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22 November 2006 - Thunder Bay (LU Agora)
Religion and Politics: Dr. Carl Young is fascinated by the interaction of religion and politics in Korea
Dr. Carl Young is a man of the world. Born in Montreal, he received a BA from McGill University, a Master's from Australian National University, and a PhD from the University of London. He is also fluent in French, English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Korean.
Young is an Assistant Professor of History at Lakehead University and is currently working on two research projects. The first focuses on the interactions between Canadian Protestant missionaries and Korean Protestants in the early twentieth century. The second involves reworking his PhD dissertation, which deals with religion and nationalism in Korea during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, specifically the native Korean religions that were politically active at the time. It was for this project that Young received a Junior Fellowship to conduct research in Korea at the Academy of Korean Studies last summer.
Young lived in Southeast Korea for two years during which time he had the opportunity to live both in the countryside and in large cities, to experience Korean culture, and to learn the language. He had taken two years off halfway through his undergraduate degree in 1988 to work as a volunteer for a church organization. He arrived eight months after the military dictatorship that had ruled the country for 35 years was overthrown, and the first democratic elections had taken place.
Young experienced a fragile period in Korean history; one that gave him insight into the power of the people, led by groups both religious and non-religious, who were driven toward democracy and economic reform. Seeing the interaction of religion, social change movements, and politics sparked a deep interest in East Asian Studies in the young scholar, and later influenced his research on Korean history and religion.
In 1910, when Korea was colonized by Japan and its culture and national identity were subsumed under imperialistic rule, religion became one of the few ways in which an individual could find self expression. The two native Korean religions that Young studies arose from this period.
The Tonghak or Eastern Learning movement developed in opposition to Christianity and Westernization in 1860. Its main premise was based on Kaebyok (Opening) ideology, which signalled the beginning of a new cosmic era and, with it, a new paradise on earth centring on Korea. This fostered a feeling of nationalism in the Korean population culminating in rebellion in 1894. Out of the Eastern Learning movement came the advent of a new religion in 1906, Chondogyo (Heavenly Way). A twentieth century Korean religion, its main philosophy stressed the divinity of all people, and contained elements borrowed from several other Korean religions, including Buddhism, Shamanism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Catholicism.
"Today in North and South Korea both the North and the South claim these movements as building Korea's national identity," says Young. "They are important players but there hasn't been a lot of research on them to date in Western languages."
An important aspect of Carl Young's research focuses on the interactions between Canadian Protestant missionaries and Korean Protestants in the early twentieth century. Working mainly in Northeastern Korea, Canadian missionaries were known for their social focus in the Christian gospel and liberal theology. Some of the Koreans that the Canadians were in contact with had the opportunity to come to Canada where they were trained by the Canadian missionaries. Upon their return to Korea, some became leaders of the Christian Social Movements that contributed to the democratic movement in the 1970s and 1980s.
Carl Young's research should help explain why Korea developed the way it did, and give us a better understanding of how religion and politics interact today.
Those who want to learn more about this fascinating country − particularly in light of recent news coverage of North Korea testing nuclear weapons − will be interested in attending his public lecture on November 30, 2006, being offered through the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, Thunder Bay Branch, and sponsored by the Lakehead University Department of History. This free public lecture entitled, "The Korean Peninsula: Crisis and Division" will take place on campus in RB-2047 and will begin at 8 p.m.
Rae-Anne Robinson is a Lakehead University student taking part in SPARK - Lakehead, a student writing program sponsored by The Chronicle-Journal.
4 November 2006 - Thunder Bay
From: Lakehead University Magazne (Fall/Winter 2006)
Nominated this year are articles by Dr. Helen Smith and former student Michel S. Beaulieu (MA 2003) for the J.P. Bertrand Award for best academic article. In the popular history category, Dr. Peter Raffo and John Potestio (MA 1982) have been nominated for the Gertrude H. Dyke Award for best popular full-length study. Former award winner Jean Morrison (MA 1974) is nominated for the George B. Macgillivray Award for best popular article. Award winners will be announced in January 2007 at a Gala held at the Thunder Bay Museum. The complete list of those nominated can be found below.
Elizabeth Arthur Award: (Academic full-length)
- Philip Girard, Bora Laskin: Bringing Law to Life (Toronto: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2005).
- K.C.A. Dawson, Original People and Euro Canadians in Northwestern Ontario: The Road West, the Hinge of a Developing State (Thunder Bay: Lakehead University Centre for Northern Studies, 2004).
J.P. Bertrand Award: (Academic article)
- Jayne Elliot, "Blurring the Boundaries of Space: Shaping Nursing Lives at the Red Cross Outposts in Ontario, 1922-1945," Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 21:4 (2004): 303-325.
- Michel S. Beaulieu, "The Best Picture Ever Made in Canada? Thunder Bay Films Limited and The Devil Bear," Canadian Journal of Film Studies 14:2 (Fall 2005): 18-37.
- Helen Smith and Pam Wakewich, "'I Was Not Afraid to Work': Female War Plant Employees and Their Work Environment" in Robert C. Thomsen and Nanette L. Hale, eds. Canadian Environments: Essays on Culture, Politics and History, Canadian Studies No. 2 (Bruxelles: P.I.E.-Peter Lang, 2005), 229-247.
- John S. Long, "How the Commissioners Explained Treaty Number 9 to the Ojibway and Cree in 1905," Ontario History (Spring 2006).
- Edward J. Hedican, "Understanding Emotional Experience in Fieldwork: Responding to Grief in a Northern Aboriginal Village," International Journal of Quantitiative Methods 5:1 (March 2006).
Gertrude H. Dyke Award: (Popular full-length)
- Peter Raffo, 1934-2004 Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital From Institution to Community A Transformation of Psychiatric Hospital Services (Thunder Bay: St. Joseph's Care Group, 2005).
- John Potestio, Italians in Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay: Lakehead University Chair of Italian Studies, 2005).
- Our Storied Past: The Legacy of Conmeee Township (Kakabeka Falls: Corp. of the Township of Conmee, 2003).
- Thorold J. Tronrud and David Nicholson, Thunder Bay Quiz Book (Thunder Bay: Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, 2005).
George B. Macgillivray Award: (Popular article)
- Mike Southon and Bruce Pynn, "Lord Stanley's Bottles," Canadian Bottle and Stoneware Collector 9:3 (November 2004): 28-33.
- Jean Morrison, "Cobalt Agitators Stir Up Lakehead Union Interest," Highgrader Magazone (Fall/Christmas 2005): 22-26.
- Wayne Petit, "Old Town Soda: The History of Coca-Cola in Thunder Bay," Soda Pop Dreams Magazine 9:40 (Spring 2006).
- Elle Andra-Warner, "Up in the Air: The Lake Superior Link to Bush Plan History," Lake Superior Magazine (April-May 2006).
For more information on the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, visit its website at http://www.thunderbaymuseum.com/