. Gender Equality, a New Moral Order


in Gender and Mission Encounters in Korea

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780520098695
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943780 | DOI:
. Gender Equality, a New Moral Order

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The turn of the twentieth century marked a critical point, at which gender equality was spoken of as a new moral principle. This principle undoubtedly served as a platform for women to unprecedented opportunities and to go beyond traditional gender roles. However, these opportunities were consistently promoted through Christian and nationalistic meta-narratives that in reality continued to subordinate women and consign them primarily to the domestic or “women's sphere.” The degraded role and lower status of women served as the proof of Korea's lack of civilization in the eyes of the missionaries. Korea was not achieving true civilization because they substituted morality for materiality. Morality is a big part in achieving civilization because it is a Christian ethic, which allegedly promoted gender equality under God. The missionaries considered the spread of the Gospel to be a moral and spiritual obligation that would elevate the subhuman condition of heathen women.

Keywords: Korea; women; Christian; morality; gender equality; moral order; civilization

Chapter.  10596 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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