Kim Chi-Ha's Han Anthropology and Its Challenge to Catholic Thought

Kevin P. Considine

Calumet College of St. Joseph


The Korean anthropology of han remains an untapped resource for envisioning Roman Catholic soteriologies within a globalizing context. Han refers to the deep wounds of the violated that are imbued with energy that will cause either creation or destruction. One means by which Catholic theologians can engage han is through the writings of Korean poet Kim Chi-Ha (b. 1941). Kim's works, Groundless Rumors: The Story of a Sound, Torture Road—1974, and Chang Il-Dam, provide evocative and challenging images of han and how God works for the salvation of both sinned-against and sinner in this world. Kim's artistic rendering of han in his works challenges Catholic soteriology to attend as thoroughly to salvation for the “sinned-against” as to salvation for sinners.


  • Kim Chi-Ha;
  • han ;
  • sinned-against;
  • Catholic soteriology;
  • Minjung theology

Kevin Considine is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Calumet College of St. Joseph (Whiting, IN). He has been published in New Theology Review, Black Theology: An International Journal, Tijdschrift voor Theologie, and U.S. Catholic magazine. Currently he is completing a manuscript on han, intercultural hermeneutics, and Roman Catholic soteriology.