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With the extraordinary growth of Christianity in the global south has come the rise of "reverse missions," in which countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America send missionaries to re-evangelize the West. In The Spirit Moves West, Rebecca Kim uses South Korea as a case study of how non-Western missionaries target Americans, particularly white Americans. She draws on four years of interviews, participant observation, and surveys of South Korea's largest non-denominational missionary-sending agency, University Bible Fellowship, in order to provide an inside look at this growing phenomenon. Known as the "Asian Protestant Superpower," South Korea is second only to the United States in the number of missionaries it sends abroad: approximately 22,000 in over 160 countries. Conducting her research both in the US and in South Korea, Kim studies the motivations and methods of these Korean evangelicals who have, since the 1970s, sought to "bring the gospel back" to America.
By offering the first empirically-grounded examination of this much-discussed phenomenon, Kim explores what non-Western missions will mean to the future of Christianity in America and around the world.
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Rebecca Y. Kim is the Frank R. Seaver Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Ethnic Studies program at Pepperdine University.
"Kim's book deals with significant issues in the history and sociology of religion such as sect to church development, neo-colonialism, the religious other, the rise of Christianity in the global south, and the supposed secularization of America. This book is well organized and informative and can be digested by individuals new to the academic study of religion while being illuminating for the seasoned scholar."--Maclane E. Heward, Reading Religion
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