Uriah Kim: Decentering Christianity as an act of faith and justice

by | Oct 6, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — The Rev. Uriah Kim remembers his childhood fondly. He did not grow up in a religious family, though his Buddhist mother did share her practices with him. Instead he explored being nonreligious, saying he fancied himself an atheist, especially in his teen years.Then he came across Christianity, and found a new sense of “coherence,” he said. His discovery compelled him beyond what he referred to as “the vanity of vanity (that) everything is nothing” and toward a sense of higher purpose. He felt emotionally and spiritually called to accept Christianity and had what he describes as a conversion experience. 
Even so, said Kim, “I always felt uncomfortable (with the) brand of Christianity that tried to proselytize and tried to claim that this is the only way.” Instead, he was moved by Christian justice issues and an approach in which he was called as a Christian to do everything he could to address injustice.
This call to serve drew him to seminary to become a pastor, where he found himself moved by the Hebrew Bible. He wanted to study it in depth, to “create a sort of theological voice for my generation of Korean Americans.” Eventually, he pursued his Ph.D. at the Graduate Th …

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