This Chinese Character 靈 is the one we use in Korea for the Holy Spirit and spirituality in general. This doesn't fit our Christian understanding of the spiritual. Korea's shamanistic history shows itself in the way the icon expresses the spiritual. The top part of the character is the icon for rain, the three mouths are said to express the rain falling and the bottom character is the icon for sorceress who dancing, asks for rain.
A seminary professor who teaches spirituality begins a series of articles in the Peace Weekly on the subject.
He has the need to speak about spirituality with the modifier Catholic,
because of the possibility of misunderstanding, due to the shamanistic
understanding of spirituality in Korean history.
After the second Vatican council we use the word spirituality often in
our teaching. Not only within Christianity but even outside of religion
altogether. But the professor makes it clear that in Korea the word
does have a context that is different from what we would understand by
the word. In Korea the word would mean marvelous, magical, and strange. The
context in which the West understands the word is missing. He admits
this is also changing in the West. The Church in Korea started using
the word regularly about 20 years ago. He says it is not an
exaggeration to say that Christians are forcing a Christian meaning on
to their past understanding of the word. In Korean society all feel no
restraint in using the word spirituality, which he says requires we be attentive to this reality.
The shamanistic history
of Korea will continue to influence the native religions and those from
the outside and society. This common denominator probably is the
reason that Koreans have a good feeling towards the practices of other
as used in Korean society does not have the Christian meaning of the
word. If we do not understand the Christian meaning we will easily,
without any discernment, have an eclectic acceptance of other religious
beliefs, and the possibility of losing our faith.
have in recent years accepted a great deal from what we have learned
from anthropology and psychology in our spirituality which is a good but we have to discern otherwise spirituality can be just the results of what we have learned from psychology. Our
spirituality becomes a hodgepodge of the teachings of many other
religions and ceases to be Christian, consequently, he concludes the
need to use the modifier Catholic when he speaks about spirituality.