American Missionaries, Korean Protestants, and the Making of a New Religion Open Access

Yoo, William (2014)

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The dissertation examines the transnational encounter between American and Korean Protestants from the late nineteenth century to the aftermath of the Korean War. I analyze American and Korean source materials to trace the partnerships and power struggles between American missionaries and Korean converts in both nations. In addition to delineating American Protestant interpretations of East Asian geopolitics, Korean culture, and Asian religions over seven decades of colonialism and conflict, I illumine how Korean Protestants determined their own course by creatively adapting the religion, combining their cultural and colonial experience with Western elements brought by the missionaries. The missionaries and their converts together shaped Korean Protestantism through a complex cross-cultural process of religious transmission charged with constant negotiations, oppositions, tangled reciprocities, and unexpected reversals. American and Korean Protestants cultivated deep bonds with one another, but they also clashed over ecclesial authority, cultural difference, geopolitics, and women's leadership. The missionaries often misunderstood Korean desires, and they also carried racial biases, which led, in turn, to Korean resistance to some of the American forms of Christian traditions. As Korean churches developed and expanded in the twentieth century, Korean ministers and migrants ultimately reversed American religious expectations and increasingly saw it as their mission to revitalize and reform Christian churches and denominations in the United States.

Table of Contents

Introduction - 1

Chapter 1: American Protestant Missionaries and the Making of a Korean Mission Field - 13

Chapter 2: Yun Ch'iho and the Making of a Korean Protestant in Dixie - 74

Chapter 3: The American Missionary Experiment and the Making of Korean Christianity - 130

Chapter 4: Syngman Rhee and the Making of the Korean Christian Church - 174

Chapter 5: American Missionaries, Korean Protestants, and the Contested Making of the Indigenous Christian Woman - 226

Chapter 6: Liberation, War, and the Making of Transnational Friendships between American and Korean Protestants - 271

Conclusion - 303

Bibliography - 317

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