[KS] Judy Han, Korean Evangelicals in Afghanistan (3/13, 4 p.m.)

Christine Hong cjhong at berkeley.edu
Fri Feb 29 12:56:46 EST 2008

********************************Please post widely************************************

Please join us for the following important critical perspective:
Ju Hui Judy Han (Geography, UC Berkeley)
"Missions Without Missionaries?: Politics of Secularity in the Case of Korean Evangelicals in Afghanistan"   

Thursday, March 13, 2008
4 p.m.
Barbara Christian Room, 554 Barrows Hall 
group of twenty-three South Korean evangelicals made worldwide
headlines in 2007 when they were taken hostage by the Taliban for
nearly six weeks in Afghanistan.  While critics pointed to the hostage
situation as indicative of misguided missionary zeal and recklessness,
mission advocates continued to claim that the hostages should be
described as “church volunteers” or “humanitarian aid workers.”  The
insistence on avoiding the term “evangelical missionaries” certainly
reflects the precarious nature of proselytizing illegally and the
obvious need for secrecy in clandestine operations.  But claims of
secularity also arise out of mission strategies that espouse
voluntarism and humanitarianism over conspicuous evangelism and
conversion—an important feature of the new evangelical
internationalism.  Drawing from field research of “Islam missions” and
“frontier missions,” this talk discusses how Korean/American
missionaries reconcile notions of secularity and religiosity in the
global capitalist-evangelical assemblage.
Ju Hui Judy Han is a
PhD candidate in geography with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender,
and Sexuality at UC Berkeley.  Her dissertation concerns the politics
of evangelism and subject-formation, and how contemporary
Korean/American missions both support and subvert existing racial,
gender, and geopolitical hierarchies associated with colonial missions
and US hegemony.

Open to the public.  Sponsored by the
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Center for Korean
Studies, and the Asian Cultural Studies Working Group.  For further
information, contact Christine Hong (cjhong at berkeley.edu).
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