Crossroads: The Meetings of Korea and the World Through Pilgrimage Routes
The history of Catholicism in Korea is complex – it can be seen as connected negatively to Western imperialism or positively to modernity. This paper will explore how Korean Catholics have sought to build a positive image for their faith through Catholic holy sites in a large part by utilizing the legitimacy of international religious and secular authorities. In particular, it will examine the three international pilgrimage routes recognized by the Vatican after Pope Francis’ 2014 visit to Korea. Haemi, the internationally recognized site famous for its large number of ‘nameless martyrs’; Solmoe, the birthplace of the first Korean priest and UNESCO-sponsored events associated with it; and Puŏnggol, the site of a seminary led by French missionary priests.