London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

The Korean Book of Happiness [forthcoming]

From the very first moment she set foot in South Korea, Barbara Zitwer, literary agent to some of the most celebrated, prize-winning Korean authors, fell head-over-heels in love, discovering there a renewed sense of happiness and energy. In this witty, charming book, Zitwer shares all that she has learnt about this fascinating country: a vibrant, … [Read More]

The Master from Mountains and Fields: Prose Writings of Hwadam, Sŏ Kyŏngdŏk [forthcoming]

The Master from Mountains and Fields is a fully annotated translation of the prose texts from the “collected works” of Sŏ Kyŏngdŏk (1489–1546), an influential Confucian scholar from the early Chosŏn period (1392-1910). A native of Songdo (also known as Kaesŏng) in present-day North Korea, Sŏ has loomed large in the Korean cultural imagination and appeared … [Read More]

Spirit Power: Politics and Religion in Korea’s American Century

Spirit Power explores the manifestation of the American Century in Korean history with a focus on religious culture. It looks back on the encounter with American missionary power from the late nineteenth century, and the long political struggles against the country’s indigenous popular religious heritage during the colonial and postcolonial eras. The book brings an anthropology … [Read More]

Confucian Reform in Chosun Korea: Yu Hyŏngwŏn’s Pan’gye surok

Pan’gye surok (or “Pan’gye’s Random Jottings”) was written by the Korean scholar and social critic Yu Hyŏngwŏn (1622-1673), who proposed to reform the Joseon dynasty and realise an ideal Confucian society. It was recognised as a leading work of political science by Yu’s contemporaries and continues to be a key text in understanding the intellectual culture … [Read More]

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

THE PHENOMENAL KOREAN BESTSELLER PSYCHIATRIST: So how can I help you? ME: I don’t know, I’m – what’s the word – depressed? Do I have to go into detail? Baek Se-Hee is a successful young social media director at a publishing house when she begins seeing a psychiatrist about her – what to call it? … [Read More]

The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Korea

The phenomenon of South Korean Christianity is, in a word, remarkable. In less than 250 years, 29% of South Korea’s population adheres to Christianity, a staggering 71% of Korean Americans identify as Christian, and the powerful zeal of Korean Christians to spread the Gospel’s influence in South Korea already overshadows other established religious groups (i.e. … [Read More]

Race for Revival: How Cold War South Korea Shaped the American Evangelical Empire

In 1973, Billy Graham, “America’s Pastor,” held his largest ever “crusade.” But he was not, as one might expect, in the American heartland, but in South Korea. Why there? Race for Revival seeks not only to answer that question, but to retell the story of modern American evangelicalism through its relationship with South Korea. With the … [Read More]

A History of Protestantism in Korea

This book provides a comprehensive overview of Protestant Christianity in Korea. It outlines the development of Christianity in Korea before Protestantism, considers the introduction of Protestantism in the late nineteenth century and its widening and profound impact, and goes on to discuss the situation up to the present. Throughout the book emphasises the importance of … [Read More]

Balancing Communities: Nation, State, and Protestant Christianity in Korea, 1884–1942

From the publisher’s website: Starting in 1884 with the arrival of the first resident Protestant missionary in Korea and ending with the expulsion of missionaries from the peninsula by the Japanese colonial government in 1942, Balancing Communities examines how the competing demands of communal identities and memberships shaped the early history of Protestantism in Korea. In so … [Read More]

The God Susanoo and Korea in Japan’s Cultural Memory: Ancient Myths and Modern Empire

From the publisher’s website: This book discusses how ancient Japanese mythology was utilized during the colonial period to justify the annexation of Korea to Japan, with special focus on the god Susanoo. Described as an ambivalent figure and wanderer between the worlds, Susanoo served as a foil to set off the sun goddess, who played … [Read More]

Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation

Myung Sung introduces the Korean art of living meditation as the way to achieve a life of balance and happiness. Using eight simple keys, readers can enjoy all the calming, positive benefits of meditation in every minute of every day. You can experience calm mindfulness in every moment of every day Most forms of meditation … [Read More]

Reflections from Prison: 20 Years and 20 Days

Reflections from Prison is a collection of letters and essays from renowned Korean thinker Shin Young-Bok written during his 20 years as a political prisoner under the military government. ​The letters range from post cards to tiny characters squeezed onto his Army Prison daily ration of two sheets of toilet paper. They provide a window not … [Read More]

The Moral and Religious Thought of Yi Hwang (Toegye): A Study of Korean Neo-Confucian Ethics and Spirituality

From the publisher’s website: This book presents Yi Hwang (1501–1570)—better known by his pen name, Toegye—Korea’s most eminent Confucian philosopher. It is a pioneering study of Toegye’s moral and religious thought that discusses his holistic ideas and experiences as a scholar, thinker, and spiritual practitioner, thereby deepening or enriching our modern understanding of Confucianism as … [Read More]

The Letters of Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon

Our translations of the 20 or so letters written by Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon during the 4 years of travel and adventure prior to his death in 1846 have now been published by The Research Foundation of Korean Church History, marking the 200th anniversary of his birth on August 21, 1821. In addition to the … [Read More]

Contemporary Korean Shamanism: From Ritual to Digital

From the publisher’s website: Once viewed as an embarrassing superstition, the theatrical religious performances of Korean shamans—who communicate with the dead, divine the future, and become possessed—are going mainstream. Attitudes toward Korean shamanism are changing as shamanic traditions appear in staged rituals, museums, films, and television programs, as well as on the internet. Contemporary Korean … [Read More]

Glossolalia and the Problem of Language

From the publisher’s website: Speaking in tongues, also known as glossolalia, has long been a subject of curiosity as well as vigorous theological debate. A worldwide phenomenon that spans multiple Christian traditions, glossolalia is both celebrated as a supernatural gift and condemned as semiotic alchemy. For some it is mystical speech that exceeds what words can … [Read More]