Unification thought refers to the religious worldview articulated or approved by Mun Sŏn-myŏng (1920-2012) and Han Hak-cha (b. 1943), the former and the current leader, respectively, of the South Korean Unification Movement (UM). 3 The UM comprises numerous organisations, businesses and initiatives, all aligned with a religious body at the centre, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU; Segye p’yŏnghwa t’ongil kajŏng yŏnhap ), whose precursor, the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSAUWC; Segye kidokkyo t’ongilsillyŏng hyŏphoe ), was founded in 1954 in Seoul. The group’s founder, Mun, was raised a staunch Christian following his parents’ conversion to Presbyterianism in 1930. A religious socialisation in an environment of pronounced messianic anticipation and pertinent exegetical experimentation moulded his distinct reading of the Old and New Testament narrative. A new understanding of Genesis 2-3 in particular became the fulcrum of Mun’s theology, energising millenarian thinking and, concomitantly, supplying a raison d’être for massive proselytising (cf. Pokorny 2013a). The missionary zeal justified in this way materialised in the form of the HSAUWC’s widespread social, political and economic engagement, rendering the group a world-encompassing religious organisation with remarkable financial power and a self-reported membership of 2-3 million followers, the largest portion of whom reside in South Korea and Japan. Embarking on an internationalisation scheme already in the mid to late 1950s, the UM was to become the most visible and well-researched new religious
movement in Western societies throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Mun passed away on 3 September 2012 aged 92 years and was succeeded by his wife, Han, who skilfully resumed and adjusted the millenarian course taken by her husband (cf. Pokorny 2013b). The two represent what Unificationists piously address as ‘True Parents’ ( ch’am pumo ) or – more formally – ‘True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind’ ( ch’ŏnjiin ch’am pumo ). This appellation not only implies members’ acknowledgment of their unchallenged authority – which Han wields as much as Mun did before her – but is akin to recognising their divinely ordained salvific status, both of whose legitimation is essentially derived from Mun’s reinterpretation of the biblical account of the Fall ( t’arak ) and its assumed restoration ( pokkwi ), as outlined in the Wŏlli kangnon ( WK ; Exposition of the Principle ). 4 Mun, the ‘third [as well as the fourth] Adam’ ( 3ch’a adam ), 5 and Han, being in the position of restored Eve, are believed by Unificationists to have ultimately redeemed the Fall, subjugating the devil ( angma ) (CSG IV.2.2.18, 415) and thus concluding God’s ideal of creation ( ch’angjo isang ), that is the establishment of Cheon Il Guk, ‘a world that actualises the ideal of freedom, peace, unification, and happiness centring on God and True Parents’ (CIG-C §8.1) 6 (cf. Pokorny 2014: 139-144). According to Unification thought, Mun and Han consummated what God ( hananim ) had anticipated to originally happen between Adam ( adam ) and Eve ( haewa ) in the Garden of Eden ( eden tongsan ) already ’6000 years ago’ (CSG II.1.2.18, 154), but which was at the time thwarted by the machinations of the archangel ‘Nusiel’ (Lucifer). The instigator of the Fall, Nusiel thus became Satan ( sat’an ) and the ‘ruler of this world’ 7 (WK I.2.4, 92). Under his sovereignty, humankind created hell on earth and in heaven (CSG VII.2.1.16, 726), unknowingly carrying into effect the fruits of the Fall.