Jung Mo Sung

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Jung Mo Sung
Born 1957 (age 59–60)
Seoul, South Korea
Residence Brazil
Korean name
Hangul 성정모[1]
Hanja 成定模[2]
Revised Romanization Seong Jeong-mo
McCune–Reischauer Sŏng Chŏngmo

Jung Mo Sung (born 1957) is a Roman Catholic lay theologian trained in theology, ethics, and education.

He works within the paradigm of liberation theology and can be considered a "next generation" theologian-practitioner. He has served as an informal associate of the "DEI School," a research institute in Costa Rica where scholars such as Pablo Richard, Elsa Tamez, and Franz Hinkelammert are currently working. He is particularly concerned with the relation between theology and the economy as well as education theory in view of solidarity.

Though he may be viewed as rejecting the idea that some sort of historical subject, whether God, the proletariat, or even a particular set of social institutions, will bring into history the utopian dream of a truly just, peaceful, and harmonious society, he is not passive in the face of injustice. Sung has worked directly with basic ecclesial communities as an advisor, speaking regularly at various ecumenical events that focus on justice and solidarity, and writing scholarly books as well as those aimed directly at those laypersons who are involved in particular struggles for justice. He speaks about justice with the same ferociousness as most liberation theologians, but tempers his evaluations of struggles, projects, and proposals with a sense of what may be temporally attainable.

Early life[edit]

Sung was born in Seoul, South Korea as the eldest son of Sung Nak-cheon (성낙천; 成洛天).[1][2] He attended the Samcheong Elementary School there before moving to Paraná, Brazil with his family in 1966.[2] He has remained there ever since.

Sung received his undergraduate degree in philosophy in 1984, a doctorate in religious studies in 1993 (from the Methodist University of São Paulo, under the direction of Júlio de Santa Ana), and did post-doctoral work in education in 2000 (at the Methodist University of Piracicaba with Hugo Assmann).

Employment[edit]

Sung is currently a professor in the graduate program of religious studies at the prestigious Methodist University of São Paulo, where he has been teaching since 1994. From 1996 to 2006 he was also a professor in the graduate program at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo.

Impact abroad[edit]

Several of Sung's texts have been translated into Italian, Spanish, Korean, English, and German. He is gradually gaining prominence and exposure in the United States, speaking, for example, twice in the last three years at the annual national meeting of the American Academy of Religion (a large convention with over 11,000 participants).

For some basic external references about his work, see "Moral Theology in Latin America" by Dean Brackey and Thomas Schubeck in Theological Studies (March 2002, vol.63, issue 1). Jung Mo Sung's "concept of the inevitability of inequality and social exclusion" backgrounding Western socio-economic tradition was drawn on by Ronaldo Sathler-Rosa in his "Pastoral Action in the Midst of a Context of Economic Transformation and Cultural Apathy" in International Perspectives on Pastoral Counseling, ed. James Reaves Farris (2002).

See also Ivan Petrella's The Future of Liberation Theology (SCM Press, 2006) and his edited volume of articles, Latin American Liberation Theology: The Next Generation (Orbis Books, 2005). The latter volume, Petrella states, "opens with Jung Mo Sung, the most prolific next-generation voice within mainstream contemporary Latin American liberation theology" (p. xvi). Dr. Petrella employed Sung's critique of earlier liberation theologians in his own article "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Making Over of Liberation Theology, A Queer Discursive Approach" in Liberation Theology and Sexuality, ed. Marcella Althaus-Reid (Ashgate, 2006 [expanded pb. ed., 2009]), pp. 33–49.

Publication of Desire, Market and Religion in 2007 brought Sung's work into English as the sole author of a book-length project for the first time. It was followed by Beyond the Spirit of Empire: Theology and Politics in a New Key in 2009, a book co-authored with Nestor Miguez and Joerg Rieger in SCM's "Reclaiming Liberation Theology" Series.

