The Motives of Self-Sacrifice in Korean American Culture, Family, and Marriage: From Filial Piety to Familial Integrity

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9781625641601: The Motives of Self-Sacrifice in Korean American Culture, Family, and Marriage: From Filial Piety to Familial Integrity

The concept of self-sacrifice is highly important to Korean Americans. With hierarchy of age, social status, and gender-defined roles taking primacy over equality and justice, self-sacrifice becomes instrumental in maintaining family and social relationships. Unfortunately, in family relationships, sacrifice has more to do with submission and endurance than it does with sacrificial service that is redemptive and mutually beneficial. When self-sacrifice carries hidden motives-coercive responsibility, obligation, shame, guilt, or one's reputation-that "self-sacrifice" is not self-giving, neither serving nor being of mutual benefit. In this context, it is important to explore the attitudes and motives of self-sacrifice in Korean American families. In unlocking and exploring the dynamics of the theology and practice of self-sacrifice for Korean Americans, this book explores cultural virtues, marital relationships, gender inequality, domestic violence, and their theological implications. The author introduces a new approach and model with a proposal for a healthier and a more judicious understanding of self-sacrifice for Korean American family relationships. The element of "equal regard" as pertaining to self-sacrifice offers Korean Americans a refreshing hope in the perspective of familial relationships and a liberating casting-off of culturally and religiously imposed burdens. The Korean American family ought to be grounded on a love ethic of equal regard and place its value on mutuality, self-sacrifice, and individual fulfillment. When this is done, sacrificial love can be understood as justly appropriated for both husbands and wives, males and females, and parents and children. Thus, Christian teaching and theology may deliver a more transparent message of true agape and its liberating effects for the marginalized, especially women and children.

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About the Author:

Chul Woo Son received his PhD degree in pastoral counseling from Fuller Theological Seminary. He currently serves Korean Central Presbyterian Church (Centreville, Virginia) as Pastor of Family Counseling Ministry.

Review:

Son's work speaks with biblical, psychological, and cross-cultural languages fluently and impressively to many audiences in Christian counseling, family therapy, and even church ministry. The paradoxical aspects of self-sacrifice are excellently articulated in the psychological, relational, and theological realms. --Kwanjik Lee, Chongshin University and Seminary, South Korea

The research findings are empowering and helpful to Korean pastors and pastoral counselors to aid both domestic victims and offenders. (Also included are) practical solutions to understand pathological family dynamics and prevention of domestic violence. --Sunny Song, Talbot Theological Seminary, California

Sunny Song, Talbot Theological Seminary, California --Eung Yul Ryoo, KCPC

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