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The Encounter Between the Juche Idea and Christianity

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Is it possible to create a scholarly encounter between Christianity and the juche idea of North Korean ideology? This study attempts to create an encounter between them. Even though it is very difficult to initiate dialogue because of the strong anti-Communism in South Korea, to understand the juche idea is the first step toward understanding North Korea, its society and its people. For an eventual effective mission in North Korea, South Koreans should make the effort to analyze the juche idea ideologically and theologically, and compare it with Christianity as found in minjung theology. What will be discovered is that Christianity and the juche idea have different worldviews and methodologies: while Christianity, particularly Reformed theology, has a theocentric view of history, the juche idea has an anthropocentric understanding of history. Reformed theology believes in God's revelation and providence, whereas the juche idea pursues revolutionary practice for liberation. The juche idea, however, has similarities to minjung theology; both the juche idea and minjung theology emphasize that ordinary people are the subjects of history, and so should seek liberation from oppression and exploitation.

Affiliations: 1: Presbyterian Church (USA)


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