AbstractSince the reformation, from the seventeenth century onwards, the christian church has evangelised through missionary activity. Church growth has been rapid in the second half of the twentieth century, particularly in third world countries. This phenomenon has given rise to the development of Missiology and the Study of Church growth as independerit; fields of theology. In this dissertation, the historically unpreledented growth of the Korean Church has been analyzed as singularly important model for Church Growth Theology. This study is concerned with the relationship between Church Growth and Shamanism as the traditional Korean Religion. It focuses on special elements of Korean Church Growth, including the translation of the Bible prior to the entry of missionaries, the astounding numerical growth of Church membership, and the prominence of Christians in social and political structures. The contribution of specific social conditions, pastoral zeal, and 'early prayer' and Bible study movements to Church growth are examined. More important, however, is the influence of elements of Shamanism in establishing Christianity as a popular religion. The affinities between Christian Doctrine and Shamanistic practices, in particular, the decisive role of Shaman, are explored, and both the positive and negative aspects of the melding of the two religions identified. While the increasing power and wealth of the Korean Church and the remarkable capacity for self-prorogation have been manifested in its extensive missionary programmes, the principle task confronting the church is how to dispel the compromising or damaging features of Shamanism from Korean Christianity. Since similar problems occur in other world Churches which encounter indigenous religions in the process of evangelism, it is hope that this hesitation will eliminate possible accommodations, between Christianity and traditional beliefs, and provide a basis for subsequent studies of Church Growth.
Thesis (M.A.)-University of Durban-Westville, 1993.