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S(e)oul Search: The Changing Religious Landscape in Seoul and Its Implications for Defining “Asia”

Author:

Nami Kim

Spelman College
About Nami
Nami Kim, born and raised in South Korea, earned her doctoral degree in the field of religion, gender, and culture from Harvard University. She is Assistant Professor of Religion in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Her recent publications include “Engaging Afro/black-Orientalism: A Proposal” in the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion/ 1, no. 7 (June 2010), “A Mission to the ‘Graveyard of Empires’? Neocolonialism and Contemporary Evangelical Missions of the Global South” in Mission Studies/ 27, no. 1 (2010), and a coedited special issue of the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion /25, no.1 (Spring 2009).
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Abstract

There is a saying that if one looks at Seoul at night from afar, one will see a large city covered with neon-lit red crosses. It is also said that a Christian church can be found on every other block in the streets of Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea (also known as South Korea). To be sure, this is not the case. Yet this embellished illustration of Seoul as a Christian symbol of a cross-covered city conveys the message that Christianity is no longer a foreign or a Western religion, but has, rather, become a major religious tradition in South Korea as represented in its capital. Christianity may not be the majority religion in terms of demographics, but it has certainly become a dominant religion in terms of social and political influence as well as economic power in South Korea.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.195
How to Cite: Kim, N., (2010). S(e)oul Search: The Changing Religious Landscape in Seoul and Its Implications for Defining “Asia”. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts. 18(1), pp.40–52. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.195
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Published on 01 Oct 2010.
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