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Title: A history of Protestant theory of liberty in Korea, 1886-1917
Author: Choi, Young-Chan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 570X
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is a historical study of the political thought elaborated by the practitioners of Protestantism in Korea between 1886 and 1917. In the study, firstly I outline a coherent line of thought which reveals a series of distinctively Protestant issues. Secondly, I argue that this line of thought was significant in constituting a theory of liberty. In elaborating this I highlight the actual historical terms of debate such as anti-Catholicism, loyalty, trade, conscience and the soul and how they relate to a conceptual formation of liberty that is religious first and foremost. This development is investigated across four chapters, devoted to the cultural, political, economic and theological aspect of this intellectual endeavour respectively. In so doing I challenge the conventional interpretative framework that emphasises social Darwinism, church nationalism, missionary imperialism, civilisation discourse, and the separation of church and state. I explore how political thought properly contextualised is as much an exercise in religious imagination as secular rationality. The study contributes a new perspective on the question of how to relate political thought and religion, opening up a new vista from which to understand this reciprocal relationship. This account challenges the conventional wisdom of modernity as a secularising movement, and has potential implications for scholars of the period and beyond. I conclude with the theoretical implication this finding has for the secularisation thesis and consider whether the process of secularisation should be considered not so much a displacement as a permeation of theological thinking into the secular realm.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral