Silcott & Kreinath, “Transformations of a ‘religious’ nation in a global world: Politics, Protestantism and ethnic identity in South Korea”

Silcott, William & Jens Kreinath. 2013. Transformations of a ‘religious’ nation in a global world: Politics, Protestantism and ethnic identity in South Korea. Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal 14(2):223-240.

Abstract: In an increasingly globalised world, matters of national identity are no longer confined solely to domestic politics. This paper proposes that Christianity in South Korea is engaged in a mutually reinforcing relationship with the construction of Korean national identity, particularly concerning historical dynamics of both Westernisation and the formation of nationalism. In positioning the role of religion in the creation of a national image, the conflicts and contestations between religious groups will become politically effective. As actors in the political and religious field attempt to reflexively create an image of Korea that transcends national borders and anticipates to overcome domestic and ethnic divides, religion becomes more than an article of faith through its entanglement with national politics. By recognising the impact of Westernisation and its historical implications for this process, it becomes possible to approach the formation of Korean identity from a new angle by accounting for the efficacy of the self-reflexive image.

Kreinath & Silcott: “Introduction: Politics of faith in Asia: Local and global perspectives of Christianity in Asia”

Kreinath, Jens & William Silcott. 2013. Introduction: Politics of faith in Asia: Local and global perspectives of Christianity in Asia. Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal 14(2):180-184.

Abstract: This collection of papers is the result of research presented at the 2010 meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Atlanta, Georgia, sponsored by the Comparative Studies of Religion section. The set of papers resulting from the panel, Politics of Faith in Asia: Local and Global Perspectives of Christianity in Asia, presents findings from a diverse array of cultural areas and historical contexts across the Asian continent. All of these are connected by a focus on the intersection of Christianity and the political organisation in Asian societies. Although each paper focuses primarily on the continued encounter of Protestant, Evangelical Christianity and local religions, the definition and scope of the political milieu differ considerably. Moving from local communities in a small Indian town, through the growing global connections of religious groups in the Philippines, to the global and national politics of South Korea, the set addresses a multitude of political levels, be they governmental or the processes of everyday interactions.