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Racial Conflict and Healing: An Asian-American Theological Perspective

Overview

A Korean theologian approaches the issue of racial conflict-including discrimination between minority communities-and constructs a "theology of seeing" that aims to heal the ruptures of racism. As ethnic tensions continue to simmer and occasionally erupt, immigration and affirmative action laws are hotly debated in every ethnic minority: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans-even Asian Americans (the so-called "model minority") struggle in the racially-charged ...

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Overview

A Korean theologian approaches the issue of racial conflict-including discrimination between minority communities-and constructs a "theology of seeing" that aims to heal the ruptures of racism. As ethnic tensions continue to simmer and occasionally erupt, immigration and affirmative action laws are hotly debated in every ethnic minority: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans-even Asian Americans (the so-called "model minority") struggle in the racially-charged atmosphere of contemporary America.

In the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and the ensuing violence against Korean Americans, Andrew Sung Park seeks a theological model that will help transform a society of oppression, injustice, and violence into a community of equity, fairness, and mutual consideration. Park emphasizes that such a transformation does not and cannot begin only with good intentions, but must be grounded in an understanding of all the socio-economic and cultural issues that lead to oppression and tension. Using the Korean term han to describe the deep-seated suffering, of racial oppression, he then suggests resources for understanding and healing in both Christian and Asian traditions.

Part I of Racial Conflict and Healing describes the status quo from a Korean American perspective, including discrimination against ethnic minorities and the discrimination they inflict on one another. In Parts II and III, Park suggests that American society as a whole needs a superordinate vision to form a unified community. Park argues that our profoundly individualistic society must learn to understand an idea of "self" that is formed through relationship with others. Finally, in Part IV, he presents a theological model, a "theology of seeing," as a way to genuinely understand the "other" and to promote healing within our society.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608990498
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Sung Park is a Korean theologian who is a professor of theology at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He is the author of The Wounded Heart of God: The Asian Concept of Han and the Christian Doctrine of Sin.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

Part I Problems in the Korean-American Community

1 Han-Talk 9

The Portrait of Han 9

The Han of War and the Divided Korea 12

"Comfort Women" 14

Vincent Chin 16

The Abandoned Woman 18

Biased Writer for Film Production 19

White Christianity 20

Police Discrimination 21

Victims of Media Racism 22

2 The Han of the Korean-American Community 26

Racial Conflict 26

Structural Problems 29

Results of Structural Problems 40

3 The Sin of Korean-American Communities 41

Racism 41

Sexism 43

Labor Exploitation 45

Part II Toward Solutions

4 A Vision for Society 51

A Common Vision 52

An Indispensable Vision 52

An Inmost Vision 56

A Vision of Eco-social Justice 59

Mass Media 62

5 A Vision for the Church: Parousia 67

The First Coming 68

The Second Coming 69

6 A Vision for the Self 72

The Western Concept of the Self 73

The Eastern Notion of the Self 75

Part III Methodology

7 Sociological Theories 85

The Assimilation Model 85

The Amalgamation Model 87

The Cultural Pluralism Model 88

The Triple Melting Pot Theory 90

A New Ethnic Identity: A Synthesis 91

8 Current Korean-American Models: Church and Culture 93

The Withdrawal Model 94

The Assimilation Model 95

The Paradoxical Model 96

9 Embodying the Community of God: A Transcendent, Transmutational Model 99

Transmutation 99

Inward and Outward Aspects of Transmutation 100

The Fourfold Task of Korean-American Christians 101

Transcendence 102

Theological Cross-culturalism 103

The Cross: Symbol of Transmutation 103

Radical Openness 105

Authentic Visions 105

10 Koreanness: Toward a Christic Community 107

Hahn (Paradoxical Inclusiveness) 107

Jung (Affectionate Attachment) 110

Mut (Graceful Gusto) 112

Koreanness and Christianity 114

Contributions of Hahn, Jung, and Mut to Society 115

11 The Extended Family 118

The Korean-American Family 119

The Modified Extended Family and the Extended Conjugal Family 120

Family Decline 122

Two Views 124

The Extended Family and Christian Faith 125

Part IV An Emerging Theology

12 Theology of Seeing Biblical Insights for Racial Healing 129

Pentecost 130

The Road to Emmaus 132

The Lawyer's Question 135

13 Seeing Others Well: Dissolving the Han of Group Conflict 138

The Story of the King and the Monk 138

Seeing Others 139

A Culture of Seeing 139

Seeing in Eastern Religious Traditions 141

Seeing and Transmuting 142

Seeing and Understanding 144

14 Balm for Healing 145

Visual Seeing: A Hermeneutics of Questioning 146

Intellectual Seeing: A Hermeneutics of Construction 148

Spiritual Seeing: A Hermeneutics of Affection 151

Soul-Seeing: A Hermeneutics of Celebration 154

Notes 161

Bibliography 183

Index 195

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