Referred to[edit]

Jung Mo Sung's work has been predominantly influential in Spanish- and Portuguese-language academic discourse in Latin America.[citation needed] However, his work has also been discussed in international publications, including:

  • "The Future of Liberation Theology: An Argument and Manifesto" by Ivan Petrella
  • Latin American Perspectives on Globalization: Ethics, Politics" by Mario Sáenz
  • Liberation Theology And Sexuality" by Marcella Althaus-Reid
  • "The encyclopedia of Christianity" by Erwin Fahlbusch, et al.
  • "Religion in the New Millennium: Theology in the Spirit of Paul Tillich" by Raymond F. Bulman, Frederick J. Parrella
  • "Interpreting the Postmodern: Responses to "Radical Orthodoxy"" by Rosemary Radford Ruether, Marion Grau
  • "The War of Gods: Religion and Politics in Latin America" by Michael Lowy
  • "Liberation Theologies on Shifting Grounds" by Georges de Schrijver
  • "Christ & Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times" by Joerg Rieger
  • "The Blackwell Companion to the Bible and Culture" by John F. A. Sawyer
  • "Global Ethics And Civil Society" by John Eade, Darren J. O'Byrne
  • "Out of the Depths: Women's Experience of Evil and Salvation" by Ivone Gebara
  • "In Search of the Good Life: The Ethics of Globalization" by Rebecca Todd Peters
  • "Religion in a Secular City: Essays in Honor of Harvey Cox" by Harvey Gallagher Cox, Arvind Sharma
  • "An Introduction to Third World Theologies" by John Parratt
  • "Liberation Theologies, Postmodernity, and the Americas" by David Batstone
  • "Theologies in the Old Testament" by Erhard S. Gerstenberger
  • "Moral Theology: New Directions and Fundamental Issues" by James Keating

Publications[edit]

This list is far from comprehensive. See the link above to his resume for a complete list.

English[edit]

  • The Subject, Capitalism and Religion: Horizons of Hope in Complex Society. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  • Beyond the Spirit of Empire: Theology and Politics in a New Key by Joerg Rieger Page, Jung Mo Sung, and Nestor Miguez. SCM Reclaiming Liberation Theology Series, 2009.
  • Desire, Market, and Religion, SCM Press Reclaiming Liberation Theology Series, 2007.
  • "Theology, Spirituality, and the Market," in: Another Possible World, eds. Marcella Althaus-Reid, Ivan Petrella, and Luiz Carlos Susin. SCM Press, 2007.
  • "What Is Behind the Notification of Jon Sobrino?" in Getting the Poor Down from the Cross: Christology of Liberation, José María VIGIL (organizer), International Theological Commission of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians, 2007.
  • "The Human Being as Subject: Defending the Victims," in: Latin American Liberation Theology: The Next Generation, ed. Ivan Petrella. Orbis Books, 2005.
  • "Economics and Theology: Reflections on the Market, Globalization, and the Kingdom of God," in: Global Capitalism, Liberation Theology and the Social Sciences, eds. P. M. Zulehner, A. Tausch, A. Müller. Nova Science, 2000.
  • "Hunger For God, Hunger For Bread, Hunger For Humanity," in: Hope and Justice for All in the Americas: Discerning God's Mission, ed. Oscar Bolioli. New York: Friendship Press, 1998.

Portuguese[edit]

  • Para além do espírito do Império. São Paulo: Paulinas, 2012. (with Néstor Míguez and Joerg Rieger)
  • Missão e educação teológica. São Paulo: ASTE, 2011 (with Néstor Miguez and Lauri Wirth)
  • Deus em nós: o reinado que acontece no amor solidário aos pobres" (with Hugo Assmann), Paulus, 2010.
  • Cristianismo de Libertação", Paulus, 2008.
  • Um Caminho Espiritual para a Felicidade, Vozes, 2007.
  • Educar para Reencantar a Vida, Vozes, 2006.
  • Sementes de Esperança: A Fé em um Mundo em Crise, Vozes, 2005.
  • Competência e Sensibilidade Solidária: Educar para Esperança, with Hugo Assmann, Vozes, 2000.
  • Conversando sobre Ética e Sociedade, Vozes, 1995.
  • Teologia e Economia: Repensando A Teologia da Libertação e Utopias, Vozes, 1994.
  • Deus Numa Economia Sem Coração. Neoliberalismo e Pobreza: Desafios À Evangelização, Paulus, 1992.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 김항섭 [Kim Hang-seop] (May 2008). "라틴아메리카 속의 한국ㆍ한국인: 브라질 해방신학자 성정모" [Korea and Koreans in Latin America: Brazilian liberation theologian Sung Jung-mo] (PDF). TransLatin (2). Retrieved 2013-12-21. 
  2. ^ a b c 브라질에 떨친 우리僑胞子女들 中學入試率 100% [Our compatriots' children in Brazil have 100% middle school entry rate]. Dong-a Ilbo. 20 February 1968. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 

External links[edit]