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Religions 2018, 9(9), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090268

Performing the Bible in the Korean Context: Korean Ways of Reading, Singing, and Dramatizing the Scriptures

College of Theology & United Graduate School of Theology, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role and Meaning of Religion for Korean Society)
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Abstract

The present study explores the performative nature of the Bible as a sacred text in the Korean context. Drawing on the theory of scriptural performance advocated by James W. Watts, I investigate its character as words and contents. First, I delve into the scriptural performance of thoroughly reading (and listening to) the Bible at the level of words. Second, I scrutinize the scriptural performance of singing and dramatizing the Bible at the level of contents. The specific context of South Korea—whether religious, cultural, or social—alerts us to the performed transformation of the semantic range of the long-standing Christian tradition. Given the cultural differences between Western and Eastern Christianity, I contend that the adaptation of Christianity to Korean soil renders the performative dimension of the scriptures all the more semantic. In other words, the Korean ways of performing the Bible are essentially deeply rooted in those of signifying it. In the long term, Christianity turns out to be such a global religion that it provokes a more complex analysis of its scriptural performance in its widely differing range of semantics. View Full-Text
Keywords: Korean Christianity; Bible; scriptures; performance; semantics; Tongdok; Pansori; bibliodrama Korean Christianity; Bible; scriptures; performance; semantics; Tongdok; Pansori; bibliodrama
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Lim, S.U. Performing the Bible in the Korean Context: Korean Ways of Reading, Singing, and Dramatizing the Scriptures. Religions 2018, 9, 268.

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