The Spirit Moves West: Korean Missionaries in America

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9780199942107: The Spirit Moves West: Korean Missionaries in America
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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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About the Author:


Rebecca Y. Kim is the Frank R. Seaver Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Ethnic Studies program at Pepperdine University.

Review:


"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


"This is a highly informative book that would benefit any student of religion."--Journal of Religion


"The Spirit Moves West is a wonderful resource for all those interested in global American Christianity and those interested in Christian mission."--Missiology: An International Review


"Kim's sound social science methodology enables a rich account of the stories of UBF missionaries across the United States."--Journal of the American Academy of Religion


"An in-depth study of the country s thriving University Bible Fellowship on the basis of years of interviews and participant observation."--Christian Century


"A powerful tale of a growing movement--missionaries to the United States. Wonderfully researched and written, The Spirit Moves West is engaging, important, and a page-turner. For most readers, what is contained in these pages is stunning."
--Michael O. Emerson, Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Rice University


"The Spirit Moves West is a fascinating and important book for anyone interested in how Korean Christians share their faith with non-Koreans." --Stimulus


"...[T]his brilliantly argued book is a candid analysis of missionary movement and world Christianity and a timely critique of the power equations in the global church." --Mission Studies


"Kim's intriguing book provides a unique focus on hyper-Korean Evangelicals sent as missionaries to reach white Americans in the US... Highly recommended." --CHOICE


"Imaginative, rich, and thought-provoking... This book will appeal to a wide-ranging audience... This book is accessible to not only sociology students but also history and religion students as well. In addition, individuals from within the evangelical community will likely find Kim's work to be interesting and insightful." --Sociology of Religion


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