© 2016

Religious Experience and Self-Psychology

Korean Christianity and the 1907 Revival Movement


Table of contents

About this book


This book explores the 1907 Korean Revival Movement from a self psychological perspective. The examination of the psychological processes in the movement based on Heinz Kohut's self psychology can shed light on religious experiences as selfobject experiences by identifying the sense of defeatedness and helplessness that Korean people experienced under Japanese occupation as what Kohut calls self-fragmentation of the Korean group self and explaining its therapeutic functions which facilitate potential for the narcissistic nourishment of the fragmented group self leading to renewed self-esteem, transformation, and empowerment of the Korean people. Korean people in the early 1900s experienced abuses and oppression by corrupt officials and exploitation by Japanese government. Through religious experiences which emphasized the individual repentance, the experience of God through the spirit, emphasis on prayer, and eschatological faith, the Korean Revival Movement in 1907 enabled its followers to experience mirroring and idealizing selfobjects which function as a role of transforming the lower shape of narcissism into the higher one.


Self Psychology 1907 Revival Movement Selfobject Selfobject experience Mirroring Idealizing Twinship Group self Confession of sins

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Christian StudiesEwha Womans UniversitySeoulKorea (Republic of)

About the authors

Jung Eun Jang is Assistant Professor at Ewha Womans University, South Korea, who is teaching pastoral care and counseling in the department of Christian Studies. He is an ordained pastor of the Korean Presbyterian Church, as well as a Nationally Certified Psychoanalyst(NCPsyA), certified by NAAP (National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis).

Bibliographic information


“Since a German historian, psychologist, and hermeneutic philosopher, Wilhelm Ditlhey defined Geistwissenshaften as a science of interpretation, embracing philosophy, history and such human/social science as psychology and sociology, most of its subject matters had taken their own course for so long.  Dr. Jang’s provocative work will show us how a dialogical project of psychohistory would still work well for many human/social scientists of interpretation in the twenty-first century.” (Soo-Young Kwon, Professor of Pastoral Theology, Yonsei University, Korea, and President of Korean Association of Christian Counseling & Psychology)

“Dr. Jang’s self-psychological analysis of the 1907 Revival Movement makes significant contributions globally to the field of religious experience and locally to the understanding and implications of the Revival Movement in Korea.  His meticulous examination of historical contexts--social, economic, and political—that are behind the movement and his efficacious application of self-psychology in his analysis underscore the positive function of religious experiences for psychological well-being. His work also offers a more holistic understanding of the Movement and provides valuable implications for the current church context in South Korea.” (Angella Son, Associate Professor of Psychology and Religion, Drew University, USA, and author of “Spirituality of Joy: Moving Away from Dread and Duties”)

“Jung Eun Jang’s book gives a holistic perspective on the 1907 Korean Revival Movement. Its psychohistorical insight on the existing theological and spiritual understandings of the Movement fills a gap in scholarship both on the Movement and on the development of Korean Protestant Christianity. This book is essential reading for church leaders and theologians wrestling with the Korean church’s current stagnation.” (Insook Lee, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling, New York Theological Seminary, USA)