Rhetoric and Rituals of Conversion and Commitment among Contemporary South Korean Evangelical Women
This chapter explores middle-class women's experiences and encounters with evangelicalism and patriarchy in South Korea, which is renowned for the phenomenal success of its evangelical churches. It focuses on a female, small-group culture to study the ways women become constituted as new feminine subjects through the development of a novel evangelical habitus—one that is constituted by new dispositions, both embodied and linguistic, and is developed through ritualized rhetorical, bodily, and spiritual practices. Through participation in cell groups, the chapter reveals how women sought healing for experiences of “intense domestic suffering,” notably when attempts at other solutions failed, such as psychotherapy or shamanistic intervention. Yet in spite of the empowered sense of self that many achieved through these therapeutic, charismatically oriented communities, women were still resubjugated to the structures of social and religious patriarchy.
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