Vacillating between the Cold War and the Culture War: The Contemporary Predicament of the Korean Evangelical Right

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Abstract

Since the early 21st century, conservative evangelicals in South Korea have actively engaged in contentious politics, playing a central role in organizing the right-wing social movement in civil society. At first, such politicized evangelicals, who may be dubbed as the Korean version of the Evangelical Right, conjured up the old specter of the Korean War and stood against those who, in their minds, went against the Cold War dogmata of anticommunism and pro-Americanism. Over the last two decades, however, the Korean Evangelical Right has expanded its battle line to confront other types of perceived enemies on the Culture War front, especially Islam and LGBTQ persons. By tracing the genealogy of their social movement, this paper explores the ways in which the Korean Evangelical Right finds itself in the predicament of wavering between the geopolitics of the Cold War and the global politics of the Culture War, insofar as these two wars operate on different sets of the friend-foe distinctions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-134
Number of pages33
JournalKorea Journal
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Ewha Womans University Research Grant of 2019.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Academy of Korean Studies, 2021.

Keywords

  • Cold War
  • Culture War
  • Evangelical Right
  • social movement
  • South Korea

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