Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Religion, PhD


School of Religion

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Karen Jo Torjesen

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Anselm Kyongsuk Min

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Helene Slessarev-Jamir

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Kenan B. Osborne

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Jin Sung Cholee


Feminist Theology, Gender Analysis, German Reunification, Korean Reunification, North & South Korean Women, Religion

Subject Categories

Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Women's Studies


In this study, I have focused on the process for an eventual reunification of North and South Korea. In this process, Korean political, economic, cultural and religious issues are necessarily present. My study focuses on cultural and religious factors. I adopt the German reunification as a case study. The German reunification process provides Koreans with lessons about the negative changes in the status of German women since the German reunification caused extreme instances of the loss of status and economic opportunity for women. German reunification shows that the unequal situation and systems in society were not only due to political positions. Strong religious factors deeply influenced the German mentality.

A similar religion-factor is at work in North Korean society which is influenced by Confucianism and in South Korean society which is influenced by Confucianism and conservative Christianity. I argue that religion is one of the major factors in the political culture of Korea, and religion can either assist a fair and equal process for both women and men or it can in a biased way maintain a male-oriented form of reunification. Consequently, the cultural and religious factors in this process of reunification must include an equalization of women and men. This can only take place if Korean women are major participants in the entire reunification process. There is a serious need for a reunification theology which incorporate gender into Korean theology, thus providing a 'feminist reunification theology.' A 'feminist reunification theology' presents basic theological principles that will help build an egalitarian community. There are three important ways to include women's concern for true reunification: 1) The creation of an egalitarian community in work, family and society; 2) The restoration of humanity by healing love and forgiveness through the power of Cross; and 3) The need for religion to be reformed in which a women can be a co-leader in family, church and nation.