[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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