The fulfilment of filial piety : the development of Korean Protestantism and the shape of a theology of filial piety
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This thesis attempts to bring an amalgam of cultural, biblical, missiological and theological approaches to the theme of filial piety, to illuminate the development of Korean Protestantism and to shape a theology of filial piety. The work is divided into six chapters. Chapter One searches for the central theme in the Confucian Classics. The question of what is the central theme is an on-going debate among Confucian scholars. A lengthy discussion shows that filial piety is the central theme. Chapter Two argues that filial piety in early Korean literature was in continuity with the filial piety of the Confucian Classics and was used as a discontinuity with Buddhism. Chapter Three investigates how ancestor worship weakened in Korean culture and how Christian and biblical narratives deal with ancestor worship. This controversial issue is discussed in terms of the Confucian Classics and early Korean literature, and sociological, Christian and biblical perspectives. Chapter Four attempts to show that filial piety towards Yahweh in the Old Testament is in continuity with filial piety in the Confucian Classics and early Korean literature. It is argued why and how filial piety towards Yahweh the Father is emphasised within six books. Exodus, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea and Malachi. Chapter Five examines the filial piety of Jesus in the Four Gospels as an aspect of imitatio Christi. For this examination two questions are asked: (i) to what extent does the filial respect of Jesus towards his human parents relate to the filial piety of Jesus towards the Father? (ii) To what extent does the filial piety of Jesus towards the Father affect his disciples in their filial piety towards the Father? Chapter Six shapes a theology of filial piety as a consequence of chapters two to five and a contribution to a new Korean theology. In shaping this new theology as an authentic local theology a proper model is necessary. The models of two scholars (Robert J. Schreiter and Stephen B. Bevans) are examined to create a better model, which consists of two criteria (cultural relevance and biblical faithfulness). These criteria are used for the shape of a new local theology. Based upon these criteria, a basic outline of a theology of filial piety is established. This theological formation connects cultural relevance as discussed in chapters one and two, and biblical faithfulness as in chapters four, five and some portions of chapter six.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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