Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Kang, Jiyeon

Second Advisor

Peters, John Durham

First Committee Member

Butcher, Howard K

Second Committee Member

Havens, Timothy J

Third Committee Member

Supp-Montgomerie, Jenna


This study focuses on “critical insiders” of Korean Protestantism in the twenty first century, namely those who are committed to their Protestant faiths yet are highly critical of the ways in which Protestant Christianity is taught, believed, and practiced in South Korea. Particular emphasis is given to the question of how they resist/challenge dominant institutions and popular beliefs – especially on religious authority and various moral and monetary implications of such beliefs – as well as alternative visions they offer, through media. Scholars today acknowledge the centrality of media in various religious practices. I show that the role of media is no less important for religious critical insiders, albeit in somewhat different ways; in the South Korean case, I argue that they resist dominant voices by multi-mediatizing theology. Simply put, multi-mediatizing theology is making religiously normative (i.e. theological) discourses available through multiple outlets and voices and rendering informed theological judgments dependent upon such plurality and diversity of mediated sources. I analyze Korean Protestant critical insiders’ various media movements to illustrate this point and also to explore some ramifications of this kind of resistance taking place in the South Korean context. I also incorporate into my analyses the interviews I conducted with key individuals involved in the production of two Protestant TV shows that attempted at consolidating critical insider voices. I conclude with a theoretical and theological reflection upon the media/communication aspect of the entire phenomenon of Korean Protestantism and critical insiders.


Christianity, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Protestantism, South Korea, Theology


v, 206 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 193-204).


Copyright © 2018 Seung Min Hong

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Communication Commons