Korean Pentecostalism and Shamanism: Developing Theological Self-understanding in a Land of Many Spirits

Kirsteen Kim

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    Abstract

    The background to this article is the controversy caused in 1980s South Korea when some theologians accused Yonggi Cho’s Full Gospel theology of syncretizing “shamanism” with Christianity. In this article, I shall problematize the use of both “shamanism” and “Pentecostalism” in this controversy. Instead, I shall set the episode in the wider context of what might be called Korean traditional religion, which has an animistic cosmology. By pointing to an affinity between Korean Protestantism more generally and Korean traditional religion that goes back at least to the 1907 Korean Revival, I shall argue that the Pentecostal–Charismatic and the liberationist strands of Korean Protestantism together represent a developing understanding of what it means to do Christian theology in the context of animism – or in a land of many spirits.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-84
    JournalPentecostudies: an Interdisciplinary Journal for Research on the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements
    Volume16
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2017
    EventEuropean Research Network on Global Pentecostalism: 9th GloPent - University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
    Duration: 10 Jun 201611 Jun 2016
    https://www.glopent.net/Members/webmaster/uppsala-2016/uppsala-2016-call

    Keywords

    • Korea; Pentecostalism; Shamanism; Yonggi Cho; Minjung theology
    • Pentecostalism
    • Shamanism
    • Yonggi Cho
    • Minjung theology

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