Suggesting an Eco-feminist ‘God of Land’ Model from Feng Shui Cosmology: A Hermeneutic Reinterpretation of the Trinity in an Asian and Eco-feminist Perspective
Kang, Hyun Mi
Date: 13 September 2016
University of Exeter
PhD in Theology
The aim of this dissertation is to propose an eco-feminist model of the Divine for the contemporary Korean Protestant Church, where sexism and eco-antipathy are problematic. For this purpose, the dissertation explores native Korean spiritual traditions with respect to their inherent eco-feminist sensitivity, with a view to making points ...
The aim of this dissertation is to propose an eco-feminist model of the Divine for the contemporary Korean Protestant Church, where sexism and eco-antipathy are problematic. For this purpose, the dissertation explores native Korean spiritual traditions with respect to their inherent eco-feminist sensitivity, with a view to making points of contact with traditional Christian conceptions of the Trinity. The dissertation proposes a model called ‘God of Land’ that brings eco-feminist Christian theology together with Feng Shui perspectives on finding an alternative divine model in a Korean context. The model is grounded deeply in both Christian confession of the Trinity and East Asian IChing cosmology. More specifically, the ‘God of Land’ model reinterprets Christian theological language of the Divine using non-Trinitarian symbols derived from Feng Shui in Asian cosmology, which is a symbolic thinking process fundamental to Koreans. This reinterpretation of the doctrine of the Trinity in an Asian context represents a new hermeneutical approach to Christian theology that calls for a contextualizing method of reflection, praxis, and cultural mediation. From an eco-feministic standpoint, the proposed ‘God of Land’ model identifies women and nature as victims of a male-centered mindset that is well blended with native traditional patriarchy. The realities of women’s multi-layered oppressions that are rampant in the contemporary Korean Protestant Church follow from this patriarchy. This dissertation criticizes how the Korean Protestant Church has for many years institutionalized the patriarchy that has led to the current ecological crisis, and women’s oppression. Mindful of this patriarchy, this dissertation offers a new model of the Divine, presented as ‘God of Land’, that combines an eco-feminist theological perspective and an Asian perspective in the hope that this way of thinking with Christian tradition and native Korean spirituality can be healing and restorative to both women and nature in Korea. Furthermore, the proposed model attempts to reveal rich images of a Triune God, which have been veiled behind institutionalized Christianity but that can be rekindled in dialogue with yin and yang symbolic thinking taken from Feng Shui cosmology. The claim is that the proposed interaction between Christian theology and Feng Shui cosmology, inspired by yin and yang, Chi, and the ChunJiIn idea in Asian cosmology, will contribute to a more explicitly cosmological understanding of the Trinity, as informed by the traditional doctrine of perichoresis. Christian Trinitarian thinking about perichoresis will be brought into dialogue with Feng Shui cosmology around the concepts of balance and equilibrium — again with a view towards restoring the current reality of subjugated positions of women and nature in the contemporary Korean Protestant Church. In this way, the ‘God of Land’ model - informed by Christian Trinitarian theology and reinterpreted from an Asian perspective - is emancipatory, eco-feminist sensitive, and perichoretic; this bespeaks equal, respectful, and nurturing relationship among the persons of the Trinity, which is rich and embracive.
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