SEARCHING FOR A NEW PARADIGM OF CHURCH AND MISSION IN A SECULARIZED AND POSTMODERN CONTEXT IN KOREA

HONG EYOUL HWANG*

1. Introduction William Blair, a Christian missionary to Korea in the early 20th century, once remarked that gold in Korea was "not in its mountains and sandy soil, but in the hearts of the Korean people", and their "humble hearts, ready and willing to receive the Gospel."1 Through the miraculous economic growth that has taken place since the beginning of the 1960s, which has also led to the rapid industrialization, and urbanization, of the country, Korean people have managed to overcome many of the disadvantages of poverty that had troubled them in the past. However, as the wealth of the nation has increased, new cultural and sociological phenomena, common also to wealthier Western nations, have complicated the search for faith among Korean people. These phenomena include individualism, rationalism, scientific positivism, and the technology of modernity.2 Modernization meant to Korean people westernization so that Korean traditional cultures and religions were regarded as pre-modern and inferior to Western ones. Even though modernity with its positive side has yet to be fully adapted into Korean culture, the forces of postmodernism and globalization seem to have become increasingly attractive to Korean people since the early 1990s. On the one hand, such a rapid cultural change, or rapid mixing of different kinds of cultural values, can cause a culture to experience a crisis of identity. On the other hand, this seeming contradiction of values could contribute to a deeper and more complex understanding of human reality, and the natural world.3 If we understand the "postmodern" as the relativization of standards, and values, then centrifugality is one of the typical tendencies in a postmodern culture.4 According to a Chinese proverb, the new comes out of learning the old. To illustrate this, I will consider the mission of the minjung5 church movement (MCM) in Korea. This will show how the church and missionaries experienced identity crises because of swift cultural change, and how they have begun to recognize "spirituality" and "life" as key words for the new paradigm of church and mission. From this case study we can also learn about the missiology of the minjung church (MC). Then I will try to identify the key questions related to.gospel and culture for the Korean church. Finally I will
* Rev. Dr Hong Eyoul Hwang took part in the minjung church movement (see endnote no.5) from 1987 to 1995, and wrote a thesis on it in 2000. He is now a researcher of the Center for the Theological Study of Peace and the Reunification of Korea, and teaches mission theology at other universities.

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the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea. especially participants of the Urban Rural Mission. working for their welfare. the renewal of the church. and through advocating for the reunification of the country. MCs were based on minjung theology through participating in the democratization movement. and the Methodist Church of Korea. The typical style of Bible study. during the 1930s. led the democratization movement in the 1970s. b) Formational period (1983-1987) The minjung church (MC) was a grouping of Christian congregations founded in the urban industrial/urban poor areas of Korean cities. in order to change the social and political system through the organizing of trades unions. every MC shared a communal meal as a celebration of God's grace. and the meaning of it for their lives. Case study : the mission of the minjung church movement6 a) Historical background (early 1980s) Christians. mainline Protestant denominations.VOL. The quashing of the Kwangju minjung uprising on 27 May 1980 forced the leaders and intellectuals of the democratization movement. several thousand university students gave up their studies to become factory labourers. Their solution to overcoming the powerful influence of the US military and US political hegemony on the Korean peninsula. the congregation would openly engage in a two-way dialogue with the pastor or among themselves over the contents of the biblical passage. The Gospel in Solentiname I. The revival of Marxism's influence on the thinking of leaders of the democratization movement is one of the main criteria for distinguishing between the nature of the movement in the 1970s and that of the 1980s. this was achieved during the 1980s and 1990s through living in community with minjung people. the Presbyterian Church of Korea. In practical terms. Thus. However. was Marxism. After worship. after reading the Bible text. XCII No. The average number of members belonging to most MCs was between twenty to forty. viz. in most MCs at this time followed the model of Ernesto Cardenal's. and for the realization of the kingdom of God. 2. In the beginning. to recognize the importance of the influence of the US military in the Korean peninsula. The assassination of the dictator Park Chung-hee in 1979 offered an opportunity for the democratization of the country. and the major challenges facing the church in the postmodern or neoliberal and global capitalistic context. this opportunity was thwarted by general Chun Doohwan's military coup of May 1980. The majority of MCs belonged to three. 364 SEARCHING FOR A NEW PARADIGM highlight some emerging frontiers in the mission of the Korean church. and making them the subjects of history. Marxism had been a significant influence on the leaders of the liberation movement. and even sometimes worship. 85 . During the early 1980s. under Japanese colonial oppression.

