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Title: From conversion to transformation : a religious interpretation of Yun Chi-ho (1865-1945)
Author: Ahn, Shin
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis examines Yun Chi-ho’s (1865-1945) life and thought in a historical context from a religious perspective. Previous dominant interpretations, such as nationalistic, confessional, psychological, and sociological, largely ignored the religious dimension of Yun’s life and work, and created contradictory images of Yun as “traitor”, “hero”, or “victim”. In contrast, the thesis argues that Yun was a religious pilgrim who committed himself to Christianity and the process of reconciliation between divided Koreans in the midst of political turmoil and Japanese colonial oppression (1910-1945). By analyzing Yun’s diaries and letters, as well as biographies and other secondary sources, the thesis focuses on the following three main themes. First, Yun’s concept of Christian mission was very different from his contemporaries in that he rejected sudden conversion through understanding theological dogma or preaching the Christian message without social engagement. Rather, emphasizing spirituality and faith in action, he advocated gradual transformation through Christian education and unity in the Church. Secondly, as a lay theologian concerned with public issues, Yun sought to construct a new Korean identity, engaging with contemporary political issues in the colonial context. He clearly collaborated with Japanese colonialists, which tarnished his earlier reputation as a leader of democracy and the independence movement. His appeal for reconciliation between Koreans and Japanese was not a desire to be assimilated into one Japanese entity but a call for harmony and equality between different races with distinct identities. Thirdly, Yun was a reformer and contextual theologian, accusing Western missionaries of arrogance and insensibility to indigenous Korean culture. Introducing new horizons to indigenous traditions, he argued that people of the West and the East should learn from each other with respect and love because they were both sinful before God.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available