Session Abstract: Christianity is a world religion. Yet, scholars of Korean Christianity have generally examined the development of this faith from the narrow perspective of the Korean nation-state. In contrast, this panel highlights the importance of considering global currents when approaching the multifaceted roles this religion has played on the Korean peninsula. In looking beyond the nation-state, this panel seeks to open the study of Korean Christianity to new areas of inquiry and interpretations. Jee-Yeon Song challenges the practice of casting the decision of some Catholic women of the Chosŏn period to remain virgins as a rejection of Confucian patriarchy and a sign of modernity. Examining discourses percolating within Catholicism outside of the peninsula, Song reveals how the rejection of marriage was far from liberating. Franklin Rausch investigates the translation into Korean of the literary works of Nagai Takashi, a Japanese Catholic who wrote on the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Rausch details how Korean Catholic and Protestant translators considered such issues as peace and reconciliation from transnational perspectives. Paul Cha demonstrates how the Protestant ecumenical movement abroad intersected with the Korean War to shape Christian humanitarian aid in South Korea. His work provides insights into the international Christian networks that would assist the human and labor rights movements of the 1970s. Katherine Lee focuses on the evangelical Christian organization World Vision through the sounds of the World Vision Korean Orphan Choir. Lee analyzes how performances of religiosity by children played an important role in faith-based humanitarian campaigns in South Korea.
Paper Presenter: Jee-Yeon Song – University of British Columbia
Paper Presenter: Franklin Rausch – Lander University
Paper Presenter: Paul Cha – University of Hong Kong
Paper Presenter: Katherine In-Young Lee – University of California, Los Angeles