through supporting. The MC played an important role as the bulwark of the Korean labour movement. participated in daily democratization protests nationwide. There were evening classes for Korean language and history . The MCM developed a model for church renewal founded on the everyday reality experienced by minjung people.INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF MISSION The MC was a missionary church in that it emphasized missionary activities in the local community. middle class intellectuals and office workers. and made statements on the current social and political issues. especially the younger generation. The policies of the semi-military Roh Tae-woo regime (1988-1992) divided the unity of the minjung and the middle class displayed during the June 1987 Democratization Movement. the MCM was a Christian response to the social reality in Korea at the time. which was nearly impossible to do outside of the protection of the MC during the military dictatorship era. and also on the national scale. and Sunday health care clinics for the welfare of the general community. What became known as the June Democratization Movement resulted not only in the institution of a process for the direct election of the president. as well as engaging in political activities. The church developed several kinds of mission programmes. and especially the minjung movement in general. and the reality that faced the MC at that time. became de-politicized and culture-oriented. and organizing trade unions. The regime ruled the country by supporting the civic movement and suppressing the minjung movement. only a few minjung people attended worship services on a Sunday. During the weekdays many minjung people visited MCs and participated in their activities. From 10-26 June 1987. c) Developmental period (1988-1992) The attempts by the Chun Doo-hwan regime (1980-1987) to perpetuate its power met with vigorous protests from the people. the civic movement became more influential than the minjung movement. MC pastors expected that minjung people would voluntarily attend Sunday worship after coming into contact with the church's activities. and the military dictatorship (1961-1987). It did not take long for the pastors to discover their optimism was unfounded. They began to recognize the gap between their expectations and "self-understanding" of the MCM. 86 . consisting of minjung. The church also held prayer meetings and fasts. which had almost been destroyed by the policies of the US military administration (1945-1948). However. day-care centres. but also the recovery of civil society. By the end of the cold war the ideological basis of the MCM had collapsed. What was the result of the MCM? A strange phenomenon took place. as the MC was the "true" church. approximately four to five million protesters. and the Korean people. In spite of the many problems it encountered. after school programmes. health education and labour rights education . From the early 1990s onwards.

which organized fifteen regionally based associations and three denominationally based associations. and made the failure of its "reform from the top" strategy inevitable. the government refused to make any attempt to reform the chaebol system. The former meant the birth of the Association of the minjung Church in Korea. which meant that they were either consciously or unconsciously dominated by their self-understanding of the MCM from the formational period. the stagnation in the number of new MCs being established was inevitable. Before they were able to solve this problem. XCII No. By participating in the minjung Hymn Festival. financial and social systems. and the wider church. was an amalgam of elements of the old military dictatorship/chaebol7 power elite.VOL. the minjung movement in general gave up its "revolutionary" character. The stagnation that followed shows that the formation of those within the movement in its first phase were not able to sustain it later on. rather than the ideology. however. paved the way for the establishment of a national social welfare system in the early 1990s. Some members of the MC were elected as representatives in local government authorities so that the MCM became increasingly involved in the "little politics" of the local community. the pastors questioned how they should relate the Christian faith to Marxist ideology. they were also asked to do many jobs in the local community. a majority of MC laity were new to the Christian faith and young. From 1993 onwards. This seriously compromised the government's attempts at reform. being in their twenties and thirties.000 copies of a minjung hymnbook in 1990. They also wrestled with the identity crisis of the MCM. the MC published 5. Though the reform policies contributed to improving the military. MC mission programmes such as: day-care centres and after school programmes. Many MC pastors realized that they were not well prepared to perform all the duties that were expected of them. the sociological basis of the MCM came under threat. d) Transformational period (1993 -present) As the Kim Young-sam "civilian government" (1993-1997) began its "reforms" of the social system. Some of them began to be more interested in the spirituality. MC pastors suffered from "wrong inertia". and conservative moderates from the democratization movement of the 1970s and 1980s. 364 SEARCHING FOR A NEW PARADIGM The characteristics of the MCM in this period were "formal development" and "actual stagnation". From the 1980s onwards. The "civilian government". in 1988. of their founding identity. the end of the cold war made this issue irrelevant. The minjung movement and the civic movement tried to challenge this policy but without 87 . During this period MC pastors understood the MC to be a faith community rather than a political movement. Under these circumstances. Although MC pastors tried to focus on their ministry to minjung. Also. the nation.

