Wonhee Anne Joh, Heart of the Cross, Intro
When the word cross is mentioned in theology, most people view it as a place where there is suffering and sacrifice, as it was used in crucifying of Jesus. However, some critiques from a feministic view tend to differ by arguing that it was a sign of love. Joh argues that it is a place of love, and in an unexpected way, God and man are brought together by the cross. In postcolonial Christology, the cross is seen as working all together to bring reverence to danger of oppressive authorities. Joh uses the Jeong concept of Korea to come up with a theology that concentrates on love, politics, and one that is feministic, but at the same time, manages to appreciate the cross as a place of suffering.
In Korea, interpersonal relationships that develop feelings of caring, fondness, togetherness among the people are referred to as Jeong. It is an emotional feeling of relations among people, similar to love but with differences. While love should be between two people, a man and a woman, Jeong suggests relationships between individuals without laying emphasis on gender. Jeong suggests a strong bond that is not broken. It also means a bond towards something or an object that one feels attached to and they are bound to love it forever, and can die for it. In the practice of postcolonial Christology, Jeong is used to refer to the bond among people that cannot be broken. It is said to develop over time and once it develops, no matter what the circumstances are, it is not supposed to be broken.
On the other hand, Han is the feeling of resentment, or bitterness, where a person has strong feelings against injustice, hopelessness and a feeling of unsettled anger towards someone or something that makes one boil with range and have a feeling of wanting to seek vengeance, in order to make something that they feel is wrong into right. From the postcolonial Christology, this could mean the other side of the cross, which is suffering and pain. According to Joh, Jeong and Han go hand-in-hand, just as love and hate go hand-in-hand as opposite of each other. According to her, Jeong is empathy, solidarity, rationality and compassion, while Han is the feeling of a broken heart, an unusual emotional wound, world distress and personal disaffection. She compares the cross to these two concepts, where it plays a dissident effect, and at the same time puts relevance of the cross to the oppressive powers.
Han, in the Korean culture takes several forms, which are related, but efferent in cause or what brings it about. The first form of Han is the violation of Jeong. Considering that Jeong is loyal to the bond between people, for instance, a man and a wife, when this bond is violated, or betrayal occurs, one develops Han, which is the resentment feeling of helplessness and anger. The other form of Han occurs when disasters occur, whether natural or caused by man, where the people feel a loss. This is perceived in their emotions and it can lead to Han, where the people feel that they have been alienated by nature, or by those who cause the disaster and the anger creeps in and develops Han. The third form of Han is experienced at national level, where the people feel victimized and anger arises from such victimization, hence, resulting to Han. It is important to note that Han develops into Hwabyung, which is a condition that causes trauma, or one to develop medical conditions, that could lead to death.
Joh draws a relationship between Jeong and Han, where she implies that Jeong is the primary feeling of attachment to somebody, and Han only exists where Jeong exists, as it happens after the attachment or the bond between the people has been broken, where one is betrayed and feelings of anger arise. According to her, Jeong and Han are just two different sides from the same heart. She draws a relationship where she suggests that Jeong and Han exist as the two sides of the oppressed and the oppressor, while revealing the cross as a subversive power, in which our attachment can be questioned, and at the same time, it can transform these feelings. The relationship between the two is that they act as opposites of each other, and when Jeong, is violated, the other occurs.
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