Munster and Minjung : re-reading the Anabaptist Münster kingdom from a perspective of Korean Minjung (common people) theology

Chung, Youjin (2018-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The main interest of this research is to reinterpret the sixteenth-century radical Reformation in general and the event of the Anabaptist Kingdom of Münster in particular, through the lens of the twentieth-century Korean Minjung Theology. This revisits not only to the radical Reformation as the place where the suffering/crucified minjung and Messiah are meeting together and the place where the liberated/resurrected minjung and Messiah are encountering together. It also re-invites the Anabaptist Kingdom of Münster as the place of hybridity, wherein the radical Reformers and the common people are dialectically driven to participate and contribute to the Reformation both as guru and avatar; victimizers and victims; and sinners and sinned-against. This helps looking anew the rank-and-file minjung as being-in-the Messiah; both as the protagonists (guru), who have achieved their liberation by themselves, and the psalmists (avatar), who have received their salvation by the Messiah. By connecting this perichoresis to the contemporary suffering context as the epitome of ecclesia semper reformanda, the research results are being portrayed as follows; Chapter 1: Introduction The premise of the researcher is that history is not an objective, external historical reality. Rather historians play a pivotal role in constructing history. The researcher has made use of the constructive theological methodology in order to make Korean Minjung Theology –Minjung-hermeneutics, the dialectic of han-dan –and Anabaptist Kingdom of Münster as an open conversation. The researcher enquires to what extent Korean Minjung Theology stands in the tradition of the sixteenth-century Radical Reformation rather than the Magisterial Reformation. Chapter 2: Re-Reading the Reformation From Below In this chapter history from below is being used as methodology to challenge the traditional historiography. The chapter therefore gives more attention to the Christian masses –the voiceless, the ordinary faithful. A rewriting of this history concentrates on the Reformation of the common men –the way they reacted and contributed to the Reformation. In this sense, the radical Reformation and the Anabaptist movements shed new light against the Magisterial Reformation by directing the centre of interest away from the princes and theologians to the peasants and ordinary folks. This chapter, however, presupposes that both are not contradictory, but complementary in their dialectic and dynamic tensions. Chapter 3: Re-Reading the Radical Reformers as Being-in-the-Common Men This chapter provides a historical and diachronic reading of Münster Anabaptism, centring on so-called the “bastard line” (sic) of radical Reformers, namely, Thomas Müntzer (1489-1525), Hans Hut (1490–1527), Melchior Hoffman (1495–1543), and John Bockelson (John of Leiden) (1509?-1536). Although each of them, in their chain of connections, left an indelible imprint on the rise of Münster Anabaptism, this chapter more focuses on the avatar-hood than the guru-ship in presenting their significant contributions. Each of radical Reformers inexorably sets them up in a certain way of being-in-the-common men, which is, (1) Thomas Müntzer, the radical reformer, as being-in-the-retributive common men, (2) Hans Hut, the radical reformer, as being-in-the-restorative common men, (3) Melchior Hoffman, the radical reformer, as being-in-the-revelatory common men, and (4) John Bockelson, the radical reformer, as being-in-the-rhetorical common men. In this light, the Münster event is also seen as the being-in-the-Communal Reformation under the dialectic of guru-avatar; radical Reformer-common men as a whole. Chapter 4: Re-Reading Korean Minjung Theology as Being-in-the-Korean Minjung This is an attempt to read the radical Reformers from the perspective of Korean minjung, the suffering common people. The rationale for applying this minjung hermeneutics into the interpretation of radicals is three-fold; (1) its dynamic and changing concept, (2) its solidarity with Jesus (and the Jesus-event), and (3) its messianic role through suffering. The dialectic of han-dan is also suggested to elaborate and enlarge, without diminishing and distorting, the dialectic of guru-avatar as its dynamic equivalence. By delving into the viewpoints of four selected