Nov. 5 “Interrogating Cross-Cultural Inquiry in Philosophy of Religions: A Case Study of Self and Agency in Modern Korean Christianity” – Hannah Roh

Please join us on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 4:30pm in Swift Hall, room 208 for a presentation and discussion led by Hannah Roh, Ph.D. student in Philosophy of Religions, “Interrogating Cross-Cultural Inquiry in Philosophy of Religions: A Case Study of Self and Agency in Modern Korean Christianity.”

Cross-cultural inquiries of the self in philosophy of religions can proceed to frame the philosophical distinction between ‘self’ and ‘no-self’ as a cultural distinction—between some Western religious traditions and some Eastern religious traditions. One of the more obvious examples that can apply this cultural analysis is the comparative study of the Christian self as part of the Western tradition and the Buddhist non-self as an Eastern practice. What kinds of philosophical and political problems emerge, however, when one religious tradition is historically saturated with cultural dissonance and multiplicity—that is, when the cultural encounter or dissonance between ‘East’ and ‘West’ occurs not between religious traditions, but within (and sometimes, because of) one religious tradition? When the Orthodox Church emerges as a distinct Christian tradition in the East? Or when contemporary Buddhist practices take root in North America or Europe, or when Christianity spreads (through missionary or colonial activity or for other complex reasons) over the East? Defending the significance of culturally and politically embodied historical moments, this paper considers the philosophical complexities of culturally heterogeneous religious traditions by undertaking a specific case study of selfhood and agency in twentieth century Korean Christianity. The first part of the paper will sketch the historical elements opened up by theories of the Christian self in the West by considering contemporary works in philosophy of religion that examine modernity and subjectivity. The second part of the paper will then reflect on the implications of displacing and re-constituting those questions of the Christian self in another cultural context. Finally, I hope to open up further methodological questions concerning the political implications of cross-cultural inquiry in philosophy of religions.

(Co-sponsored with the Philosophy of Religions Workshop)

Immediately following Hannah’s presentation, the Global Christianities Workshop and the Philosophy of Religions Workshop will co-host a pub night at the Ida Noyes Pub, 6:00pm-7:30pm.

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