The God of all the Earth: Contextual Theology in a Globalizing World The Example of Korea
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Korea became a multicultural society through the influx of foreigners: migrant workers, international married couples, foreign students, and naturalized citizens. This social change challenges Korean churches to reflect on their mission styles and theology. The theology of the welcomed stranger is a theological response to the Korean context, requiring a profound understanding of globalization and migration. It focuses mainly on the lives of migrant workers in Korea and suggests a model of settlement for both Koreans and migrant workers for peaceful living while exploring a community of toleration, friendship, and harmony for co-existence and emphasizing social justice for the poor and marginalized. Interfaith dialogue between Korean churches and migrant workers is also an important facet of this theology. The introduction outlines my personal life story in relation to Minjung theology and the theology of the wanderer as preconditions to the theology of the welcomed stranger. Chapter One explains the theological responses to globalization and the context of globalization and migration while researching the role of international economic institutions and international laws for migrant workers and their families. Chapter Two explores the situation of migrant workers in Korea, especially women, while highlighting the work of Korean NGOs working for migrant workers and showing the viewpoints of NGO staff on globalization. Chapter Three reflects on Minjung theology and suggests its new responsibility in the era of globalization. Chapter Four considers the theology of the wanderer, comparing it with Minjung theology. Chapter Five outlines the theology of the welcomed stranger and argues for the virtue of a multicultural society, challenging Korean churches to understand the social reality of migrant workers and accepting them as “welcomed stranger.” Chapter Six emphasizes interfaith dialogue and relations between Korean churches and migrant workers, examining the religious context of Korea and the historical background of the Korean church. This chapter also provides the viewpoints of NGO staff in Korea on interfaith dialogue, supporting Korean churches and migrant workers to work together for the realization of a “basic human community,” which I understand as a response to the idea of the kingdom of God.
PhD in Theology