may be well illustrated in relation to one issue concerning the understanding of scripture. Since the 1970s the historical-critical approach to scripture has been challenged by other ways of reading, particularly those based on literary critical approaches and socio-cultural readings. Indeed that historical-critical approach has even been characterized as a western attempt to take over the way in which scripture is to be understood.25 Not surprisingly the socio-cultural readings have offered the opportunity to read scripture in the same way as the scriptures of other world faiths.
Kim Yong Bock has written an interesting essay on the way in which Korean Christians have read the Bible.26 He noted that Nestorian Christianity may have entered Korea from China and that Roman Catholic Christianity certainly entered Korea from China in the seventeenth century. In each case the Christian message was conveyed in Chinese script. It was not until the first Korean Bible was translated with the assistance of John Ross and other missionaries in Manchuria in the 1880s that Christianity entered the Korean vernacular. (The new Research Guide to Asian Christian Theologies suggests that by the end of the eighteenth century a library of Christian writings had developed in Korea numbering almost 150 items in both original works and translations from the Chinese, but it may be that these remained the preserve of an elite group.)27 The nineteenth-century vernacular Bible made an impact upon the people, the minjung, which was subversive of the Confucian social order of the leadership of Korean society. The first Korean Christian community, Sorae Church, was established in North Korea in 1885, independently of foreign missionaries. With the establishment of Japanese rule, the key text for Korean Christians became the Book of Exodus, with its message of liberation. One result was a series of conflicts between western missionaries, who wished to secure their missions against accusations of political subversion, and the Korean tradition. After the Second World War a similar set of conflicts developed as minjung theology in its modern sense began in the 1960s and 1970s under the influence of Kim Chan Guk and Ahn Byung Mu. The key insight of minjung theology was that it regarded the minjung as the subject of history: 'The historical eye of the minjung perceives the real gospel of liberation ... It was not for the official churches to discern the message of the Gospel in a kairotic
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