MC pastors were also challenged to solve the identity crisis of the movement. the rights of the disabled. and partly from the result of the MCs unexpected encounters with others. 88 . women. helped minjung pastors to be liberated from their "wrong inertia" and "optimism". and have turned to spirituality rather than ideology as the foundation of their identity. Some of them were interested in "spirituality" and half of them met together for spiritual exercises in 1998. greater focus on the traditional areas of MC mission is still required. farmers. the MCM led the way in providing social services and care for the homeless and the unemployed. There was an emerging tendency for the minjung to build a bridge between urban and rural areas through the establishment of organic farming producers' and consumers' cooperatives. the urban poor. migrant workers and the disabled). including the treatment of migrant workers.INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF MISSION success. Minjung pastors now understand that the word "life" is more inclusive than the word "minjung". Some MCs stuck to their original concerns of democratization. mission presupposes God's sovereignty and the human context. As the organizational centripetal points. salvation) in their context9. MC mission was regarded as unnecessary or out of date. The government's failure to reform the corrupt yet chaebol-friendly economic system resulted in the onset of a disastrous economic crisis at the end of 1997 and the eventual IMF bail-out of the Korean economy. However. reunification. such as ideology. 3. MCs began to involve themselves in different issues. and labour rights. Historical events such as the end of the cold war and the "reforms" of the Kim Young-sam "civilian government". at the conclusion of the second world war. while others were challenged by unexpected encounters with new social issues (homeless teenagers. This diversification of the MC mission resulted partly from an inner development of the MCM. At the same time. in the Korean context is still to be identified. and the definition of the word "minjung". However the meaning of "spirituality" and "life". were weakened. Under these circumstances. the disabled. This included an expansion of the definition of the word "minjung" to include labourers. the MC published a Declaration of Jubilee. and the status of women in society. The Korean church declared 1995 to be a year of Jubilee to mark the passing of fifty years since the division of the Korean peninsula. the unitary characteristics of the MCM were dissipating due to a strengthening of centrifugal forces and the diversification of the MC mission. prisoners of conscience. In other words. and the Other8 Mission can be defined as a Christian community's/missionary's participation in achieving the will of God (the reign of God. After the economic crisis of 1997. and migrant workers. youth ministry. Minjung missiology : missiology as an encounter with others. As part of the events of the Jubilee year.

can mutual transformation take place. and to unexpected responses from them.12 The identity crisis experienced by missionaries is never ending. Missiology occurs when Christian communities/missionaries reflect on their encounters.VOL. was not sufficient for the success of MCM. with others and the Other (God). the subjects of change were missionaries (MC pastors). as witnesses of Christ. Through their encounter with others and the Other."10 However we "shall probably never understand exactly what the Spirit is doing in others. One of the main points of MC missiology was that MC mission was impossible to perform without the pastor/community changing their will. 89 . on their encounter with minjung people. and minjung people were the object of MC mission. their living alongside minjung people.e. the mission of the MC could not be carried out. MC pastors' incarnation. ii. making us mutually aware. i. The "Holy Spirit is the invisible third party who stands between me and the other. the precondition of mission is vulnerability or weakness. the missionaries' understanding of mission changed. In this respect. This mutual transformation could be interpreted as the work of the Holy Spirit. Mission begins with the attempt to achieve the will of God in a human context. According to this definition. as well as through meeting unexpected challenges from minjung. as long as they are involved in mission."11 iii. Without the MC pastors' crucifixion (self-denial). XCII No. mission depends on a Christian community's understanding of God's will and the community's own context. Christian communities/missionaries can change their identity and receive a new identity. through this process. However. This is a never-ending process because mission is the "life-long exercise in trusting God. and the Other during the process of bringing a witness of Christ to the world. We can point out some elements of MC missiology from a change/transformation perspective : i. In the beginning. The centre of spirituality is the crucified Christ Jesus. Thus. others. the missiology of the MCM is the product of reflection by MC pastors and MCs themselves. In this way. the missionaries themselves were changed and received a new identity. Only when missionaries meet others as partners of missio Dei rather than as objects of mission. the former understanding of the will of God and the human context should be changed through the encounters with others and the Other. Further. MC mission could evolve only when missionaries (MC pastors) changed themselves through encounters with others (minjung). without trusting ones' own understanding of God". Because of this aspect. and unexpected works from God. and the Other. The aim of mission (change) was the liberation of minjung (MC pastors' understanding of the will of God in minjung context). 364 SEARCHING FOR A NEW PARADIGM and also that a tension exists between them. In other words. Christian communities/missionaries should be open to encounters with others and the Other. and themselves.

