Good-bye to My 31 Years in Wolyoung Campus
Good-bye to My 31 Years in Wolyoung Campus
  • 경남타임즈(경남대학교)
  • 승인 2022.12.26 10:37
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 Someone once said that the process is beautiful because there is an end. Thinking that this is the last semester before my retirement makes me remember that phrase again. It may not be realistic to go back 31 years, but it seems formidable to look back on those days at this point. So many things have changed, most of all, because I myself have changed a lot.

 After five years of studying abroad, I spent two years as a lecturer and before stepping forward as a full-time lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Kyungnam University. At that time, there were seven professors in the department, and I started my life in Masan as the youngest professor. When I arrived at my new home, a small villa building near the school arranged by a senior professor, I didn't think my wife's impression was good. Anyway, it was a two-story narrow house, and I think I enjoyed being in an environment where the sound of the local people was heard on stereo, but I think my family's thoughts were different. Considering that we moved to Changwon after living in that villa for about just 3 months.

 At that time, the status of Kyungnam University and the Department of Political Science and Diplomacy seemed to be good. The Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul frequently hosted quite large international conferences, and I remember that it had a good reputation about North Korea and unification issues. In particular, the conference "MARXISM AND THE NEW GLOBAL SOCIETY," hosted by the Institute October 1989, was especially memorable. As a lecturer at the time, I participated in the translation of Immanuel Wallerstein's paper, "The Experience of Marxism, Marxism-Leninism and Socialism in the Modern World System." Wallerstein's ‘creative’ theory of the world system, which was somewhat unfamiliar back then, was very interesting. This discussion was mediated by Professor Lee Soo-hoon of the sociology department of our university, which translated Wallerstein's paper, "After Liberalism" in 1996, and later led to the same publisher company publishing my own book, Critical Exploration of Korean Democratization in 2003.

 When I started my professorship, it seems that the university headquarters actively supported the professor's thesis presentation. At the annual conference of the American Political Society held in Chicago from August to September 1995, I presented the issue of democratization under the Kim Young Sam administration, especially abnormalities in statesocial relations of Globalization Policy under the Kim Young Sam Government in South Korea. In March 2004, at a conference held in Montreal, Canada, I presented a paper on the impact of democratization in South Korea on inter-Korean relations. At that time, the ties between our university and other universities and institutions seemed good. Exchanges between Kanagawa University in Japan and our university's legal school continued to develop. In the spring of 2002, there was an academic conference involving professors from universities at Yokohama Kanagawa University and either Hakone or Nikko. I remember the friendly conversation and atmosphere at the University Workshop Center, where I talked with my peers until dawn while enjoying special dishes and warm sake.

 Although it was somewhat before that event, I also remember participating in a project jointly planned with the JoongAng Ilbo, which was a great chance to develop myself and had deep meaning for me, a junior professor at the time. I remember visiting Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica for more than 10 days with JoongAng Ilbo reporter You Kwon-ha to track the flow of liberation theology that shouted, "struggling evangelism" in Latin America during the "Beyond the Century: Alternative From Confrontation" project co-organized by the JoongAng Ilbo as part of the Millennium Plan.

 I have been interested in Latin America since I was a lecturer, so in 1990, I published a book titled The Social Transformation Movement under the Capitalist System: A Study on the Chilean Revolution and Allende Line and in 1993, The Revolution under Siege: Modern Approach to the Decade of Nicaragua Revolution. And with an interest in Cuba, I translated and published Fidel Castro's major speeches in 2002 (Sanjini Publishing) and translated Castro's Havana Declaration from the Presian Book in 2010.

 I still have yet to mention my days at Kyungnam University, where I spent more than 30 years. My "conversion" to Christianity, which is somewhat strange to my acquaintances and is not easy to explain myself, is also a task that I should explore more and develop in the future. When I saw that Marxism and Christianity (Hanul Publishing Company), which I translated as a jobless young man before studying in the United States, was the first translation of my life, I wondered if my conversion to Christianity was scheduled like a script out of interest in progressive ideas. In the preface to this old book (1989), I said, "What Jesus and Marx really wanted was a different way of expression, but in the end, a true community based on love between humans and love between humans." Disappointed by the fact that Korean society is immersed in various dimensions of "polarization" after achieving economic development and democratization to some extent, I changed the "ship I was once on board" (cited in my book Going with the Bible, consisting of 2 parts, Old Testament and New Testament) and at the same time, downgraded by the structure of corruption and conflict prevalent in universities, courts, and churches, I published the Fragrance of Real Gospel in the World from the perspective of Kingdom of God.

 Looking back, it seems that it was a time when the passion of the youth was visible, but it was also accompanied by struggles. How do you know what was really meaningful on the road you managed to walk? It's not the end of a time, but a new beginning. I can see the way ahead to trudge again. I thank my senior professors, friends, junior professors, and my beloved students and family members. Adios! Wolyoung Campus, and Good-bye to my 31 years in Kyungnam University.

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