Understanding The Faith Within History Through The Eyes Of Asian Believers


This presentation explores the history of the Asian Catholic Church from the perspective of the acceptor rather than that of the missionary. The history of the Asian Church has a structure of “givers and receivers,” i.e., evangelization and reception of the Christian faith that developed in Western culture. For a long time, most of the research on Asian Church history was carried out by Western scholars standing in the giver’s position, whose concerns mostly involved missionary strategy, the historical and social context of missionary activities, the civilization of the mission area, etc.
Compared to these perspectives, we can ask, instead, the following questions: What factors touched the hearts of believers and moved them to become Christians? What was their experience of suffering for which they had no choice but to yearn for a new world with new hope? How was Christianity able to give them a definite answer so that they could endure difficulties, even martyrdom? How did they bring the hope they experienced within the church community to life? How did their newfound values and norms in life change history?
Based on Schillebeeckx’s “dynamics of faith within history,” this presentation will apply these questions to the history of the Catholic Church of Korea. In the process, we hope to unravel the social influence of faith, the role of the Church, and the task of theology in the context of Korea.
About the Speaker: A native of Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Kwon Youngpa obtained her Bachelor of Science degree (1990) at Ewha Women University in Seoul, and both her Master of Arts in Theology (2000) and PhD (2021) at the Sogang Graduate School of Theology. She has taught Faith and Science to undergraduate students at Sogang University from 2001 to 2003. From 2004 to 2005, Dr. Youngpa was a visiting research scholar at the Center for Process Studies in Claremont, California. She currently serves as a senior research scholar at the Sogang Institute for Theology and is the Vice President of the Center for Faith and Culture in Haemi Shrine, Seosan, Korea.

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