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FT-270934-20

Helen Jin Kim
Emory University (Atlanta, GA 30322-1018)
Transpacific Piety and Politics: Cold War South Korea and the Rise of American Evangelicalism

Research for a book on evangelical Christianity and politics in South Korea and the United States after the Korean War.

I recast the history of US evangelicalism and conservatism through an overdue and innovative Pacific-facing framework, from the Korean War to the rise of Reagan. In the 1950s, US fundamentalists insisted on Christianity’s global expansion, in spite of the critiques of modernism, colonialism, and communism. At this time, South Koreans preachers, politicians, military officials, martyrs, widows, and orphans were indispensable for the transpacific re-birth of US evangelicalism. As the lesser ally, South Koreans were the objects of US Orientalist fears and desires. At the same time, South Koreans used these alliances to reimagine their own place in the world order, for they aspired to replace the US as the leaders of Christian empire. These non-state transpacific alliances ultimately foreshadowed the rise of the Christian Right in the US and South Korea. Given ongoing attention to the two Koreas as well as the role of US evangelicals in politics, this is a timely history.

Project fields:
East Asian History; Religion, General; U.S. History

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2020 – 8/31/2020