From temple to house-church in Luke-Acts: a Lukan challenge to Korean Christianity
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This dissertation examines the portrayals of the Temple, synagogue, and house-churches in Luke-Acts to pose a Lukan challenge to the Korean church by using a model of architectural space which is derived from social-scientific ideas originating in anthropology, sociology and social psychology. The dissertation proposes the relevance of the Lukan house-church to the Korean church today so as to transform the latter's character in its architecture and use of space into the inclusive and missionary one which is featured in Luke-Acts. The argument of the dissertation begins with an exploration and defence of social-scientific method (Chapter 1). Chapter 2 begins with a history and analysis of Korean Christianity which raises problem surrounding its use of architectural space, before setting out a socialscientific model of architectural space, which is then applied to contemporary Korean church architecture. Challenging current understandings of a positive Lukan attitude toward the Temple, this study proposes in Chapter 3 that Luke had a negative understanding of the Temple in that it was an oppressive institution characterised by segmented spaces which divided the people of God and thus showed its illegitimacy in relation to the saving plan of God in Jesus. The dissertation next proposes in Chapter 4 that first-century synagogues were subsidiary Temple spaces which were extended to most parts of Mediterranean world from the central sanctuary in Jerusalem, and that Luke portrays the synagogues as similar to the Temple. Contrary to the Temple and synagogue, the house in Luke-Acts expresses the inclusive salvation of the gospel which incorporates a variety of people regardless of social status, gender, age and ethnic origin (Chapter 5). In this interpretation, the house-church is represented as an inclusive space accessible without institutional constraints. In the Gospel, it serves to express the Kingdom of God into which sinners are invited to enter through meals and to be incorporated into a fictive-kinship group created by Jesus. In Acts, the house is not only a locus of Christian meetings in which the social relationships, characteristic of family, are practised to enhance and legitimise the social identity of Jesus' followers, but also the modus operandi of Christian mission through which the Christ-movement spreads throughout the Mediterranean world. This study concludes with an Epilogue containing brief suggestions for changes in Korean church architecture and use of space based on these Lukan insights, which have the potential radically to transform Korean Protestant Christianity.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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