a two-hundred-year-old tradition of Roman Catholicism. 90 . gender and age.e. Key questions on gospel and culture Korea has a two thousand year old tradition of Shamanism. regionalism). The influence of rapid economic growth has created a society almost unrecognizable from the one that existed just fifteen years ago. The theology of indigenization of the 1960s was criticized. "a Confucian head. churches and even seminaries have not allowed Korean Christians to develop a positive or even a neutral attitude toward syncretism. Not only the political division of North and South divides the Korean people. two thirds of people think that the gap between rich and poor is worse than it was five years ago before the economic crisis of 1997. These types of social discrimination penetrate the whole of society including even the church. missiology should be challenged to change Christianity13. for regarding Korean culture and religions as objects of theological study. and feminist. a five-hundred-year-old tradition of Confucianism. As can be surmised from this anecdote. Weber). and a Shamanistic belly"15. and because it focused on the similarity between rather than any exclusivity of Christianity and traditional religions17. there have been new tendencies toward the theology of life and the theology of culture. or religious communities. Homer B. Hulbert. some mega-churches have made the decision to select the son of the retired pastor as his successor. and a spirit-worshipper when he is in trouble"16. a one-thousandyear-old tradition of Buddhism. the school at which people were educated. and a one-hundred-year-old tradition of Protestantism. In 1907 a Christian missionary. "The all-round Korean will be a Confucianist when in society. 4. Some mega-churches are led by so-called "hereditary pastors". In other words. observed. A Western observer once remarked that a Korean carried. the traditional framework of episteme was replaced by a Western one19. a Buddhist heart. theologians have tried to discern God's work of salvation among traditional religions and cultures. Although charisma is not a hereditary personality trait (M. Western Protestant mission of the late 19th century was criticized from the perspective of cultural imperialism in that. not because religions were plural but because they oppressed the lives of minjung18. As missionaries should be challenged to change themselves. a Buddhist when he philosophizes.INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF MISSION iv. through establishing Western-style schools and hospitals. Kim Yong-bock suggested that syncretism became a problem. Since the early 1990s. Lee Jung-Bae maintained that Korean theology should develop a multi-religious. theological orientation for the sake of cosmic life20. Korean people enjoy religious plurality within themselves. ecologically sound. or theology. so too does the social division of East and West (i. Many forms of social discrimination exist based on factors such as place of birth. However. with an increasingly positive attitude toward traditional cultures and religions. However. as an action of self-criticism similar to the action of a "boomerang"14.

for the sake of nurturing a spirituality of "kenosis" and encouraging a life-oriented way of thinking and living. whether they be MC or megachurches. be it Marxist ideology or capitalism. On the one hand. Korean Christians have to develop a truly Christian way of life so that the division : between word and deed. senses. the wronged have to take action to mitigate or cut (riégate) his/her own han. Korean churches. However. How can we challenge this inverse relationship between the church/gospel and society/culture? Now. and between "to be church" and "to do mission" can be overcome. oppression.21 Neither spiritualism nor activism will heal our divided churches and our divided nation. On the other hand. than to influence the surrounding culture. more than ever. and ecological/cosmic dimension. so that human subjectivity "is the final territory being conquered through cultural processes of communication and information"22 in order to control the consciousness of the minjung/people for their domination by the Western freemarket system. "We can find our own belongingness (identity) by including others"27 rather than excluding them.VOL. faith and action. At the same time. If we understand salvation as "the relational healing process. The emphasis on "spirituality" by the MC means that the minjung need to negate themselves (Mark 8:34) in faith. and exploitation without being supported by their faith. "We find a bridge between ecclesiology and ethics in our experience of worship and the deepening of spirituality". mind. it needs to be remembered that "intercultural encounters nearly always involve an unequal distribution of power"24. which debunks the bifurcation of dualism. nation states and the media. 364 SEARCHING FOR A NEW PARADIGM Such decisions have raised heated arguments. This can be achieved through participating in the "cosmic eucharist". Only the wronged. alienation. For the wrongdoers are like those who are "locked in a room where the door has no knob". are much more likely to be influenced by their surrounding culture. One of the most important questions related to gospel and culture is how to make the victims of neoliberal global capitalism23 good stewards of God's creation not through imposing ideologies from outside on the church but by drawing on the traditions of their own religious and cultural heritage. and have discredited the church for following the same kinds of outdated management practices adhered to by the "chaebol" conglomerate companies. Only through the cosmic eucharist. Korean Christians need to understand the kingdom of God and shalom not only from a personal perspective but also from a socio-economic. instead of subjugating themselves to the ruling systems such as free markets. The battleground of the cultural war between the minjung/people and the powerful "is the consciousness. political. and perspectival alteration between the wronged and the wrongdoers". minjung cannot continue their struggle against social injustice. the initiative for salvation and forgiveness on the part of humankind is not as the wrongdoer but as the wronged. both within the church and in the general community. Though minjung 91 . in order to protect creation. also significant is the need to identify the negative aspects of traditional religions and cultures. or "han-ridden"25 people (minjung) can open the door to salvation26. worship and everyday life. On the other hand. XCII No. heart and spirit" of the minjung/people. transnational capital and corporations.

