Sunday, May 21, 2017

Inculturation A Catholic Goal

A seminary rector writes in Window from the Ark in the Catholic Times about his impressions with the change of government. He sees it very natural to replace the leader of the country for lack of responsibility. Those who were involved have already been scattered. It's not easy to live like the Korean poet Yun Dong-ju: ("Wishing not to have so much as a speck of shame toward heaven until the day I die, I suffered even when the wind stirred the leaves"). If there was just a shred of conscience the great shame of impeachment would have been avoided.

Now thanks to the impeachment a gentle light of hope encompasses the land. Will we see a beautiful rainbow? After three years we have the raising of the Sewol ferry. He sees hope, a return to transparency, justice, experience living and seeing dreams come true.

Now the Taegukgi (Korean Flag) should stand as our emblem, not as a powerless flag. A flag that is waved at any time and place and during demonstrations seems cheap. If the sacredness of the flag was known it would not be waved at every occasion.

The writer wants politics, economy, culture to be in the Korean style.This he hopes will lead to a proper  Korean democracy, a sharing economy, and culture. He is not recommending a form of Nationalism. We have lost what was ours and taken much from other countries and lived well but now he says is time to regain what is ours and live fully.

Instead of buying from other countries and making it our own and envying other countries we need to cultivate what is ours: "(身土不二)  Body earth you are what you eat, slogan encouraging consumption of local seasonal foods for one's health, indivisibility of the body and the land because the body is made from food and food is made from the land."

He finishes the article with a wish that the Church quickly begin to work to indigenize our architecture, instead of mimicking the west with their Gothic churches and many nondescript buildings. He envies the Buddhist Temples which he sees being traditionally Korean. Nowadays it is difficult to differentiate a chapel from a cathedral.

Much of what is Korean can only be found in museums. He wants us to regain again the preciousness of what is Korean and the beauty of our culture and wants the Church to take seriously the movement within our tradition to inculturate.