Re: Revitalization Movements (NRMs)

william a poe (
31 Aug 1995 16:48:22 GMT

Using Anthony F.C. Wallace's guideposts to the characteristics of
Revitalization Movements, I researched the Korean origins of the
Unification Church (Tong-il Kyohe) and found that it arose, along with
many other messianic movements after WWII, at a time when Korean
culture had been nearly destroyed by Japanese occupation and the
overall breakdown of the oriental confucian system of relations
between Asian nations.

Unlike Pentecostalism, which has it's origins in the West and is
distinctly Christian, Tong-il Kyohe was originally more a rebirth of
shamanism and confucian philosophy, with an admixture of Christian
theology. Revitalization movements, as Wallace points out, draw upon
the cultural institutions already present in the culture. They are
not, in other words totally new. I like the term "revitalization" for
this reason. Movements which arise at times of transition, or in
response to pressures from within an established institution. In the
case of Tong-il, it's precedants can be found in other Korean
movements such as Ch'ondogyo, which won favor due to it's
anti-Japanese activities during the period of annexation.

Because Rev. Moon's group went international, beginning in 1959, it
has developed unusual characteristics, most revitalization movements
remain a local phenomenon. Much of the research into the movement has
been done by sociologists, interested in the fact that the people of
highly industrialized nations have joined, what was originally a very
indigenous, Korean folk movement.

I'm most interested in that aspects, the movements Korean origins.

Hope this has helped to clarify my terms and my interests.