“Between 1919 and 1945, the Korean bourgeoisie developed a dense and wideranging web of ties with the colonial state and Japanese private capital.”
– Eckert, Carter. Offspring of Empire. p. 188
Korea formally became a colony of the Japanese empire in 1910. So, why does Eckert refer to 1919 as the starting point for Korean capitalists developing “a dense and wide-ranging web of ties with the colonial state and Japanese private capital”? What does this have to do with his argument that the Korean bourgeoisie could not achieve “class hegemony”?
“In the context of the North Korean Revolution, the trial of Cho Ponghwan initiated a state project for defining religion and politics, one that is still ongoing in contemporary North Korea. In other words, the North Korean state used disciplinary practices to relegate Christianity into a space that could be managed by the state, not unlike other nation-states.”
Park, Sandra H. “A Reverend on Trial: Debating the Proper Place of Christianity in the North Korean Revolution,” Journal of Korean Studies 25, no. 2 (October 2020). p. 392.
Quoting Talal Asad, Sandra Park points out that defenders of the secularization thesis argue that “in order for a society to be modern it has to be secular and for it to be secular it has to relegate religion to nonpolitical spaces because that arrangement is essential to modern society.” (Park, 380) In that sense, North Korea is indisputably modern. But, in South Korea and the “West,” North Korea’s pursuit of secularism has become the marker (sign/proof) of its deviation from the kind of modernity that seems, to us, normal and normative. With the above quote in mind, explain and discuss the specifics of why the North Korean authorities put Rev. Cho Ponghwan on trial.
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