minjung theologians, namely, (1) Suh, Nam-Dong’ Spirit of Missio-Dei, (2) Ahn, Byung-Mu’s socio-biblical analysis of ochlos, (3) Kim, Young-Bok’s Messianic Politics, and (4) Hyun, Young-Hak’s Korean mask dance This chapter attempts to construct the critical and creative synthesis of the double-mirror reading, that is, the radical Reformers, seen from Korean Minjung Theology, in terms of one way of being in the avatar-hood for the common men (minjung). This creates a new portrait of the radical Reformers in Münster as follows: (1) Thomas Müntzer seen from Suh, Nam-Dong weighs his avatar-hood toward the retributive minjung in the Spirit, (2) Hans Hut seen from Ahn, Byung-Mu weighs his avatar-hood toward the restorative minjung in the ochlos, (3) Melchior Hoffman seen from Kim, Yong-Bock weighs his avatar-hood toward the revelatory minjung in the Messianic Politics, and (4) John Bockelson seen from Hyun, Young-Hak weighs his avatar-hood toward the rhetorical minjung in the Korean mask dance. Chapter 5: Re-Reading the Anabaptist Kingdom of Münster from Korean Minjung Theology The purpose of this chapter is to apply a diachronic-synchronic reading of the history. This includes the necessity of posting Münster Anabaptism as the place of hybridity, depending on its dynamic interconnection between the avatar-hood of the radical Reformers and the guru-ship of the common men, or the prophetic practice of the radical Reformers and the messianic practice of the common men: (1) John Matthjisson as being-in-the-immigrant Melchiorite prophets, the radicals, (2) Bernhard Rothmann as being-in-the-native civic reformers, the reactionary, (3) John Bockelson as being-in-the-eclectic between the two power structures, and (4) Münster minjung, beyond the radical, the reactionary, and the eclectic. The chapter offers a possibility that the Anabaptist Kingdom of Münster can be seen not as the husk but as the kernel of the Communal Reformation, wherein two parties were dialectically driven to maintain both as guru and avatar. Chapter 6: Conclusion In conclusion, Münster Anabaptism seen from Korean Minjung Theology can be a good example of both analepsis and prolepsis of the Jesus-event, where Minjung Reformator forms Christo Reformator and Christo Reformator reforms Minjung Reformator as Minjung-Messiah Transformator, not as an once-and-for-all, but as a continuing and recurring historical event for the realization of Minjung as being-in-the-Messiah.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die navorsing stel ten doel om die sestiende-eeuse radikale hervorming in die algemeen en die Anabaptistiese Koninkryk van Münster in die besonder deur die lens van die twintigste eeuse Koreaanse Minjung Teologie te herinterpreteer. Die navorsing re-evalueer nie slegs die Radikale Hervorming as die plek waar die lydende/gekruisigde minjung en Messias omtmoet nie, maar dui ook die Anabaptistiese Koninkryk van Münster aan as ‘n plek van hibriditeit, waar beide die Radikale Hervormers en die massas dialekties gedryf word om beide as 'n guru en avatar gehandhaaf te word. Dit navorsing kyk na die minjung beide as die protagoniste (goeroe), wat hul bevryding deur hulself bereik het, en die psalmist (avatar), wat hul verlossing deur die Messias ontvang het. Hierdie perichoresis word in die navorsing aan die hedendaagse lydingskonteks as die epitome van ecclesia semper reformanda verbind. Die navorsingresultate soos volg in die dissertasie aangedui: Hoofstuk 1 Die navorser se uitgangspunt is dat geskiedenis nie 'n objektiewe, eksterne historiese werklikheid is nie. Historici speel eerder 'n sleutelrol in die konstuering van geskiedenis. Die navorser het van die konstruktiewe teologiese metodologie gebruik gemaak om die Koreaanse Minjungteologie, die Minjung-hermeneutiek en die dialek van Han en Dan asook die Anabaptistiese Koninkryk van Münster te interpreteer. Die studie ondersoek in hoeverre die Koreaanse Minjung Teologie in die tradisie van die 16de-eeuse Radikale Hervorming eerder as die Magisteriële Hervorming staan. Hoofstuk 2: Herlees van die Hervorming van benede In hierdie hoofstuk word geskiedskrywing van benede gebruik om die tradisionele geskiedenis skrywing uit te daag. Die hoofstuk gee daarom meer aandag aan die Christelike massas –die stemlose, die gewone gelowige. Die herskryf van die geskiedenis van die Hervorming konsentreer op die hervorming van die massas en die wyse waarop hul op die Reformasie gereageer het asook die bydraes wat hul gelewer het. In