29 "Resident alien"30 is an important biblical metaphor for migrant worker mission. and of adoption". many North Koreans try to defect to South Korea via China.INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF MISSION have the initiative for the salvation of the oppressor. and are building a "bridge between the two lands". physical and verbal violence. Korean people did not pay attention to the plight of migrant workers. Many Christians try to help them settle into life in the south. however. They often complain that they are more discriminated against by Koreans than other migrant workers. Most migrant workers do not have enough time to learn Korean or about Korean culture. The main tasks of this mission are counselling. uneducated and unwanted. Many churches and mission centres have become involved in mission to migrant workers. So. Since the mid-1990s. So.500 North Korean defectors living in South Korea. where they suffer from severe human rights abuses. they have to keep in mind that humankind and the whole creation are interdependent. Common forms of migrant worker exploitation include non-payment or overdue payment of wages. the number of church members has begun to decrease. Emerging frontiers in mission and major challenges to churches One of the common problems that all Korean churches face is the rapid decrease of teenagers and young adults who attend church. the migrant workers issue has became one of the hot topics facing the nation. in North Korea over two million people died of hunger. through human misery and suffering". There are over 1. This could be interpreted as the church's failure to wrestle with the new circumstances of Korean society as described in section four. Although Korean Chinese think of themselves as being the brethren of Koreans. most Koreans regard them as poor. Fewer than ten North Koreans a year defected to South Korea before 1994. are carrying and spreading "the seed of (cultural and religious) diversity. Migrant workers. and minjung are to be suffering servants for the sake of the salvation of all. One result is that there is a high incidence of industrial accidents in factories. That number increased from 148 in 1999 to 312 in 2000. Christians have to challenge the meaning of nationalism because nationalist ideology plays an important role in discriminating against migrant workers of other ethnic backgrounds. In this process the defectors are regarded as helpless. however. and being subject to sexual. providing medical care and resolving claims for overdue payment of wages. can become "a third identifiable cultural subject" 92 .28 Ten years ago. Two thirds of the migrant workers in Korea are Korean Chinese.000 North Koreans have fled to China. but the Chinese authorities forbid this. and to 583 in 2001. South Korean and international missionaries and mission organizations try to help North Koreans in China get to South Korea. During the mid-1990s. however. 5. Migrant workers are truly "people who have come of age". North Korean defectors living in South Korea. so that they "are the agents of change in both their countries of origin. About 50. Since the mid1990s.

the work of the Commission is not well known by society as a whole. Communication by Internet can be a useful way for achieving inter-subjectivity between partners.4 % of the workforce. full-time workers accounted for just 47. XCII No 364 SEARCHING FOR A NEW PARADIGM on the peninsula. as well as in the rest of the world. Presently.33 In 1997. there are about 83. there is cross-cultural mission. This really is a new frontier for mission. and. most people are not interested in the "past". This 'long-term' persistent unemployment is a crisis on the scale of the Great Depression". Neo-liberal and global capitalism has forced many people to become part-time workers in the name of achieving labour market flexibility. Is it possible for the nation to accomplish the reunification of Korea without healing South Korea's inner wounds. There are three types of world mission in which the Korean churches are currently engaged.400 churches maintain their own Internet home page. can people survive in this situation of rapid social change without having a memory of the "past" ? Such is important for establishing our present and future identities. However. A report by the International Labour Organization estimates that. Secondly. and was unable to earn enough money to maintain a minimum standard of living. There are tens of thousands of Internet cafes and computer gaming rooms. This is the fifth largest usage in the world. based on the model of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. in the postmodern and secularized context. as well as other ones produced by the Korean war? According to a recent survey. Also. The younger generation uses cyber space as a tool of mission. Nobody can exactly predict how this new trend will affect the current political system. Its aim is to find out the truth about the deaths of people who were involved in the democratization movement against past authoritarian military regimes. there is the mission to take care of the six million Korean Diaspora spread all over the world. Furthermore. finally.VOL. and Koreans are the largest users in Asia of Internet shopping websites. Unfortunately. one out of three Korean Internet users is addicted to the Internet. These statistics are not unique to Korea.9 million paid employees in Korea. Temporary and casual daily workers accounted for 52. there are sixteen million Internet users in Korea.000 Christian cyber communities. the new government was not able to develop society within the principles of justice and peace. Such figures indicate that obtaining job security is still a huge problem. First. and have now adapted to a capitalist culture. or within the church. the government established the Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths in 2000. Korea experienced a peaceful handover of political power for the first time since 1948. there is ecumenical mission based on the partnership 93 . Because of the effects of the economic crisis.32 How to challenge this situation in Korea and how to make international solidarity with these workers is also an urgent and important mission frontier for the church in Korea.6% of the 13. "about 30% of the world's labour force was unemployed in January 1994. The church is given a healing and reconciling task from Jesus Christ on the peninsula. for they have been brought up in North Korean "Juche" (selfreliance) thought and culture. and around 9.31 In May 2002. Finally.

