I love reviews of my books. Read this lovely one by Kristin Lee of my book, Invisible.
INVISIBLE: THEOLOGY AND THE EXPERIENCE OF ASIAN AMERICAN WOMEN by Grace Ji-Sun Kim chronicles Kim’s experience as a Korean American woman in Christian spaces and how the dual realities of being a woman and an Asian American served to make her – and those like her – invisible to the church and to society at large, particularly those in power.
Kim embeds her own story in the broader arc of Asian women’s history, from the pain of being forcibly used as “comfort women” by the Japanese military to the xenophobia and discrimination faced by immigrants to the U.S. She highlights the ways patriarchy expresses itself both through Confucianism and through conservative church culture to subjugate women. Readers of THE MAKING OF ASIAN AMERICA, THE MAKING OF BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD, and similar texts may find this historical context familiar, though Kim offers some new insights through the specific lens of Korean church culture.
My favorite chapter was the fifth and last chapter, where Kim discusses a theology of visibility that is inclusive and embraces those on the margins. The strongest ideas are in her application of Korean words and concepts like ou-ri, jeong, and chi to expand our notions of God and of theology. I would have loved for these eleven pages to be expanded and given room to play out more, as I am specifically interested in how we (Asian Americans) integrate our heritage with Christian theology. As Kim writes, we have much to contribute and the global church benefits when it hears from a diversity of voices and learns to experience God through other perspectives.
I have immense respect for Kim, who became a theologian at a time when that was difficult and discouraged for Asian American women (even more than now). It is because of leaders like her that we can claim our place in the conversation. Read this book to better understand how Asian women have historically been erased from consideration and to glimpse a path forward in making visible those who have been kept hidden.
Thank you to @1517media for this gifted copy!