Item description for The Wounded Heart of God: The Asian Concept of Han and the Christian Doctrine of Sin by Andrew S. Park...
Overview Park asserts that one cannot grasp the full meaning of the sin and guilt of sinners until one has looked at the Korean concept of han--the relational consequence of sin--and shame of their victims. To reconcile with God and with other humans, one's sin must be repented, guilt must be forgiven, the han of those who have been wronged must be healed, and the shame which results from that wrong must be erased.
Publishers Description Traditional doctrines of sin and salvation center primarily on the moral agency of the sinner. Andrew Sung Park addresses the relational consequence of sin--the pervasive reality of victims' suffering and the scar from the sins of others who have wronged them. He asserts that one cannot grasp the full meaning of the sin and guilt of siners until one has looked at the concept han or the shame of the victims. If reconciliation with God and with other humans is to take place, not only must one's sin be repented and one's guilt forgiven, but the han of those who have been wronged must be healed.
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Studio: Abingdon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.98" Width: 6.24" Height: 0.53" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 1993
Publisher Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN 0687385369 ISBN13 9780687385362
Reviews - What do customers think about The Wounded Heart of God: The Asian Concept of Han and the Christian Doctrine of Sin?
Twisted Theology Sep 25, 2007
The sheer volume and magnitude of specious reasoning in this book is nothing short of breathtaking. I expected a book written from the perspective of a Korean Christian, perhaps "contextualized", but instead got a book full of superstitious blasphemy attempting to mask as a "reform" of Christianity. Nearly every theological argument in this book is a complete perversion of one or other important foundation of Christian faith.
The book, and the lauditory cover reviews, make you believe that you are going to learn something about "the asian concept of Han". This leads white-bread red-state evangelicals to think that they are about to learn something that applies to "all of those asian people". However, he describes a "victim theology" which exists only in Korean culture, and that in minority. The concept of "Han" he describes is so foreign to Chinese and Japanese culture as to be repulsive. Any red-state Christian hoping to "bond" with a Chinese or Japanese (or Korean for that matter) person using this "victim theology" is certain to be disappointed.
The author, apparently sensing that his "victim theology" is fringe and not really "pan-asian", goes to great lengths to identify Han with every other victim group in history. Thus, Jews, Negroes (the author's word), Armenians and the list goes on -- all are experiencing "Han", even if they don't know it.
The author goes even further -- animals are victimized by human exploitation, so they too experience "han". And even global warming is an oppression of mother nature, who experiences "han". All of this oppression and victimization wounds the heart of God.
The author very rarely quotes scripture to support his points; and then very briefly and out of context. Any moderately accomplished scholar can find the blasphemies in each chapter. More frequently, he quotes other modern philosophers and modernist "theologians". His quotes of Hegel should be a red flag, and his references to Descartes and Kant seem contrived simply to dazzle the reader with erudition (and very peurile in depth of analysis). At least one author called the book "an incredible tapestry", but I find it to be an incredibly sophomoric and forced attempt to feign intellectual virtuosity.
The author lurches and stumbles along to a not-surprising conclusion -- he concludes that Christianity (apparently skewed and perverted by Roman ideals) is due for an overhaul and needs to bend itself to conform to the deep Korean "victim theology" truths which it hasn't yet considered.
Thus, "forgive seventy times seven" becomes, "idolize revenge, bitterness, and resentment -- never forgive". And "I have sinned only against you, oh God" becomes "which human harbors a resentment?" The whole theology is a twisted karmic cult like Hawaiin huna, and the rebuttals in scripture are unambiguous, prolific, and complete.
I suppose I shouldn't be so harsh, since this was apparently written as part of earning a degree. Thesis advisors require "original thinking", thus the poor "victim" seeking a degree is "opressed" into inventing all sorts of tripe, blasphemous as it may be. Thus the author is perhaps the victim here. But nobody forced him to write his thesis in this area, and nobody is forcing you to read the book. I recommend you stay away.
