Abstract

Korean Bible Women were successful in their work of evangelization because they utilized the women’s anbang network and borrowed the authority of other female religious figures in the anbang, specifically that of the mudang (female shaman). Bible Women shared their new package of western Protestant ideas with Korean women by entering into the women’s quarters, borrowing the accepted female mudang’s religious authority in that sphere, and coherently merging traditional women’s practices and perspectives with modern Protestant views regarding women and their roles in society. In this respect, the work of Korean Bible Women was thoroughly Korean and thus effective despite the conservative Confucian milieu that circumscribed female activity. This paper illuminates the culturally authentic work of Bible Women in Korea by presenting an overview of the Bible Woman system, by examining the importance of the anbang in women’s daily lives, by discussing the exorcisms by Bible Women that occurred therein, and by analyzing the functional similarities between female mudang and Korean Bible Women. In fact, the presence of the Bible Woman, as a female religious leader meeting needs previously met by mudang, was easy enough to assimilate for many Korean women because of the presence of female mudang in the women’s anbang for centuries. In some regards, the similar functions between mudang and Bible Women may have made Bible Women’s Christian work seem more Korean and less western.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2167-2040
Print ISSN
2093-7288
Pages
pp. 117-149
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-14
Open Access
No
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