Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

Nagel Institute banner

The Making of Korean Christianity
Protestant Encounters with Korean Religions, 1876-1915

Studies in World Christianity

This series features original scholarly works focused on particular movements, traditions, ideas or historic episodes in the development of Christianity in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific, and among migrating communities from these regions. Joel Carpenter, Nagel Institute director, is series editor.

AboutKorean Christianity

A major catalyst for the growth of Korean Christianity occurred at the turn of the twentieth century when Western missionaries encountered the religious landscape of Korea. These first-generation missionaries have been framed as destroyers of Korean religion and culture. Yet, as Sung-Deuk Oak shows in The Making of Korean Christianity, existing Korean religious tradition also impacted the growth and character of evangelical Christianity. The melding of indigenous Korean religions and Christianity led to a highly localized Korean Christianity that flourished in the early modern era. The Making of Korean Christianity sorts fact from myth in this exhaustive examination of the local and global forces that shaped Christianity on the Korean Peninsula.


"This groundbreaking study is the best book written on the development of Korean Christianity. Oak traces the early encounter between Protestant missionaries and Korean religions and moves the scholarship in new, deeper directions. The Making of Korean Christianity is required reading."

–Dana L. Robert, Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission, Boston University

"The Making of Korean Christianity is the most comprehensive and significant contribution to the study of Protestant Christianity in Korea that has appeared in a generation. Oak challenges the received academic discourse on the first generation of Christians and shows how early Korean Protestants dealt with sophisticated issues in theology and religious practice to arrive at their own solutions in the process of cultural encounter. This book will be the principal source in English on this period of Korean Church history for many years."

—James H. Grayson, Emeritus Professor of Modern Korean Studies, The University of Sheffield

"The Making of Korean Christianity is a remarkable book. Oak moves beyond the conventional stereotypical view of the early Christian missionaries in Korea and expounds a deeper understanding of dealing with the missionaries' encounter with indigenous Korean religions. I highly recommended this book not only for those who are interested in the history of Christianity in Korea but also for the scholars and students of Korean spirituality and religious traditions and inter-religious dialogue in Korea."

—Young-chan Ro, Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies and Director, Korean Studies Center, George Mason University

Ordering information


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nulla ut nibh.


Lorem ipsum dolor sitamet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nulla ut nibh.