Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Orthopraxis vs. Orthodoxy, more from Baker's Korean Spirituality

Here is another great insight from Baker's Korean Spirituality. He states that until the introduction of Christianity into Korea most Koreans were more concerned with orthopraxis (acting correctly) rather than orthodoxy (believing the correct thing). Here is an excerpt,

"[Confucian] privileging of performance and emotion over belief was
challenged by Korea’s first Christians, who refused to participate in
traditional ancestor memorial services. They argued that bowing before
tablets representing the ancestors was a form of idolatry, because
it implied that the ancestors were actually present in those tablets. In
the ritual-based worldview of traditional Korean religion, such an
objection to ancestor memorial services missed the point. Bowing
before the tablet was not making a statement about whether the spirits
of the ancestors were present in those tablets. It was not a physical
expression of faith in the actual presence of the ancestors. Rather,
bowing was a way for the descendants to show that they still loved
and respected those who had brought them into this world. Moreover,
participation in an ancestor memorial service reinforced family
solidarity."

What do you think? Is orthopraxis or orthodoxy, more important? Vote at the poll on the right.

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