hierdie sin staan die Radikale Hervorming en die Anabaptistiese Beweging teenoor die Reformasie deurdat dit die sentrum van belangstelling vanaf prinse en teoloë na die boere en massas lei. Hoofstuk 2 veronderstel egter dat beide Radikale Hervorming en die Anabaptistiese asook die Reformasie nie teenstrydig met mekaar staan nie, maar dat hul eerder in ‘n komplimentêre dinamiese relasies met mekaar staan. Hoofstuk 3: Herlees die Radikale Hervormers Die hoofstuk bied 'n historiese en diachroniese lees van Münster Anabaptism en sentreer op die sogenaamde “Baster lyn” van Radikale Hervormers, naamlik Thomas Müntzer (1489-1525), Hans-hut (1490-1527), Melchior Hoffman (1495-1543), en John Mickelson (John van Leiden) (1509? -1536). Alhoewel elkeen van hulle 'n invloed op die opkoms van die Münster Anabaptisme gehad het, lê hierdie hoofstuk meer klem op die avatar as die goeroe. Die Radikale Hervormers stel hul soos volg voor: (1) Thomas Müntzer, die radikale hervormer, synde as in-die -vergeldende mens, (2) Hans Hut, die radikale hervormer, synde as in-die-herstellende mens, (3) Melchior Hoffman, die radikale hervormer, synde as in-die-openbarende mens, (4) John Bockelson, die radikale hervormer, synde as in-die-retoriese mens. In hierdie lig word die Münster ook gesien as in-die-gemeenskaplike Hervorming onder die goeroe-avatar wisselwerking as 'n geheel. Hoofstuk 4 is ‘n poging om die Radikale Hervormers vanuit die perspektief van die Minjung, die lyding van die massas te lees. Die rasionaal vir die toepassing van Minjung hermeneutiek in die interpretasie van Radikale Hervorming is drievoudig; (1) die dinamiese en veranderende konsep, (2) die solidariteit met Jesus (en die Jesus-gebeurtenis), en (3) die messiaanse rol deur lyding. Die dialektiek van han en dan word aangedui om uit te brei en te vergroot, sonder om die dialek van die goeroe-avatar as sy dinamiese gelykwaardige te verminder of te verdraai. Daar word ondermeer verwys na die standpuntname van vier minjung teoloë, naamlik: (1) Suh, Nam-Dong’ Missio-Dei, (2) Ahn, Byung-Mu’s sosio-bybelse analyses van die ochlos, (3) Kim, Young-Bok’s Messiaanse Politiek, en (4) Hyun, Young-Hak’s Koreaanse gemaskerde dans, Die hoofstuk poog om ‘n kritiese en kreatiewe sintese van ‘n dubbel-spieellesing te bou, dat wil sê, die radikale hervormers beskou vanuit die Koreaanse Minjung-teologie met betrekking tot die avatar vir die gewone massa (minjung). Dit skep ‘n nuwe beeld van die radikale hervormers in Münster: (1) Thomas Müntzer se avatarskap gesien in die lig van Suh, Nam-Dong se beskouinge het te doen met die vergeldende minjung in die Gees, (2) Hans Hut se avatarskap gesien in die lig van Ahn, Byung-Mu se beskouinge het te doen met die herstellende minjung in die ochlos, (3) Melchior Hoffman se avatarskap gesien in die lig van Kim, Yong-Bock se beskouinge het te doen met die openbarende minjung in die Messiaanse Politiek, en (4) John Bockelson se avatarskap gesien in die lig van Hyun, Young-Hak se beskouinge het te doen met die retoriese minjung in die Koreaanse maskerdans. Hoofstuk 5 stel ten die herlees van die Anabaptiste Koninkryk van Münster vanuit die Koreaanse Minjung teologie ten doel. Die diachroniscbe-synchroniese lees van geskiedenis word in die hoofstuk in die praktyk toe gepas. Dit noodsaak die plaas van die Münster Anabaptism as ’n plek van hybriditeit, afhanklik van die dinamiese verband tussen die avatarskap van die radikale hervormers en die goeroeskap van die gewone massas: (1) John Matthjisson as synde-in-die-immigrant Melchioriet Profete, die radikales, (2) Bernhard Rothmann as synde-in-die-inheemse burgerlike hervormers die reaksioneres, (3) John Bockelson as synde-in- die eklektiese tussen de mag strulture, en (4) die Münster minjung, teenoor die radikales, die reaksionerse en die eklektiese. Die hoofstuk bied ‘n moontlikheid dat die Anabaptist Koninkryk van Münster as die kern van die gemeenskaplike Reformasie, waarin twee partye dialekties gedrewe word om beide goeroe en avatar te handhaaf, gesien sal kan word. Hoofstuk 6: Gesien vanuit die Koreaanse Minjung Teologie kan die Münster Anabaptisme ‘n goeie voorbeeld wees van sowel analepsis en prolepsis van die Jesus-gebeyre, waar die Minjung Reformator die Christo Reformator vorm en die Christo Reformator die als Minjung-Messiah Transformator, former as ’n voortgaande en terugkerende historisiese gebeure vir de realisasie van die minjung as-in-die-Messias synde.

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