Hello everyone. Welcome back to my course: Re-imaging God in Korean Context. In the past several modules, I have argued that the only Korean Christians along with the only Protestant missionaries might have discovered the religious concept of Chon, that is The Heaven in Korean Confucianism, or Hanunim, that is The Heavenly Lord in Shamanism. Here, I assumed the native Koreans were engaged in translating what was new as much as missionaries were translating. Simply put, for Korean Christians, God had to be found in a religious context in order to be created into a new religion that is Korean Christianity. Harvard theologian, Harvey Cox, in his book, "Fire from Heaven" proposes two possibilities through his world wide exploration of the expansion of the Pentecostal types of Christianity. Quote, "It must be able to include and transform at least certain elements of preexisting religions which still retain our strong grip on the cultural subconscious. It must also equip people to live in a rapidly changing societies where personal responsibilities and inventiveness, skills associated with a democratic polity and entrepreneurial economy, are indispensable." end of quote. This is clear in Korean Christianity. Rather, this is not limited to Pentecostal Christianity in Korea but to all denominations on a subconscious level. The early missionaries focused on the working class and women as their main targets of conversion. As a result, the basic character of the Protestant Church was formed by these people, who are also the ones most familiar with Shamanism. In fact, they were not only religiously but also culturally saturated with Shamanism. Historically, the oldest religion in Korea was spirit worship or Shamanism. Even to this day, Shamanism retains a powerful hold on the credulous folk. Although other powerful religious forces or modes of thought have entered Korean life since then. Let me quote in full from the World Christian encyclopedia. Quote, "Shamanism is the traditional religion, and is still the most widely practiced one, in Korea. It involves a strong belief in the influence of departed ancestral spirits as well as nature spirits who inhabit trees, rocks and other natural phenomena. These in turn must be propitiated or otherwise controlled either by individuals or by priests (shamans, mudang) in Korean, to ensure health, fertility and success in life's ventures. There is a strong emphasis on exorcism and healing, with extensive use of chanting and drums. Belief in a supreme being also appears to be ancient. And this idea has been strengthened by contact with Christianity." end of quote. Since Shamanism stems from pre-literate societies and has lacked a systematically expressed doctrine, it is difficult not only to comprehend it but also to isolate it from other religions. Moreover, because of its very nature, it has easily borrowed from others and has tended to vary in its expression in different times and places. This inherent adaptability and accommodation has allowed it to penetrate and assimilate to other religions without experiencing any great resistance. Shamanism postulates a universe in which not only human beings but also lower animals and inanimate things have souls and spirits. Shamanism purges a three level cosmos. In the upper level, the bright world above heaven, Hanunim, and benevolent spirits reside. The prison world where humans and all animate and inanimate things live constitutes the middle level. In the lower level, there's a hell, where all evil spirits live. It is said that a human being after this present life will either ascend to the upper level or descend to the lower one. Thus, Koreans seem to take immortality, of some sort, for granted. And the later forms of Buddhism have helped to further add content and meaning to this belief. More Koreans also naturally accept the belief that everyone ultimately goes to Jeo Seung, the future world after this world. And, to King Yumna, the king of judgement. Both of these have now become Buddhist terms but they and many other ideas in Korean Buddhism represent a much older tradition and probably antedate Buddhism. At this point in terms of the relationship of Korean shamanistic belief to Christianity, two factors should be noted. First, the beliefs of Shamanism have enabled Koreans to comprehend more easily the references in Christianity to the idea of God, to evil in the world, to heaven and hell and to benevolent and evil spirits. Especially with regard to the healing ministry of the Pentecostal church. Second, the above characteristics developed through the beliefs in Shamanism greatly affected the Korean appropriation and expression of Christianity through the Pentecostal movement in Korea.