Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion

First Advisor

Carrie Doehring, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Larry Graham

Third Advisor

Richard Clemmer-Smith


Communal contextual paradigm of pastoral theology, Korean American congregation, Korean military wives, Metaphor of living human web and cell, Pastoral care, Pastoral theology


Korean military wives have been symbolized as "dirty," "nothing," and "evil" by Koreans, Korean Americans, and their American families. They also experience same level of oppression and discrimination within Korean American congregations. In Korea, the women suffered poverty, sexual violence, and Confucian gender discrimination. They have also experienced racial and sexual oppression, intercultural familial conflicts and violence, and identity crisis in America. All of those experiences are caused the sense of not belonging of Korean military wives.

The sense of not belonging and desperation can be explained well by Andrew Sung Park's theology of han. The theology of han shows the han of the women can be resolved only as the offender are willing to stand in the solidarity with Korean military wives. Asian feminist theologians point out that Asian women experience God as life-giving power and ultimately seek to the full humanity in the image of God. Meanwhile, liberation psychology focuses on the socio-political aspects of human psychology. It argues that the primary purpose of psychology in Latin America should make Latin Americans critically confront of the oppressive and dominant social and political realities.

Conscientization plays a critical role in developing my thesis. To practice of resistance and transformation, the process of conscientization is essential both to Korean American congregations and to Korean military wives. To Korean American congregations, they need to critically reflect upon their privilege, power, and unjust socio-cultural and religious structures. Korean military wives need to confront their hanful life realities and proclaim their full humanity in the image of God.

Under the communal contextual approach of pastoral theology and care, I propose three pastoral strategies of Korean military wives: (1) Korean American congregations should be authentic resisting and transforming community, which is grounded in God's justice and life-giving power. (2) Korean American congregations need the power of de-powering and de-centering of power systems toward converting power abuse into creative power. Korean military wives also need to rediscover and develop pre-existing but unnoticed power or capacity within themselves. (3) Korean American congregations work together with Korean military wives to resist social injustice through transforming actions.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Bocheol Chang


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

210 p.


Theology, Social psychology