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Title:Missionary Identities and Identifications: U.S. Presbyterians in Korea, 1884--1934
Author(s):Underwood, Elizabeth Ann
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lie, John
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, Asia, Australia and Oceania
Abstract:This dissertation provides an historically contextualized analysis of the encounter between U.S. Presbyterian missionaries and Koreans. I focus my approach in terms of the specificity of, and the variation within, this encounter, in order to determine its impact on missionary identities and identifications, and to elucidate the processes and negotiations of culture and identity that arise. Using personal writings and the published work of missionaries, I locate missionaries in the structural frameworks, institutions, ideologies, and relationships from which they emerge in the United States and with which they interact in Korea. I uncover and explain the variation in missionary experience in Korea, particularly in their ability to overcome the constraints of their culture, gain cross-cultural understanding, and come to identify with Korea and Koreans. Disaggregating missionary writings by sex, family status and primary work assignment reveals that while much of the variation in missionary identification with Korea were individual in role, structural features of the encounter and the circumstances of missionary service was also important. In order for missionaries to identify with Koreans they had to, first, have opportunities for contact with Koreans. Some categories of missionary service created more opportunities for contact with Koreans than others. Second, identification depended upon the type of experiences missionaries had once contact was established. Clearly some missionaries made an a priori commitment to Korea, but deep identification, that which challenged and sometimes changed missionary identity, was based on friendship and shared goals. Identification, though ideally dependent upon only the missionary, was in practice a two-sided process, and highly dependent upon Korean response. The combined impact of mission policy and variations in the Korean response to Christianity contributed to a situation in which the greatest amount of contact, friendship and identification between Presbyterian missionaries and Koreans was in evangelistic work.
Issue Date:2000
Description:322 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9971211
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2000

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