The MCM was an ideologically oriented movement. Though the MC was a church. with the collaboration of the American churches. 6. "the proud bearers of cultural and religious traditions"35 with a truly holistic life-oriented worldview. Both of these groups. Concluding remarks The church growth movement focused on the church by using world mission as a tool for church growth. Another new trend emerging in minjung mission is the active sharing of its experiences with the world church. these cultures had either been neglected. As the second and third generations of Korean Diaspora adjust to the language and culture in their country of migration. This trend coincided with the global trend towards endeavouring to learn more about aboriginal and indigenous cultures. Eventually. mission programmes focused on the Korean Diaspora were the predominant mission activity of the Korean church. As the mission of the MCM developed during the 1980s and 1990s.. Until the mid-1980s. some MC pastors decided to leave behind their city parishes in order to move to the countryside and become farmers. Since the late 1980s. however. the Korean church trains some Korean Americans to work as missionaries among the African American. so that in the future they may be integrated into a new style of mission. the Yong Dong Po Urban Industrial Mission established the "Asian URM-Diakonia Training Center" in 2001 to spread democracy and build-up the grassroots of the URM movement throughout Asia. This year it is scheduled to train another 74 persons. Though the church growth movement suggested its aim was to build the kingdom of God. and another went to Rwanda in 2001. however. All three of these types of mission activities can be complementary to each other. both groups began to accept "the broader aspect of God's mission. both groups' partial participation in the civic movement as NGOs/NPOs is another 94 . it actually emphasized the church. Ecumenical mission has emerged since the mid-1990s as the newest trend in the Korean church's mission activities. Nineteen URM activists and church leaders from Asia participated in the centre's programmes last year. cross-cultural mission has become the Korean church's prevailing mission activity.34 For example. One of the motivations behind this exodus was to learn an alternative view of the world and civilization from farmers or agriculture. they will become potential resources for mission. Hispanic and other minority groups in Los Angeles. Also.For too long. it stressed mission activities outside the visible church. Now there is a growing awareness that the poor are. or regarded as objects of exploitation."36 As the significance of civil society^has increased since the late 1980s. For instance. without neglecting to emphasize the role of the church in God's overall mission. a minjung pastor was sent to Cambodia to work as a missionary in 1996. suffered from the dichotomy between their words and deeds. therefore its Christian identity was sometimes questioned.INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF MISSION between the Korean church and her partner churches.

XCII No.. Saayman. Christian Journals. humans should carry out their stewardship of God's household as suffering servants. Therefore. minjung theology may mean a theology by the people.VOL. 1947/1957. New York. from the perspective of indigenous cultures. p. Belfast. "Postmodernism" in IRM. Christianized Africa .. 2. Geneva and William B. cit.. 1998. Hollenweger. Orbis Books. and "a new model for ecumenical mission". Missiology as encounter with others is based on Theo Sundermeier. 18/1. consisting of various kinds of companies led by one president. p. W. William. Mission on the Way : Issues in Mission Theology. 210-229. vol. p. Maryknoll. Kritzinger. M. 95 . No.38 The word for "economy" in Greek is oikonomia. Kansas.Dechristianized Europe ? : Missionary Inquires into the Poly centric Epoch of Christian History." in Missionalia 23:3. or neoliberal and global capitalist world.N. Günther. 1980. 425426.. Lotteb Jensen. chapter X. See also Hong Eyoul Hwang's thesis. "Missiology in the Theological Faculty. Christians would do well to learn about the concepts of stewardship. The Holy Spirit and Liberation. WCC Publications. and how these indigenous concepts can best be applied to the postmodern. Therefore. Kritzinger. José. and the suffering servant. 1976. Wolfgang. Hamburg. 161. food as the basis of life. John V. 343. (Klippies). LXXXVI. According to the creation story in Genesis. Marty. Grand Rapids. 19. 1991. for the people. Eerdmans Publishing Company. and shalom as the goal of life39 should be integrating factors. London. J.4 (cf. p. pp. Witness to the World : The Christian mission in theological perspective.. Werner. David. Bosch. NOTES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Blair. 29. Marshall. which consists of: oikos (house) and nomos (law) and means household management. Hwang. Gold in Korea. Translated from the Portuguese by Paul Burns. but it refers specifically to the oppressed vis-à-vis the oppressors or the poor over against the rich and powerful." in Mission Studies. 96. pp. 998. "Studying Religious Communities as Agents of Change : An agenda for missiology.J. "Missiology Yesterday and Tomorrow" in Missonalia no. 366-96. Van Engen. N. November 1995. This task must aim at creating "fullness of life for all" (John 10:10). p. creation in God's image. London. human dignity as the gift of life. Comblin. The Mission of the Minjung Congregation Movement in South Korea from 1983 to 1997. pp. Grand Rapids. J. 364 SEARCHING FOR A NEW PARADIGM new way of relating church and mission. section 5. No.l. The Go-Between God: The Holy Spirit and the Christian Mission. 1996. 1989.37 This development began to emerge in the early 1990. Thus. op. 51.) "Chaebol" means the economic conglomerate. 2000. Michigan. for various kinds of approaches to solve the problems and issues mentioned in the previous sections of this presentation. Baker Books. Ustorf. 391-2. SCM Press Ltd. "From the Centripetal to the Centrifugal in Culture and Religion" in Theology Today. 1992. 133. April 1994. Charles. p.. Topeka. Taylor. mass. and history. H. Hong Eyoul. in God's economy. October 1997. justice as the rule of life. (Unpublished Ph D thesis at the University of Birmingham. note 5). religions. "Minjung" is a Korean word for people. pp. or messianic people. or the masses of people. and of the people. Walter. 1972. Martin E. vol." Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement. Evangelism Today: Good News or Bone of Contention?. Inc. (Klippies). XV-1. 66-78. Morgan & Scott. God created humankind to govern creation as a steward/stewardess. Ives and Sons. Vol. For this to be achieved. pp. J.

