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pISSN : 1976-8117 / eISSN : 2671-678X
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2020, Vol.13, No.1

  • 1.

    Sufism, Mystical Dimension of Islam: With Special Reference to Modern European Develpment

    Ah Young Kim | 2020, 13(1) | pp.7~51 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    Differentiating themselves from conventional religious norms, Sufism has sought direct, personal interactions with God through mystical and spiritual approaches rather than those of reason. Advocates for abstinence in early Islamic history searched for definite paths to salvation in prayer, meditation, and the restriction of pleasure. Nevertheless, they concluded that abstinence alone could not remain as their sole pursuit in life. Instead, they realized that their restrictive practices have been channels for achieving a deeper purpose of knowing and adoring their God. By continuously cleansing the soul, mysticism and its various brotherhoods developed as a way of building upon this desire to grow closer to God until one reaches permanent unity with Him, which is Sufism. Grounded on the works of Rabia of Basra who emphasized the importance of the love for God, Junayd al-Baghdadi who set the foundations of the Sufi order, Bayazid al-Bistami who became known as the "ecstatic" Sufi through his controversial claims, and al-Ghazali who synthesized Sufi ideology with traditional Islamic theology, Sufism played a pivotal role in expanding Islam across the globe with its appeals of tolerance and spirituality. Sufism's regard as the spiritual healer and oasis for Muslims and Westerners who have been dissatisfied with the formalized and secularized religions of contemporary European societies must be recognized. Hence, methods for sharing the Gospel to Muslims and nonbelievers must be responsive to an age of persisting interests in supernatural and spiritual worlds, contrary to the expectations of modern paradigms.
  • 2.

    Reforming the Islamic Intellectuality: ‘Re-sacralization of Knowledge’ in Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s Thought

    Steve Yim | 2020, 13(1) | pp.53~85 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    With the modern worldview and rapid secularization people in the West expected the religions would be disappeared from human minds. But the expectation could not be a fact. The situation goes the opposite. As Peter Berger said de-secularization was going on and the influence of religious fundamentalism became stronger since mid-20th century. Rapid growing of fundamentalism in Islamic world is a good example. Muslim world is facing a challenge. Muslim worldview became rigid and Muslim society is isolated from non-Muslim worlds. It is an urgent question how Islamic world co-exists with other civilizations. Most of ordinary Muslims want to live with non-Muslims peacefully. Many Muslim intelligent who want to reform Islamic closed worldview try to find another way for the future of Islam. The challenge from inside is to rediscover Islamic identity, especially that of Islamic intellectuality. Nasr agrees that the crisis faced by Muslims in the contemporary globalized context is caused by Western secularism which rejects knowledge of the sacred. To overcome it, he argues for the re-sacralization of knowledge which can be accomplished by re-discovering the rich legacy of Islamic philosophy and re-constructing Islamic intellectuality which integrates both reason and spirituality. Nasr raises the critical issue of religious pluralism. Although Nasr believe that Islam is the true religion which contains the absolute truth, he also accepts there are genuine revelations apart from Islam.
  • 3.

    Missionary Approach to Understanding of the Death of Traditional Kazakh People : Focusing on Funeral Culture and Its Customs

    Sungtaek Nam | 2020, 13(1) | pp.87~122 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    For Kazakh Christians, their funerals are often an occasion for conflict with Kazakh Muslims. It is due to the incongruity between the traditional Kazakh people's funeral rites and the teachings of the Bible. This situation raises the need for adequate biblical guidance on the practical issues facing the Kazakh church. In this regard, this study aims to seek an approach for mission by understanding the perspective of the death of the traditional Kazakh nomad and illuminating it with biblical truth. In the Central Asian region, indigenous folk religions such as Tengrism, ancestor worship, and saint worship have been practiced before the arrival of Islam. Sufism Islam, which spread throughout the region, did not reject the rites and ideas of indigenous folk religions, but rather accepted them as an element of Islam, which in turn led to the spread of Islam in Central Asia. From ancient times to the present day, the Kazakh people's religious practice combines Islamic ideas with elements of traditional folk religions, and shows the aspect of Syncretism in content. Understanding of death, one of the main themes of the Kazakh religious life, is also mixed-colored. Traditional Kazakh people's understanding of the death and afterlife is shown in their funeral cultures and customs. For Kazakh Muslims, death is not merely a separation of souls from the body, but a transition from one world to another. In other words, after the life of this life is over, it moves to the life of that world. This understanding has been the basis of shaping faith in 'Aruak,' the ancestor's soul, among the Kazakhs since ancient times. 'Aruak' forms the core of the Kazakh people's immortality of souls, and it is the basis for the understanding that man will not die by blending with the Tengrism, the origin of this idea, and that of Islam, which was preached later. In this sense, the belief that the dead have a lasting relationship with the living has been formed, and these beliefs are visible through the practice of various customs of the Kazakh people's funeral. The Kazakh people's perspective of death and the afterlife are in opposition to what the Bible says. The main doctrines of death, death, resurrection, and judgment are far from biblical truths. Nevertheless, the missionary approach must be taken carefully. Church leaders and missionaries should abandon their one-sided condemnation, denial, or uncritical acceptance of their ideas and understand their funeral culture and the context in which its meanings are formed. And a long-term, enduring effort is required to test and criticize the ideas with biblical truth and transform them into biblical perspectives. Through this process, a proper missionary approach to the Kazakh people's understanding of death will be made.
  • 4.

