Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Christian Theology in Asia

In light of the recent proposal by Tony Siew concerning the need for a Asian Theology series and the subsequent brainstorming by Alex, it would also be good for me to highlight a very recent publication by Cambridge University Press on the title Christian Theology in Asia, edited by Sebastian Kim.

The publisher provides the description of this new publication:

"The majority of the world's Christians now live outside Europe and North America, and global Christianity is becoming increasingly diverse. Interest in the history and theology of churches in non-Western contexts is growing rapidly as 'old world' churches face this new reality. This book focuses on how Asian Christian theologies have been shaped by the interaction of Christian communities with the societies around them and how they relate to the specific historical contexts from which they have emerged. The distinctiveness of Asian Christianity is shown to be the outcome of dealing with various historical challenges."

"Questions addressed include:
  • How does Asian Christianity relate to local socio-cultural, religious and political environments?
  • What is distinctive about the historical development of Asian theologies?
  • How have Asian theologies contributed to contemporary theological discussions within world Christianity?"
This book also:

  • Explains the development of Christian theologies in India, Indonesia, China, Japan and South Korea
  • Explores theological themes emerging from the Asian Christian experience
  • Employs historical and theological methods to enable readers to grasp theology in context

The Table of Contents of this edited volume looks impressive with contribution from prominent theologians, as highlighted below:

I. Formation of Christian theologies in Asia
1. Introduction: mapping Asian Christianity in the context of world Christianity by David M. Thompson

2. The Mystery of God in and through Hinduism by Jacob Kavunkal

3. Waters of life and Indian cups: Protestant attempts at theologizing in India by Israel Selvanayagam

4. From abandonment to blessing: the theological presence of Christianity in Indonesia by John A. Titaley

5. Studying Christianity and doing theology extra ecclesiam in China by Choong Chee Pang

6. Christian theology under feudalism, nationalism and democracy in Japan by Nozomu Miyahira

7. The word and the spirit: overcoming poverty, injustice and division in Korea by Sebastian C. H. Kim

II. Theological themes of Christianity in Asia
8. Religious pluralism, dialogue and Asian Christian responses by M. Thomas Thangaraj

9. Cross-textual hermeneutics and identity in multi-scriptural Asia by Archie C. C. Lee

10. Re-constructing Asian feminist theology: toward a glocal feminist theology in an era of neo-Empire(s) by Namsoon Kang

11. The ecumenical movement in Asia in the context of Asian socio-political realities by S. Wesley Ariarajah

12. Mission and evangelism: evangelical and pentecostal theologies in Asia by Hwa Yung

13. Subalterns, identity politics and Christian theology in India by Sathianathan Clarke

An excerpt from the Introduction is also available by clicking here.

I am looking forward in getting hold of this book when it arrives in the seminary library.


愛丁堡.四十不惑 said...

Please go to: http://yamje.blogspot.com/2008/03/evangelicals-and-east-asian-contextual.html

I thought you might be also interested in this post by my friend: Evangelical and East Asian contextual theology

Sze Zeng said...

Hi KY,

I've posted some thoughts on this. It's here

Kar Yong said...

Hi Samuel,

Thanks for the link.

Kar Yong said...

Hi Josh,

Thanks for your stimulating thoughts.

Like Tony, I would also take issue with a couple of points you raise, but perhaps I would respond to this later.

I would also agree with Tony that haveing a western theological education is not really a disadvantage. I think it does bring some riches to the debates.

But I also think that the biggest hurdle we face now is not the scholars that are working on asian theology but the church at large. Is the church ready to embrace "asian theology"? or would she prefer a "western" answer? Just take as an example, I have been trying to read the scriptures from my own Asian (or better still, Malaysian) eyes, and my upcoming SBL International paper is an example.

Sometimes, I find some of my readings may sound too "radical" in the eyes of the people in our own church. One even remarked to me, "How can you read the Bible like that!" Asian scholars may be ready to work on Asian theology, but would the church be ready to listen? I am saying this as a person that is not an armchair scholar, but one that is fully engaged and involved in the church as well.

On the contrary, I find my Western counterparts are more willing to engage me in this area.

Matt Stone said...

Hi, I found this very interesting and have linked you here at Glocal Christianity

Kar Yong said...

Hi Matt,
Thanks for dropping by and for linking this post to your blog.

You have a very interesting blog! Keep it up.