29 March 2010

Book: A Protestant Theology of Passion: Korean Minjung Theology Revisited

Just published: Volker Küster, "A Protestant Theology of Passion: Korean Minjung Theology Revisited" (Brill, March 2010):


Publisher's description: "Minjung Theology is introduced here through theological biographical sketches of its main representatives. They formulated a protestant liberation theology under the South Korean military dictatorship of the 1970s and 80s. Their strong emphasis on the suffering (han) of the people (minjung) led them to the formulation of a genuine theology of the cross in Asia. Volker Küster explores the reception of Minjung Theology and raises the question what happened to it during the democratization process and the rise of globalization in the 1990s. Interpretations of art works by Minjung artists provide deep insights into these transformation processes. Prologue and epilogue abstract from the Korean case and offer a concise theory of contextual theology in an intercultural framework."

Endorsements: "This important book provides the first thorough academic discussion of Korean Minjung theology in any Western language, introducing key Korean theologians in the movement, in relationship to one another and to contextual theological developments elsewhere. A unique feature of this study is Küster's use of visual art as an inculturated expression of Minjung theology in its own right. His contention that contextual theologies are 'open systems' suggests the continuing relevance of Minjung theology for our 'glocalized' future." (Philip L. Wickeri, San Francisco Theological Seminary/Graduate Theological Union)

"'A Protestant Theology of Passion' chronicles an important movement in Korean theology that has significance far beyond the borders of that country. True to Minjung method, Küster includes not only texts, but art and poetry as sources for this theology as well. In doing so, he makes an important contribution to the wider discussion of contextual theology today." (Robert Schreiter, Catholic Theological Union; here and above bold removed, here italics removed)

Volker Küster is Professor of Crosscultural Theology at the Protestant Theological University in Kampen, the Netherlands.

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