Eminent Chinese Theologian from USA Receives Top Swedish Honor

Jan 28, 2011 06:47 AM EST

Chinese Christian scholars is honored by Swedish university (Vocus/PRWEB) January 27, 2011

One of USA's top Professor Pui Lan Kwok, one of the United States' most eminent Chinese-born Christian theologians, is to receive an honorary degree from the University of Uppsala in Sweden on January 28.

Professor Kwok (in Chinese usage the correct writing of her name is Kwok Pui Lan (surname before first name)) is William F Cole professor of Christian Theology and Spirituality at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

President and Dean of Episcopal Divinity School, Katherine Hancock Ragsdale said: “We are very fortunate to have Professor Kwok as part of our faculty; she is highly regarded, and is a popular figure among students, faculty, and theologians globally. She is also, possibly one of the best networkers on campus, with a range of unparalleled international contacts she can draw on. She has an abiding interest in our students and is active in helping to organize discussion groups and in personally mentoring individuals.”

In November last year, she was also elected President of the 10,000 member, American Academy of Religion. The month before that she was elected to the Board of the Foundation of Theological Education in South East Asia, and next year will take a group of students, and theologians from the USA to visit China.

A widely travelled theologian, Professor Kwok is considered expert on aspects of Christianity in south east Asia. She is a popular speaker at international events and is a keen blogger, writing for EDS, 99 Brattle, among other blog sites.

She recently delivered the John Albert Hall Lectures at the University of Victoria in Victoria, Canada, and spoke on Clergy Day at the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia. On December 13, she led a workshop on transnational pedagogy for the faculty of Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Altanta, Georgia.

She was voted by the Theology Faculty to receive an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University on January 28. The citation translated from Swedish by Professor Kajsa Ahlstrand reads:

“Dr. Kwok Pui Lan is an internationally distinguished and wide ranging scholar. Her main areas of scholarship are Asian feminist theology in which she has done important pioneer work, post-colonial theology, and intercultural theology. Her list of publications is long, and includes works in Chinese church history, feminist theology, inter religious dialogue, biblical hermeneutics and postcolonial critique.

“Kwok's Chinese Women and Christianity 1860-1927 (1992) is a textbook used at the undergraduate level in Church and Mission Studies; it has year after year been ranked very highly in student evaluations because of its theoretical and methodological clarity.

“Kwok is also the author of: Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology (2005), Discovering the Bible in the Non-Biblical World (1995), Introducing Asian Feminist Theology (2000). She is editor of Off the Menu: Asian and Asian North American Women's Religion and Theology (2007), Beyond Colonial Anglicanism: The Anglican Communion in the Twenty-First Century (2001) and The Empire & the Christian Tradition: New Readings of Classical Theologians (2007).

“Dr. Kwok, who has her doctorate from Harvard, has held senior positions at the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. Professor Kwok is an editor of several international academic journals. An honorary doctor is called by the faculty and not by a discipline.

“Kwok Pui Lan is an inspiring and innovative researcher with connections to many of the faculty's disciplines: World Christianity and Interreligious Studies, Church History, Ecclesiology, Systematic Theology, Comparative Religion, and Biblical Studies. The faculty has to our knowledge not previously bestowed an honorary doctorate to a researcher focusing on Chinese Church History and Theology. We believe that Kwok Pui Lan may play an important role in the development of the faculty of Theology.”

Professor Kwok is presently in Sweden and will return to the USA in the first week of February.