituality is interwoven with different texts such as the story of a woman caught in adultery (Jn. 7: 53-8:11), Asian immigrant women’s stories in the novels Dictee and Crossings, and stories of Korean shamans encountered in the author’s ethnographic fieldwork.
This book suggests that people who experience dislocation can create a borderland where their own marginality gains power and voice. In that borderland, they are able to construct a hybrid identity as a result of deep engagement with one another. In particular, the author’s fieldwork on Korean shamans reveals how the shamanic ritual itself functions as a borderland, wherein the marginalized Korean shamans gain hybrid identity. A Hermeneutic on Dislocation as Experience is a valuable resource for classes in Asian studies, ethnography, cultural anthropology, biblical spirituality, women’s spirituality, and interdisciplinary courses.


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Appendix B: The Process of Shin Kut 121


the process of shin kut a p p e n d i x b 1. Myung batki (명받기; receiving the vocation): The mother shaman and the neophyte go up to the mountain before dawn. The mother shaman wears a Buddhist robe whereas the baby shaman wears the white Korean traditional dress. The baby shaman burns a white paper as an expression of purification of her/his heart. After bowing to the mountain gods, they descend the mountain. 2. Shincheonoolim (신청울림, opening): They announce to the gods the beginning of the ritual and ask the gods to visit them. This is the gen- eral opening for the ritual. 3. Ilwolsungshinmazi (일월성신맞이, welcoming sun, moon, and stars): The baby shaman dances on the water jar, holding the Ilwoldae, made of a pine tree. When the baby shaman receives the spirits, he/she gives Kongsoo (공수, possessed speech). The baby shaman asks Ilwolsunghsin (sun, moon, and stars, meaning all the spirits existing in the world) to bestow special spiritual power on them. 4. Heojookut (허주굿, scattering evil spirits): This is a ritual of purifica- tion through which they expel all harmful spirits and welcome their body spirit. The aim is to heal Shin Byung (신병). Shin Kut skips this Ko˘ri. park_book.indd 121 10/4/11 3:33:15 PM 122 a hermeneutic on dislocation as experience 5. Narim Kut (내림굿, receiving spirits): The initiate receives each spirit who comes to the Kut. When the shaman acknowledges a spirit who comes to the ritual, he/she wears the costume that represents the spirit and...

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