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Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2013 and 2015, this thesis is a historically grounded ethnography of a politically active Catholic community in South Korea. The political activism of this religious community is inseparable from its theology and Catholic faith. The community has been active in numerous social issues from the democratization movement to issues of reunification, environmental justice, economic justice and peace activism. In my thesis I focus specifically on their involvement in the Gangjeong anti-base movement, the Miryang anti-nuclear movement and the Sewol movement. In the talk I will specifically present an analysis of the sermons that are presented in their street Mass protest. The sermons provide an insight to both the political and religious ideology of the community. The sermons also present evidence of the lasting influence of the Second Vatican Council on Korean Catholicism and important references to liberation theology. In addition to problematizing the monolithic representation of Catholicism in Korea, my thesis aims to analyze and understand how religious communities can protest and resist the state within a framework of social justice.
Bio: Lina is a final year PhD Candidate at the School of Culture, History and Language at the College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University. She is the recipient of a 2014 Prime Minister Australia Asia Endeavour Award and her research is partially funded by the Australian Government through the Australia-Korea Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.