Oak on Christianity

Summary and Reflection

Religion has been a bound of contention from time in memorial. Each ethnic group has its own god and beliefs. Inter-religion conflicts are common as people interact with others. They occur in various forms such as through criticism. Sung-deuk Oak discusses the confrontation between Anglo-American missionaries and Shamanism in his article Healing and exorcism: Christian encounters with Shamanism in early modern Korea.


Oaks article discusses the confrontation between Christianity and Shamanism. He argues that Anglo-American missionaries contributed to destroying Shamanism and other traditional Korean beliefs by labeling them as idol worship and religions that promoted superstition and polytheism.

Various factors facilitated the Korean’s acceptance of Christianity. First, Koreans lived in constant fear of evil spirits that lead to diseases according to them. The missionaries introduced medicines that were effective against these diseases leading people to abandon their traditional beliefs for Christianity. Second, the Sino-Japanese war weakened Korean’s beliefs in Chinese gods and made Christianity a more suitable religion for them. As a result, Christian missionaries were able to convert many Koreans in the period following this war. Third, the mechanisms that the missionaries used to preach Christianity tuned well with Koreans. Generally, biblical teachings were designed in a way to accommodate Koreans. For

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