Cases from Korea
Edited By Marion Eggert and Florian Pölking
Sung-deuk Oak - Christianity as the Religion of Civilisation and Fulfilment: Global and Local Elements in Theology of Religions of Early Korean Protestantism
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Christianity as the Religion of Civilisation and Fulfilment: Global and Local Elements in Theology of Religions of Early Korean Protestantism
Abstract Tracing the genealogy of Korean Protestant theories of East Asian religions, this paper argues that early prominent Protestant missionaries and Korean Christians produced a new form of Christian episteme through the synthesis of Western/Christian superiority claims with fulfilment theology which accepted congenial elements from Korean religions.
This paper examines the development of the Protestant missionary theologies of East Asian religions in Korea at the turn of the twentieth century, which were the result of integrating three elements—Anglo-American, Chinese, and Korean. Pioneer North American missionaries in Korea accepted the contemporary Anglo-American theologies of East Asian religions as well as those from China adopted by senior missionaries for a generation. Korean Christian leaders, who learned these two sources through missionary studies of Korean religions, began to write their own comparative religious apologetics in vernacular Korean from 1897. [Diagram 1] shows this process of circulation and mutual influence. Unlike other studies that included Japanese sources, this paper seeks to show the genealogy of specifically Protestant theories of East Asian religions by tracing them to their American-Canadian and Chinese Protestant roots.
In addition to tracing the theological sources of Korean Protestant attitudes toward other religions, this paper has another aim, to provide a nuanced interpretation of the theology of religions prevalent among the first generation Protestant missionaries and Korean...
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