Waiden Bello. p. The Korean Minjung in Christ. Yong-Bock. Kyung-Mi. 116. 58. Christian Conference of Asia. "A Study on the 'Foreigners' in the New Testament as Self-Designation of Early Christians". Andrew Sung. World Orders. 27 Park. 19 Kim. Pluto Press. The Ministry of Reconciliation : Spirituality & Strategies. Changing Frontiers of Mission. Ulrich. Nashville. It was also partly due to the downgrading of social credibility and the phenomenon of nominalism.. and decides to achieve a different kind of future. 122-148. April 2000. Tae-II. Autumn. Seoul. Wilbert R. the economic prosperity of Christians. 29 Oh. "Revisiting Church Growth in Korean Protestantism: A Theological Reflection" in IRM. 22 Kim. pp. Messiah and Minjung. Schreiter emphasizes the initiative of God in the process of reconciliation. in Best. Jung-Bae. & Bevans. International Books/Kairos Europa. p. Designed for Political Action. 1993. "Bukhan sunkyo/pyunghwatongilundong jupgun bangshike daehayo" (Concerning the Approaches of the mission for North Korea/churches' peace and reunification 16 15 96 . Wang. Minjung Theology: People As the Subject of History. New York. Old and New. WCC. 353. WCC Publications. 1990. Orbis Books. New York. 20 Lee. Thomas F. Alternatives to Global Capitalism : Drawn from Biblical History. Vol. Urban Rural Mission. 1^98. Hong Kong. ibid. "Kaeshinkyo sönkyowa munhwa jekukjuüi" (Protestant Mission and Cultural Imperialism) in Hyunsangkwa inshik (Phenomena and Episteme). Chomsky. Robert J. CCA. 1999. "On Intercultural Hermeneutics" in Scherer. On the one hand. pp. Young-Gi. James A. CCA. Reconciliation: Mission and Ministry in a Changing Social Order. Summer 2001. London. 1992. "Hanguküi jongkyojök ipjangesö bara bon kidokkyo tochakhwa shinhak" (Incultural Theology from the Perspective of Korean Religions". Martin. ed. José. 96-128. Winter. David Kwang-sun. the initiative for reconciliation is held by the victim. in Shinhaksasang (The Theological Thought). p. Maryknoll. 25 "Han is an underlying feeling of Korean People. New Directions in Mission & Evangelization 3 : Faith and Culture. Hong Eyoul. 1983. 1998. the success of Buddhism and an increased range of leisure activities. Stephen B. "People are on the Move : The Asian Churches' Response in Historical Context" • in CCA. 123. 18 Kim. New York. p. Kim. in Christian Thought Editorial Committee. ed. Ecclesiology and Ethics : Ecumenical Ethical Engagement. 1995. 30 Shenk. resignation and nothingness. Hong Kong. XXI. 1992. The first aspect can sometimes be sublimated to great artistic expressions and the second aspect could erupt as the energy for a revolution or rebellion.. 51. however. "The GER in the Old Testament: Socio-Literary and Theological Interpretation" in The Theological Thought. 31 Hwang. According to him. it is a dominant feeling of defeat. 121. 26 The contention that the wronged holds the initiative for reconciliation between the wronged and the wrongdoer coincides with the position suggested by Schreiter's theology of reconciliation. 151. 7. Hong Kong. Suh. 28 Young-Gi Hong pointed out that the stagnation of church growth in Korea was partly due to new contexts such as religious pluralism. Vol. Called for Freedom: The Changing Context of Liberation Theology. 1995/1998. 107. it is a feeling with a tenacity of will for life that comes to weaker beings. translated by Phillip Berryman. p. 1997. Maryknoll. Korean Christian Literature Society. LXXXIX No. Noam. heals his/her damaged humanity.. "Costly Unity" para. Joon-Sik.INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF MISSION Suh. "Toward A Theology of Han" in Yong Bock. & Robra. Orbis Books. 1993. p. pp. so that self-negating spirituality is essential for reconciliation.. Orbis Books. See Hong. reconciliation is possible only when the victim is free from their traumatic past. 1999. Schreiter.. London. 74. political and social stability. the will of the victim is stressed. Orbis Books.. 1997. "Tochakhwa shinhakkwa minjungshinhak" (Theology of indigenization and minjung Theology). 1994. However. p. Orbis Books. Yoon Sung. social mobility. New York. 9. 21 WCC. 23 See Duchrow. Jae Shik. 17 Choi. "Tochakhwashinhakkwa saengmyöngshinhak" (Theology of Indigenization and Theology of Life) in Korean Culture and Theology. 59-60. pp. Earthscan Publications Ltd. Yong-bock." Namdong. 1992. 101-121. Ibid. pp. 118. On the other. 57-58. Moral Formation and the Nature of the Church. Park. Vol. Maryknoll. Uprooted People in Asia.. Comblin. No. Accordingly. 24 WCC. 107. To cut han can be interpreted as to negate oneself. pp. Hanguküi munhwawa shinhak (Korean Culture and Theology).3. CCA. Brave New Third World : Strategies for Survival in the Global Economy. 192. eds. New York. Hong Kong. In this case. The Wounded Heart of God: The Asian Concept of Han and the Christian Doctrine of Sin. 1991. Maryknoll. so that reconciliation is more a spirituality than a strategy. pp. 125-143. Vol. Utrecht/Heidelberg. eds. 113. Abingdon Press.. Geneva. Maryknoll. p.

