Tuesday, February 16

Catholicism and Violence in Late Chosŏn Korea

You know kannu, I was surprised when I first found out that Korea is a huge Christian country. Seriously. I guess my initial impression was coloured by the fact that both japan and china managed to keep the Christian missionaries at bay. But Korea didn't and has therefore managed to have a huge Christian population. 
Proselytisation has had a bad rap down the years son. With good reason. People have killed each other over which god is better. Heck, people have killed each other whilst belonging to the same bloody religion. See what's happening in Israel to Iraq to India. Maybe they operate on the principle that kill them all, God will sort them out. How weird. 
But it's a salutary exposition on how governments use religion son to keep us under control. And the sad part is, the governments lose control over religion. And then you see the mess that you can witness in the USA to France to uk and in rest of the world. Which is why a strong secular perspective is the only way forward for governments. 
Anyway. Happy reading about a small aspect of Korea. They make the most amazing kimchee. And if I may point out, they are one of the hardest working people in the world. Absolutely gobsmacking. For them to rise from pretty much ruins after the Japanese occupation and then the Korean War to where they are at the moment is simply amazing. Much to learn. 

Catholicism and Violence in Late Chosŏn Korea - Dissertation Reviews

A review of The Ambiguity of Violence:  Ideology, State, and Religion in the Late Chosŏn Dynasty,by Franklin Rausch
Why do governments and those who oppose them use violence to advance their aims? What are their justifications for the use of violence? These are some of the questions that Franklin Rausch confronts in his dissertation centered on two case studies in late Chosŏn Korea between the late 18th and early 20th centuries. They involve two famous Catholics, Alexius Hwang Sayŏng and Thomas An Chunggŭn, and it is in its elucidation of the complex history of Catholicism in Korea that this dissertation particularly shines.

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