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6 June 2017 | Chae Young Kim (Sogang University, Seoul): Varieties of Personal Religious Experience in Korean New Religious Movements: A Jamesian Approach


Contributing to the Centre’s research line “Spirituality and Lifestyles” and to our research focus on innovation in religion (see our Mission statement), Professor Chae Young Kim (Sogang University, Seoul) will present new religious movements in Korea. Professor Kim will be visiting the Centre for Religious Studies from 5-9 June and participate in ISR’s international conference “Arguing Religion: Disagreement, Recognition, and the Reach of Argumentative Debate”.

The goal of this talk is to outline key psycho-spiritual features in various personal religious experiences within Korean New Religious Movements (NRMs). In Korean NRMs, as in other religions, religious experiences are diffused and disseminated from key persons to ordinary participants or followers. However, reports of religious experiences among ordinary followers are usually not collected or documented systematically for research purposes. Moreover, ordinary participants’ experience materials are too numerous to handle them in a single paper. Therefore, this paper focuses on a comparison between four key persons’ religious experiences that have led to the formation of NRMs in Korea: Choe, Je-u (“Eastern Learning”); Kang, Jeungsan ("Daesoonjinrihoe"); Kwon, Shin-Chan ("Salvation Sect"); Yun, Julia ("Mary's Ark of Salvation"). Methodologically, William James’s psychology of religion will be introduced to articulate the dynamic flow of these key persons’ religious experiences.

Prof. Chae Young Kim, Sogang University (Seoul), Department of Religious Studies

Speaker Biography
Chae Young Kim is professor of Religious Studies at Sogang University (Jesuit Foundation, Seoul). His main research interests are in psychology of religion, religious education, contemporary Korean religious experiences and their interpretation in light of the works of William James, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Carl Gustav Jung, and Bernard Lonergan. Professor Kim served as president for the Korean Association for Religious Studies from 2014 to 2016 and is editorial board member of the international journals Religion and British Journal of Religious Education. He has published several articles in English in The Heythrop Journal, The Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Journal of Dharma,and The Journal of Religion and Health.In Korean, he co-authored several books in the fields of religious studies, psychology of religion and philosophy of religion. He is the translator of William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience and Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death into Korean.

Event date: 
Tuesday, 6 June, 2017 - 11:15 to 13:00
Aula Piccola | Fondazione Bruno Kessler | Via S. Croce, 77 - 38122 Trento