Date

2012

Department or Program

Religion

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

T. James Kodera

Abstract

The United States has long been a powerhouse of Christianity in terms of sheer numbers and has long served as a leader among churches around the world by deploying more Christian missionaries than any other country. However, over the past several decades, the world of Christianity has watched South Korea rise as a powerful Christian nation. My thesis analyzes how this small nation which knew virtually nothing of Christian doctrine when it was first introduced there in 1884 has become a powerhouse of Christianity in the twenty-first century. The research centers around four major questions. One, what has made the Korean Church grow to be so strong over the course of the past century? Two, what factors are unique to the Korean Church to help it grow so quickly? Three, what elements of Christianity so endear it to the hearts of Koreans? Four, what are the implications of the rapid growth of the Korean Church on the Church Universal? This thesis demonstrates that Korean Christians are having two major impacts on the Church Universal, first of all, they are changing the ethnic face of Christianity around the world, and second of all, they are changing the demographics of the Kingdom of Heaven.

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