Salim, process of life: An Asian postcolonial ecofeminist theology

Submitted by James Miller on Tue, 02/14/2012 - 15:23
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TitleSalim, process of life: An Asian postcolonial ecofeminist theology
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsOh, J. S.
Corporate AuthorsKeller, Catherine
Academic DepartmentProQuest Dissertations and Theses
Date Published2010
PublisherDrew University
Place PublishedUnited States -- New Jersey
ISBN Number9781124147550
KeywordsPhilosophy, Theology

There is no more pressing theme at the beginning of the twentieth century than that of "Life," as planetary symbiosis. This study proposes a dialogue between the life-centered Donghak [Eastern Learning] of nineteenth-century Korea and ecocentric process theology, mediated by postcolonial theory. The Donghak notion of hanul [the divine] resembles the process notion of "Life as G*d," while salim [enlivening] approximates that of creative transformation. In order to interpret the Korean metaphor of life, this dissertation therefore employs the life-centered Whiteheadian worldview, together with an eco-theological perspective, in order to explore the theological meanings of salim . The methodological significance of this dissertation is found in the interreligious and transcultural dialogue between Donghak and process theology, as well as in the interdisciplinary trajectories of postcolonialism and ecotheology. In order to develop these ideas, this dissertation shows how the Donghak tradition, as articulated in the salim movement in contemporary Korea, exemplifies hybridity and subalternity, and so provides an Asian context for internalizing insights from postcolonial thought. With its thematization of Life, itself, as the primary category for understanding self and world, and with its unique integration of diverse strands of Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Christianity, the Donghak tradition exemplifies the spirit of a movement which has heard the voices of the subaltern, which sees the hybridity of the very process of living, and which then responds in concrete practice. The Donghak movement is not simply a worldview; it is also a way of living. At the heart of this movement is salim . As the process of life, salim signifies the all-encompassing care for everything on this planet in its organic interconnectedness. Within and beyond these various strands of thought grows the reality and theory of women's experience. This study therefore suggests that the rule of patriarchy should be replaced by the guidance of Life as understood in Donghak and process theology. For it is an Asian ecofeminist postcoloniality that may brings their dialogue to fruition.