By Professor Albert L. Park, Claremont McKenna College
Between 1925 and 1937, religious groups, including the Presbyterian Church, YMCA and Ch’ondogyo, conducted widespread, comprehensive campaigns to transform Korea into a “Heavenly Kingdom on Earth” that would be anchored by religion, agriculture and a pastoral way of life. The establishment and continuance of this model of modernity required the support and involvement of rural youth who were increasingly yearning for an urban life and leaving the country for the city. This talk examines the youth culture of the 1920s and 1930s and how religious movements sought to discipline rural youth by transforming them into the vanguard for rural reconstruction. In so doing, this talk highlights and analyzes the relationship between youth and modernity.
Bio: Albert L. Park is an assistant professor of Korean and East Asian history at Claremont McKenna College. He is currently finishing his manuscript, Building a Heaven on Earth: Religion, Activism and Protest in Japanese Occupied Korea, which studies the origins of faith-based movements in modern Korea.
*Light refreshments will be served.
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