    Missiological Understanding of “Mission and Suffering”

    Esther Eun Kyoung Chang | 2020, 13(1) | pp.123~160 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Since the release of the work (An) Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens by William Carey in 1792, numerous Christians around the world have dedicated themselves as missionaries and persevered through challenges to spread the Gospel around the world. Even today, missional life of missionaries working around the world is full of hardship. Hence, it is worth exploring the question, why is this the case? When I first received an invitation to write a manuscript on mission and suffering, I thought that there would be quite a number of articles on this topic, mainly because of thinking that mission and hardship could hardly be separated. However, in reality, there were not that many studies published by missionaries or those in the field of missions. It could be argued that this is due to the fact that such proposition has been widely accepted. To address this gap in the field, I propose to explore mission and suffering in this article by focusing on some cases of challenges that I, as a missionary, have experienced in firsthand and that other missionaries in diverse cross-cultural mission fields have encountered. I will examine mission and suffering through the following key questions. First, what are the meanings and significance of mission and suffering? Second, how should suffering be interpreted and conceptualized from a missiological perspective? Third, what can missionaries who encounter suffering do as a missiological response? Fourth, how do Korean churches react to missiological responsibilities on missional suffering? Missional suffering refers to the entirety of suffering and pain that evolves from evangelization. Therefore, the author defines missional suffering as hardships encountered in mission fields when missionaries dedicate to Missio Dei. This suffering could be perceived as an entirety of a missionary’s life and ministry. It is possible to propose that missional suffering results from factors that can be broadly categorized into intrinsic and extrinsic ones. Intrinsic factors that lead to suffering include but are not limited to one’s own private world, challenges related to relationships among family members, and tensions and among missionaries, along with conflicts between mission agencies, supporting church, and/or mission organizations. Compared to missionaries from Western cultures, generally Korean missionaries have a tendency to endure hardship without openly sharing it with others. This tendency could result from Korean culture, and such inclination often leads to greater challenges and hardships. External factors also vary widely, depending on the region that missionaries work. Missionaries who work in Muslim regions, frontier mission areas, and/or other Socialistic countries experience spiritual pressure or weariness from the possibility of their identities as missionaries being exposed. On the other hand, some key challenges that missionaries in Latin American countries experience include threats and other security issues. If missionaries fully comprehend missional sufferings and recognize throughout their lifetime that they have a special calling, they can rejoice in their walk with Jesus while serving in mission fields in which they had experience hardship. Furthermore, interpretation of missional suffering should be from a missional perspective and acknowledge current existing gap between missional suffering and missiological suffering. Missional suffering of the missionaries who work in cross-cultural countries should be seen from a perspective of Missio Dei that bears God’s will. A better conceptualization of missional suffering from a missiological perspective requires an understanding of mission and suffering from a creative tension. Such creative tension that exists between mission and suffering should be interpreted in reference to the incarnated life of Jesus Christ. Missionaries are “too valuable to be lost.” Even to this very moment, they continue to suffer from internal and external factors that cause sufferings and, in extreme cases, decide to dropout. Korean churches, however, are not cognizant enough of such crisis. Consequently, missionaries experience double suffering due to mental and emotional struggles. Korean churches should sincerely welcome missionaries, who continue their ministry in the midst of hardships, and ultimately diminish the level of suffering that these missionaries face. If the relationship between mission and suffering is interpreted from a perspective of the life of Jesus Christ who lived for others, sufferings in mission fields would not be considered as hardships anymore. Furthermore, missionaries themselves can move forward to a place of the glory of God as the Gospel flows to local people. The Apostle Paul also confesses in Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Like his confession, the cross-cultural mission fields are not battlegrounds for survival or places replete of hardships, but rather, such missional striving leads to delightful life for Christians who fully live out the Gospel and share it with others. By doing so, they can deeply experience God’s presence, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and unending love of God regardless of hardships, loneliness, and fear that they encounter in cross-cultural mission fields.
  • 5.

    Conversion to Christ as Spiritual Migration

    Gene Daniels | 2020, 13(1) | pp.161~203 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Metaphors have a powerful way of shaping our understanding, and sometimes it can be very helpful to introduce new ones into our conversations about the frontiers of mission. In this paper I will contend that using human migration as a metaphor for conversion offers us new and important insights about what happens when Muslims turn to Christ. There are a few issues in particular that this lens brings into focus. Human migration theory helps us realize that there are two primary categories of factors involved in Muslim conversions, those that “push” them away from Islam, and those that “pull” them to Christ. Migration theory also points out that most migrants don’t simply go from “point A to B” in some kind of straight line. Conversion for many Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) is much more like a series of steps, and those steps are not always linear, or clearly sequential. Also, using the analog of human migration opens our understanding to some of the collateral issues of Muslim conversions to Christ.
  • 6.

    Communicating with Muslims: The Hui in China

    Jae Woo Jeong | 2020, 13(1) | pp.205~246 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    Earlier Christian response to Islam was essentially polemical and defensive. The Christian workers from the West did not understand the local culture and people, so they just delivered the Christian message to the Muslims without a contextualized method, such as an inference model in communication. We need to change the way of communication method from source oriented to people and context oriented in a way that people can truly understand. This writing project attempts to examine how to communicate to a Muslim people group, specifically the Hui, who are resistant to the gospel. In doing so, this study employs two methodological perspectives: communication theories, and the Hui in China. This study strives to approach the human elements that lie beneath the surface level of Islam. The paper is to show that understanding the Hui’s culture and people and meeting their felt needs in order to open the lines of communication are the appropriate methods for mission among the Hui in China.