Dr. Kim Yong-Bock
On 7 th April 2022, we lost one of our founding members Dr. Kim Yong-Bock after
being in coma for two months. Dr Kim Yong Bock was a pioneer of Minjung
theology and a stalwart Asian theologian who relentlessly struggled to bring
justice and liberation to the poor and oppressed through his contributions to
theological and ecumenical movements.
Born in 1938, a decade before Korean Independence, he grew up witnessing
Korea (and other countries of Asia) going through division, the cold war, the
dictatorship, geopolitical conflicts, and people’s struggles in the midst of social
discriminations, military oppressions, and economic exploitations. As a result, he
developed in himself a strong commitment for justice.
He firmly believed in the importance of overcoming traditional theological, and
ecclesiastical themes. Therefore, he developed an Asian liberation theology as a
social biography of the minjung (meaning “people”) through a direct and
transparent commitment to the sufferings and struggles of the Asian people. He
called on for convergence of indigenous spiritualities, contextual pearls of wisdom
and resistance against empires. He saw this as a liturgical act of affirmation for all
living beings. He defined this theology as a “Zoesophia”, the Wisdom of the Whole
Dr. Kim Yong Bock was committed to the struggles of Palestinians against the
settler-colonialism of Israel. A year ago, he along with other activists and
intellectuals (from Australia, India, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan,
Palestine, South Africa, South Korea and the United Kingdom) founded Movement
for Liberation from Nakba to decolonize knowledge on Palestine in the Global
South. MLN benefitted greatly from his presence and knowledge.
We mourn his loss.
The best tribute that MLN can offer is to pursue his vision of justice, solidarity and
We reaffirm our commitment to his vision.
May his soul rest in peace!