Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Christian Studies) - MA (CSt)

Department

Theology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Brian Bantum, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology

Second Advisor/Committee Member

David Leong, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Missiology

Keywords

Korean American theology; Korean Americans; Park, Andrew Sung; Kim, Grace Ji-Sun, 1969- ; Joh, Wonhee Anne; Lee, Sang Hyun, 1938- ; Authenticity (Philosophy); Postcolonial theology; Postcolonialism; Imperialism; Contextual theology; Race—Religious aspects—Christianity; Racially mixed people—Religious aspects—Christianity; Christian life; Rap musicians; Dumbfoundead, 1986- ; Park, Seong-man, 1986- ; Park, Jonathan, 1986- ; Rap (Music); Asian American theology; Asian Americans

Abstract

Contemporary ‘Korean American’ theological discourse seeks to more broadly account for the variations and deviations that characterize the ‘Korean American’ experience. Theologians Andrew Sung Park and Grace Ji-Sun Kim theorize the ‘Korean American’ subject through notions of ‘authenticity’ and cultural ‘rootedness’. Such an approach presents itself to be problematic when one begins to account for the ways that colonialism and imperialism have shaped understandings of culture, ultimately revealing that culture is not simply an expression of ontology, but is also driven by a large array of sociological factors. In light of this, theologians Wonhee Anne Joh and Sang Hyun Lee provide a more promising way forward as they utilize postcolonial criticism and cultural theory in their theorization of ‘Asian American’ and ‘Korean American’ identity. ‘Korean American’ rapper, Dumbfoundead, exemplifies postcolonial notions of ‘hybridity’ and ‘mimicry’ in such a way that necessitates an in depth reflection on the ways in which his music outlines the possibilities of a ‘postcolonial embodiment’ - an embodiment defined by ‘movement’, ‘genius’, and ‘uncertainty’. The music of Dumbfoundead provides a foundation for the further theorization of a postcolonial mode of discipleship - a mode of discipleship that is equipped to wrestle with the numerous ambiguities and hybridities of this world.

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