[KS] most Christian City in Asia

James H Grayson J.H.Grayson at sheffield.ac.uk
Tue Dec 9 11:39:52 EST 2003


Dear List Readers,
Just a few comments further to Prof. Ledyard's contribution.

Yesu-gyo (Jesus Religion) is another word for Protestantism. 
Indeed,  Yi Huisung's Kugo taesajon defines it as 'Kidokkyo-ui 
sin'gyo' !  the new (reformed) religion of Christianity. There is also a 
precedent for its usage amongst early Protestant missionaries in 
China. I haven't been able yet to trace this in Dallet, but I seem to 
recall that 19th century Korean Catholics were interrogated about 
whether they were followers of Yesu-gyo.  

The term is found in the title of three of the four mainline 
Presbyterian groups which refer to themselves as Han'guk or Tae 
Han Yesu-gyo Changno-hoe.  The Methodist Church on the other 
hand styles itself as Kidokkyo Tae Han Kamni-hoe. The most 
liberal branch of Presbyterianism uses Kidokkyo in its title rather 
than Yesu-gyo. This has led to the somewhat jokey reference to 
Jesus Presbyterians and Christ Presbyterians. As a Methodist 
missionary to Korea in the 1970s, I had not heard the term Yesu-
gyo used widely until I was working in Taegu where it was the 
common term (amongst non-church goers as well) for 

Terms can always have inappropriate applications. When I taught 
seminarians World Religious History at the Methodist Seminary in 
Seoul in the 1980s, I like to remind them ( when discussing 
Christianity) that Methodism was not kaesin-gyo because 
Methodism did not come out of the Reformation - ie it couldn't be 
seen to be reformed or protesting about Catholicism. It was an 
evangelical movement within the Church of England. This was a 
new thought for many. 

Whatever, thoughts many first generation Protestant missionaries 
may have had about Catholic doctrine, certainly the personal  
regard for key figures such as Bishop Mutel was quite high.

James H. Grayson

Prof. James H Grayson, Ph.D.
Director, Centre for Korean Studies
School of East Asian Studies
University of Sheffield
Sheffield, UK  S10 2UJ

j.h.grayson at sheffield.ac.uk

Office: +44 114 222-8418
FAX:  +44 114 222-8432

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