Minjung theology

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Minjung theology
Hangul 민중신학
Hanja 民衆神學
Revised Romanization Minjung Sinhak
McCune–Reischauer Minjung Sinhak

Minjung theology (Hangul민중신학; Hanja民衆神學; RRMinjung Sinhak; MRMinjung Sinhak; the people's theology) emerged in the 1970s from the experience of South Korean Christians in the struggle for social justice. It is a people's theology, and, according to its authors, "a development of the political hermeneutics of the Gospel in terms of the Korean reality."[1]


Minjung theology began in South Korea in the 1970s with figures such as Ahn Byung-mu, often considered the "father" of minjung theology, Suh Nam-dong, and Kim Yong-bock.[2] Minjung, which means the "people" in the communist sense of the proletariat, is made up of people who are ostracized by the larger community.

It is part of a wider Asian theological ferment, but it was not designed for export. It "is firmly rooted in a particular situation, and growing out of the struggles of Christians who embrace their own history as well as the universal message of the Bible."[this quote needs a citation]

As South Korea has grown to be more a prosperous nation, later generations of minjung theologians have needed to reevaluate who are the poor and oppressed minjung of Korea. As such, a number of minjung theologians have focused on questions of reunification with North Korea, identifying the minjung as all those oppressed in both Koreas.[3]


  1. ^ Suh, David Kwang-sun (1983). "A Biographical Sketch of an Asian Theological Consultation". In Commission on Theological Concerns of the Christian Conference of Asia. Minjung Theology: People as the Subjects of History. New York: Orbit Books. p. 17. ISBN 9780862321918. 
  2. ^ Küster, Volker (2010). A Protestant Theology of Passion: Korean Minjung Theology Revisited. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9004175237. 
  3. ^ Kim, Sebastian C. H.; Kim, Kirsteen (2014). A History of Korean Christianity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 263–316. ISBN 9781316123140. 

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