Beyond the Dividing Wall of Hostility: A Theory and Practice of Reconciliation for the Korean Church in the Conflict between "Comfort Women" and Japanese Government Open Access

Shin, Won Chul

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/6d56zw733?locale=en
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Abstract

There is ongoing conflict between "comfort women", who were exploited as a sexual slavery by Japan during World War II, and present Japanese government; this conflict has been sustained by Japanese government's official denial of sexual slavery during the war time. My thesis aims at resolving this ongoing conflict between two parties in terms of the language of reconciliation from my reflection and reconstruction of 1) Christian theology and ethics and 2) circumstances in other contexts over the world. I particularly focus on an agency of the Korean church in the process of reconciliation.
In the first and second chapter, I intend to suggest a sound theory of reconciliation in light of a compatible relation between agape and justice in the age of peace-building. Nurturing agape transforms justice from liberal justice - mere fairness and strict punishment - to restorative justice - restoring the right relationship. Restorative justice is the indispensable part of agape, and it also prevents agape from lapsing into injustice. Both nurturing agape and restorative justice shared a moral vision of restoration of the right relationship - bringing down the dividing of walls of hostility in the world of injustice and violence. In the third chapter, I try to persuade the Korean church to become an agent of reconciliation between "comfort women" and the Japanese government. I explored the richness of Christian languages of reconciliation in Christian tradition: 1) the Christology and Ecclesiology of Barth and Bonhoeffer and 2) the Pauline theology interpreted by Volf and Lederach.
In the rest of chapters I intend to develop possible practices of the Korean church in order to facilitate the process of reconciliation between "comfort women" and Japanese government. In the fourth chapter, I first explored the social context and location of "comfort women" by borrowing a Korean ethos, Han - suppressed pain from injustice or oppression. In the fifth and sixth chapters I suggested four practices of the Korean church - acknowledgement, reparations, apology, and forgiveness - for healing wounds of "comfort women" and restoring the right relationship between them and the Korean church, Korean society, and Japanese government.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENT


INTRODUCTION 1
SECTION I: A THEORY OF RECONCILIATION FOR THE KOREAN CHURCH
Chapter 1. A Compatible Relation between Agape and Justice 8
1.1. Wolterstorff's Critique of Modern Day Agapism 10
1.2. Wolterstorff's Care-Agapism 13
1.3. Evaluation on the Critique of Modern Day Agapism and Care-Agapism 15
1.4. My Position: Nurturing Agape and Restorative Justice 20
Chapter 2. Reconciliation As a Proper End of Agape and Justice 28
2.1. Definition of Reconciliation: Restoration of the Right Relationship 29
2.2. Agape and Justice in Harmony toward Reconciliation 31
2.2.1. Volf's Model: Will to Embrace-Liberation/Justice-Actual Embrace
2.2.2. Philpott's Model: Mercy-Restorative Justice-Just Peace
Chapter 3. Theological and Social Meanings of Reconciliation in Christian Tradition 40
3.1. Theological/Social Meaning of Reconciliation 41
in Christology and Ecclesiology
3.2. Theological/Social Meaning of Reconciliation in Pauline Theology 44
SECTION II: A PRACTICE FOR THE KOREAN CHURCH AS AN AGENT OF RECONCILITION BETWEEN "COMFORT WOMEN" AND JAPANESE GOVERNMENT
Chapter 4. Social Context of "Comfort Women" 48
4.1. The Critical Issue: Forced Mobilization or Consenting Prostitute? 49
4.2. Han of "Comfort Women" in Korean Society 50
4.2.1. Han from Being Born as a Daughter in the Korean Family
4.2.2. Han from Living As a Surviving "Comfort Women" in Korean Society
Chapter 5. Description of Four Practices for Reconciliation 57
5.1. Acknowledgement 58
5.2. Reparations 59
5.3. Apology 61
5.4. Forgiveness 63
Chapter 6. Practices of the Korean Church for Reconciliation 67
between "Comfort Women" and Japanese Government
6.1. The Korean Church's Practices for Encouraging Acknowledgement 68
6.1.1. The Recovery of Historical Memory Project for "Comfort Women"
6.2. The Korean Church's Practices for Implementing Reparations 73
6.2.1. Biblical Resources and Educational Programs for Trauma Healing
6.3. The Korean Church's Practices for Doing Apology 81
6.3.1. The National Sorry Day for "Comfort Women"
6.3.2. A Liturgy of Apology for "Comfort Women"
6.4. The Korean Church's Practices for Supporting Forgiveness 88
CONCLUSION 91
BIBLIOGRAPHY 96

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