Minjung Christianity Lecture

As part of my Teaching Assistantship with Dr Victor Hori, I prepared a lecture on Korea’s Minjung Theology.

This is a topic I first learned about from Dr Melissa Anne-Marie Curley, during her 2006 stint teaching EAST 253. She spent several days on the subject, exploring the Minjung interpretation of millennium and han. As she explained it, Korea street protesters were using a mixture of Shamanic and Minjung Christian concepts and rituals to neutralise an antagonistic police presence, and to actualise an egalitarian, utopian space.

This was the first time that I realised that the academic study of religion could be applicable to activism, and to my real world interests.

My own lecture needed to take a different tact, since our final paper topic was designed around the concept of religious / cultural syncretism. So I concentrated on identifying elements of traditional east asian religion within Minjung Christianity.

Nevertheless, I hope that I was able to share with the students some of the excitement that comes from realising the religious meaning behind what otherwise seems a purely political form of protest.

Download the Lecture (MP3 | 39 MB | 45 min.)

Disclaimer: please note that the banner image used for this post is not my own. It is a portion of the cover of one of the earlier, scholarly volumes on Minjung Christianity (South Korea’s minjung movement: the culture and politics of dissidence. Edited by Kenneth M. Wells)