PhD studentship in Korean Catholicism at Leeds Trinity

Korean studies seems to be in rude health in the UK at the moment. So soon after the job posting for a professorship at Sheffield, an interesting studentship at Leeds Trinity University College:

Leeds Trinity University College, UK, is offering a PhD studentship in Korean Catholicism. The studentship will be to the value of £13,300 for each of three years full-time study, including payment of fees. Provisional registration on MPhil will, subject to approval, be upgraded to PhD registration. Applicants should possess or be near completion of a master’s qualification.

The College’s research degrees are awarded by the University of Leeds; PGR students have access to University of Leeds facilities and have a University of Leeds co supervisor. The College was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers in 2009.

An application form may be downloaded here. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 4 May 2010.

Interviews will be held as soon as possible thereafter for earliest possible start.

For further general enquiries please contact Tim Leadbeater, Director of Learning, Teaching and Research.

Title of proposed research projects: Roman Catholicism in Korea, its diaspora and missionary movements
Department: Humanities
Lead contact and prospective departmental supervisor: Dr Kirsteen Kim

Research focus: The growth of Korean Christianity is one of the most exciting phenomena in recent Christian history – as highlighted in the current BBC 2 series. This research will focus on Korean Catholicism, which is less well documented than Protestantism or Pentecostalism. It will focus on its recent growth and its expansion beyond the borders of Korea in the very large and widespread Korean diaspora and in indigenous Korean missionary movements. The project will probe the motives for this globalising movement and its religious and social impact in selected contexts.

The research will contribute directly to Sebastian Kim & Kirsteen Kim, A History of Korean Christianity to be published by Cambridge University Press. The publishers have identified a gap in the market for this comprehensive work.

The research will bring to wider public attention, and to an English-speaking audience, the little understood phenomenon of Korean Christianity, especially in its Catholic form. It will also contribute to the growing interest in issues of migration, in world Christianity, and more generally in vibrant religious movements from outside the West.

It will make a significant contribution to scholarship which is also accessible to a wider audience. Its impact will partly be measured through interest in the publication to which it contributes. It will make an important contribution to debates within the Catholic Church (a sixth of the world’s population) about whether it should be centralised or inculturated.

Research will be by library and internet, and also include a field trip to Korea and possibly field work with Korean diasporas (these may be in the UK). The University of Leeds has very good Korean studies resources and is part of the Korean Studies Hub, together with the University of Sheffield where there is a professor of Korean studies.

TRS research will benefit from this more empirical approach, and also the contacts with non-Western forms of Christianity. The focus on Korean Catholicism fits well with the foundation of LTUC and will be facilitated by its Catholic networks, as well as stimulating these.

Applicants should have a masters or good bachelor’s degree. Applicants may be of Korean nationality or heritage.

Contact: Dr Kirsteen Kim | k.kim@leedstrinity.ac.uk

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