"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, January 25, 2016

Christianity in Korea

Though little known today, there is evidence that Eastern Christians once made it as far as the Korean peninsula in the first millennium before largely disappearing across far Eastern and Central Asia as the Assyrian Church of the East (inter alia), once a vastly sprawling body all down the Silk Road, was gradually rolled up and its communities lost thanks to Tamerlane and others.

A recent study looks at Christianity in Korea today, and acknowledges the considerable role played by Eastern Orthodox Christians there in the modern period: Sebastian C.H. Kim and Kristeen Kim, A History of Korean Christianity (Cambridge UP), 373pp.

About this book we are told:
With a third of South Koreans now identifying themselves as Christian, Christian churches play an increasingly prominent role in the social and political events of the Korean peninsula. Sebastian Kim and Kirsteen Kim's comprehensive and timely history of different Christian denominations in Korea includes surveys of the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions as well as new church movements. They examine the Korean Christian diaspora and missionary movements from South Korea and also give cutting-edge insights into North Korea. This book, the first recent one-volume history and analysis of Korean Christianity in English, highlights the challenges faced by the Christian churches in view of Korea's distinctive and multireligious cultural heritage, South Korea's rapid rise in global economic power and the precarious state of North Korea, which threatens global peace. This History will be an important resource for all students of world Christianity, Korean studies and mission studies.

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