Asian-american perspective. Dec 13, 2001
I have had the pleasure of attending a lecture given by Prof. Andrew Sung Min. His lecture was quite interesting and informative, but far from what I would call spectacular. It wasn't until I read his book, The Wounded Heart of God, that I began to understand the enormous project he undertook. His lecture was based on his book - a culmination of the Asian concept of Han and the Christian theology of Sin. I have never read a book that more accurately articulates the condition of man as an oppressed being. A condition that is easy to know but hard to explain. Perhaps being Korean, I am privileged to an almost innate understanding of Han. It was then I began to wonder of Prof. Park was unduly optimistic that others would also be attune to the language he uses. While he does highlight influential thinkers who describe a partial understanding of Han (such as Aquinas [p 74], Hegel [p 75], and others) and non-Asian communities that suffer from Han (such as the Israelites and Palestinians), it was his biblical references to a God that also suffers from Han that eventually convinced me of the plausibility of his model (p 122). However I find one part of his theology problematic. Park's understanding of sin and han is that while they are very closely entwined, they are not the same. "Sin is the volitional act of the oppressors; hand is the pain of the victim" (p12). He views sin as a theological doctrine, while han is a more general world condition. Han is also, among many other things, "the point of contact between JC (Jesus Christ) and suffering humanity and between JC and God. Christ represents the han of the downtrodden to God..." (p 126). Coupled with the need for God - because ultimately it is God's heart that we wound - it is plainly obvious that both Jesus Christ and God are needed. [I also know this for a fact because I asked him if Jesus Christ and God are necessary component in his worldview.] Additionally the first component of relieving han is to recognize han. And to recognize Han, one must know of and have faith in Jesus Christ. If one has never had the opportunity to hear of JC and God - then it is impossible to relieve han. The problem is further compounded because han is not a religious aliment. It is, as Park puts it, a social and cultural inheritance. If that is the case then it is very possible to live in a han-filled world, yet at the same time live in a JC God-less world. Which would mean undue and unavoidable suffering with no way to escape it
sin as relationship Apr 12, 2001
Christianity of nearly all varieties has been dedicated to converting the "unbeliever". The intent is to convince the "other" to accept what Christians believe as true. The process has always been more complicated than that.
As the early church converted the Greeks, Greek concepts crept into Christian theology.
In 1531, only ten years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Juan Diego, a Christianized poor indigenous peasant walking down a path, heard beautiful music and stopped. A woman appeared to him and identified herself as the Virgin Mary. She told him that she wanted the Archbishop to build a temple on that site. Juan Diego dutifully set off to the Archbishop who was less than impressed. Reporting his failure, the Virgin told him where to find roses. When he brought her the roses, she wrapped them in Juan Diego's cloak. Once again, he set off to see the Archbishop. Unwrapping the cloak to free the roses revealed a picture of the Virgin. The Archbishop relented.
A conversion? Of whom? The Virgin spoke to Juan Diego in Nahuatl, not Spanish. The Virgin wanted her temple built not in the city where the Archbishop had planned, but where she appeared: on a sacrificial site dedicated to Tonantzin, the virgin mother of the gods. On Juan Diego's cloak, the Virgin's dress was red, the color of the god Huitzilopopchtli. The blue-green of the background was the color of Ometeotl, the god of natural forces. The Virgin wore a black band around her waist, a local sign of pregnancy.
A simple indian peasant had captured the Virgin Mary from the Spanish, or, if you prefer, the Virgin Mary had sided with oppressed. This appearance of the Virgin is now known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of her most important apparitions.
Was Christianity compromised or enriched?
"The Wounded Heart of God" by Andrew Sung Park describes the influence the Korean concept of "han" is having on Christian theology. He writes, "(W)hen suffering reaches the point of saturation, it implodes and collapses into a condensed feeling of pain. This collapsed feeling of sadness, despair, and bitterness is han." Han produces mental and physical pain and sickness, and warps social, cultural and religious life.
The concept of han is rooted in Korean shamanism.
In his lively and clear analysis, Mr. Park discusses the structure and roots of han, the relationship between sin and han, and forgiveness in the light of han. "True repentance will transpire only when wrongdoers change their way of thinking and life against the wronged and are forgiven by them."
What? We sinners need to be forgiven by those we harmed? Why, that would mean ... a whole new way of relating to people.
I've underlined almost every other paragraph in this startling book. (Yes, I'm one of those.) Anyone interested in human relations, human rights or conflict resolution will find this slim volume very important.