By Timothy S. Lee
Known as Asia’s "evangelical superpower," South Korea at the present time has the various greatest and so much dynamic church buildings on this planet and is moment basically to the USA within the variety of missionaries it dispatches in another country. knowing its evangelicalism is important to greedy the process its modernization, the increase of nationalism and anticommunism, and the connection among Christians and different religionists in the kingdom.
Born Again is the 1st publication in a Western language to think about the advent, improvement, and personality of evangelicalism in Korea―from its humble beginnings on the finish of the 19th century to claiming one out of each 5 South Koreans as an adherent on the finish of the 20th. during this considerate and thorough learn, Timothy S. Lee argues that the outstanding upward thrust of this actual species of Christianity may be attributed to a number of elements. As a faith of salvation, evangelicalism appealed powerfully to multitudes of Koreans, arriving at a time while the rustic was once engulfed in remarkable crises that discredited proven social buildings and conventional attitudes. Evangelicalism attracted and empowered Koreans through delivering them a extra compelling worldview and a extra significant foundation for organization. one other issue is evangelicalisms optimistic connection to Korean nationalism and South Korean anticommunism. It shared within the aspirations and hardships of Koreans through the eastern career and was once legitimated back in the course of and after the Korean clash as South Koreans skilled the trauma of the battle. both vital was once evangelicals’ relentless proselytization efforts in the course of the 20th century.
Lee explores the ideals and practices that experience develop into the hallmarks of Korean evangelicalism: kibok (this-worldly blessing), saebyok kido (daybreak prayer), and kumsik kido (fasting prayer). He concludes that Korean evangelicalism is distinguishable from different kinds of evangelicalism by means of its intensely useful and devotional bent. He finds how, after a protracted interval of striking growth, together with the titanic campaigns of the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties that drew hundreds of thousands to its revivals, the Nineties used to be a decade of ambiguity for the religion. at the one hand, it had develop into South Korea’s so much influential faith, affecting politics, the economic climate, and civil society. at the different, it stumbled on itself beleaguered by way of a stalemate in development, the shortcomings of its leaders, and conflicts with different religions. Evangelicalism had not just risen in South Korean society; it had additionally, for larger or worse, develop into a part of the establishment.
Despite this importance, Korean evangelicalism has no longer bought enough therapy from students outdoors Korea. Born Again will as a result locate an keen viewers between English-speaking historians of recent Korea, students of comparative faith and international Christianity, and practitioners of the faith.