Korean Preaching: An Interpretation

Article excerpt

Korean Preaching: An Interpretation, by Jung Young Lee. Abingdon, Nashville, 1997. 150 pp. $14. 95 (paper). ISBN 0-687-00442-X.

THIS IS THE FIRST BOOK published in English to introduce Korean preachingand preaching in the Korean-American church-to American church leaders. The author aims to raise awareness about preaching in the Korean-American church. Lee affirms that Korean preaching can provide "a new vision" for ministry against the backdrop of the declining membership in mainline Protestant churches.

The author interprets Korean preaching and Korean-American church life according to his own experience and vision of the church rather than according to homiletical theory. He does not prescribe "how to preach," but explores "what to do" and `what is to be done"through the peculiar lens of traditional Korean beliefs and culture. For Lee, Korean preaching is a combination of traditional and cultural beliefs with Christianity. Nevertheless, he believes Korean preachers have ignored or rejected traditional cultural practices and beliefs in their preaching.

After asserting the importance of understanding Korean preaching in America, the author sketches the religious and cultural background of Korean preaching-including shamanism, Buddhism, and Confucianism-and addresses the notion of preaching as the embodiment of the worship service. Lee claims that effective preaching requires an understanding of the cultural and religious background of an ethnic congregation. …