The Bible reveals that the goal of God's saving acts is
to establish a new society. And the desire of His people for
a new society is manifest through their common sharing of food
in His presence: moreover the table community is eschatologically
opened to the messianic kingdom as it is frequently
envisaged as a heavenly banquet. The meal has been recognised
as a powerful language for the people not only in relation to
one another but also in relation to God: it suggests strong
ethical implications as well.
The purpose of this work is (i) to discuss how the meal
tradition in the particular context of Korea is to be reinter¬
preted in terms of main themes in the biblical meal tradition
and (ii) to contribute some suggestions concerning theology and
practice of the Lord's Supper which the Korean church, as a
particular church, should share with the universal Church.
ticular church, should share with the universal Church.
This dissertation examines the meal tradition in the Bible
(Part One), that of the Korean minjung (Part Two), and the
understanding of the Lord's Supper within the Korean church
Part One (i) sees that numerous meal traditions, affil¬
iated with the exodus event in the Old Testament and the Jesus
event in the New Testament, have been reinterpreted as an allimportant
means for the formation of theology as well as for
the transformation of a community, and (ii) argues that each
of these natural meals reflects its own particular social
situation and has been developed through the process of its
historicisation in the light of salvation history.
Part Two, by looking at the minjung's table-fellowship
experiences in their own social, religious, and cultural lives,
tries to find points of contact between the biblical and
minjung tradition. The minjung's interpretation of rice is
abridged as "Rice (bread) is Heaven," whilst the bread in the
biblical tradition is summarised as "God is Bread" through the
three-fold incarnation of Jesus.
Part Three analyses how the Korean church, especially the
minjung church, has understood and practiced the two meal
traditions as a twin polarity — the common meal transmitted
from their own socio-historical experiences and the eucharist
inherited from the Church — in its celebration of the Lord's
Table. The minjung church as a table community witnesses that
the table community of the historical Jesus is represented in
the midst of the congregation and that eucharistic worship is
directly related to their society-transforming participation.
Part Four, the conclusion, by putting the above meal
interpretation together, rediscovers the ethical significance
of the Lord's Supper as the internal basis of Christian social