Sunday, August 5, 2012

Books by Koreans for Koreans

There are always people who are going to be opposed to what you say or do. Writing in the Catholic Times, a columnist  reminds us of this reality. She  is the chief staff member of Scripture Research in a Catholic University. University professors, she says, would like the books on scripture to be written by specialists, those with advance degrees in the field; our columnist has a different opinion.

There are many books on scripture published by specialists, but is it necessary, she asks, that the application of the teachings also be from specialists? Why not take advantage of those who may not be specialists but have many years of experience in living the gospel message, and have volunteered their services to teach in parishes and  small Christian communities? The Koreans are particularly suited in doing this, she believes, since their disposition is naturally sensitive and responsive to their own and others feelings. Women are more developed in this area than are men, and this aptitude is especially valuable when applied to the books on Scripture. The books she has read are, for the most part, she says, cerebral, dealing with the world of concepts and the Western way of thinking.

Many of the books are translated from the West and the ordinary Catholic finds them difficult, boring, and of little interest. Wouldn't it be better,she asks, to address the needs of our parishioners and their questions, which arise spontaneously from their own Korean sensibilities?

Those who are members of the Scripture Research Group are graduates of universities and have gone on to take at least two years of training in theology. They have taught in parishes and in small village communities. What they have experienced they have written in their books. They are able to explain in ordinary everyday language what the specialists have written in their books. Since their writings  are  examined by the specialist, there is no danger of wrong teaching or errors in the material.

Because Catholicism has grown rapidly in recent years in Korea, isn't it time, she asks, to have more  books written by Koreans  that address the needs of our Korean Catholics?

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