. Faith and Healing" in IRM. Old and New. January/April 2001. Civil Society. The Reconciliation of Peoples: Challenge to the Churches. 1997. Harold. Gregory & Wells. However. World Orders. Hananim narawa sunkyo (The Kingdom of God and Mission). Chomsky. so that the civic movement is called the civic-social movement because the political parties do not fully represent the interests of the public. Vol. "Missiology in the World Council of Churches: Update. The Ministry of Reconciliation : Spirituality & Strategies. XC. 2002. Vol. See Schreiter. eds. op. Matthey. Ariarajah. "Milestones in Ecumenical Missionary Thinking from the 1970s to the 1990s" in IRM.VOL. WCC Publications. January 2001. History. No. Jacques. Noam. Jung-woon. Suh Jung-woon. Reconciliation : Mission and Ministry in a Changing Social Order. XC Nos. XCII No. 364 SEARCHING FOR A NEW PARADIGM movement). See also the special edition on "Health. Matthey. Vol. S. Seoul. 2001. 98-100. 45. Geneva. Müller-Fahrenholz. Others have a positive attitude toward the civic movement. they belong to the minority of Christians. October 2001. Pluto Press. July 1997. Skreslet. Stanley H. pp. Robert J. XVII. p. p. pp. 1997 . July 1999. Geneva. p. Seoul. 430. Geiko. cit. "Networking. and the NGO : A New Model for Ecumenical Mission" in Missiology. in Center for Theological Studies of Peace and Reunification of Korea. Suh. Vol. 356/7. 7-10. vol. the division of Korea limits all spheres of society. 97 . 359. XXV No. Korean Christian Literature Society. WCC Publications. 350. 3. 302. p. 1994. 188. London. "Hangukkyohoewa hangukin diasporaui uimi" (The Korean Church and the Missionary Significance of the Korean Diaspora) in Publication Committee of Memorial for Retired Honorary President Rev.. Handul Publications. Some "conservative" Christian groups participate in the civic movement through organising NGOs/NPOs. Some minjung mission workers do not want to co-operate with the civic movement. However. Jacques. Wesley. Theological Background and Emphases of the most Recent Mission Statement of the World Council of Churches" in IRM. Pyunghwawa tongilshinhak I (Peace and Reunification Theology I). LXXXVIII No. No. Presentation. 1. The Art of Forgiveness : Theological Reflections on Healing and Reconciliation. "Time for Fullness of Life for All" in CTC Bulletin.. Baum.

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