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Open Theology

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A Revitalization of Revolutionary Love: A Dialogue between Martin Luther King and Kim Chi-Ha

Kevin P. Considine
Published Online: 2016-12-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2016-0076

Abstract

This essay investigates the power and limits of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s theology of revolutionary love through a dialogue with Kim Chi-Ha. I will argue that King’s theology of revolutionary love may be revitalized within a globalized context through a dialogue with Kim’s philosophy of dan, that includes an “agonized violence of love”, in order to offer a continuing praxis of love of enemy and love of neighbor, salvation for sinner and sinned-against. I show how in King’s theology, love subsists in justice and then how it is illustrated by and is challenged by the grotesque image at the conclusion of Kim’s poem, Chang Il-Dam—a mutual beheading in which the heads of the sinner and sinned-against are switched in a new creation. I argue this because Kim envisions this violence as eschatological and salvific, leading to social transformation also based upon a kind of revolutionary love. As the global influence of King’s theology continues to be studied, this particular dialogue shows how King’s theology of nonviolent revolutionary love, as a “global flow”, can be revitalized to highlight the costliness of justice and the nonviolent transformative nature of love that are embedded in salvation for sinned-against and sinner, oppressed and oppressor.

Keywords: Martin Luther King Jr.; salvation; intercultural theology; han; nonviolence

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About the article


Received: 2016-07-18

Accepted: 2016-11-09

Published Online: 2016-12-01


Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 2, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2016-0076.

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©2016 Kevin P. Considine. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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