AAR 2020: Chinese Christianities Unit

This is the inaugural year of our AAR program unit with a “Unit” status, as opposed to its more temporary “Seminar” status. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing public health situation, we are glad to be able to hold our two sessions in AAR in an online format. While details are available in the online program book, I have also included it here.

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Matthew Kim and Daniel Wong’s ‘Finding Our Voice’ – A Book Review

Finding Our Voice: A Vision for Asian North American Preaching.  By Matthew D. Kim and Daniel L. Wong. Bellingham, WA, USA, Lexham Press 2020. Pp. 187. $17.99.

The first class I ever took in seminary was entitled the ‘Ministry of God’s Word’. I was instructed to preach mindful of Karl Barth who said that we are to hold the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. The course proceeded to discuss the biblical precedence of preaching and what was to be expected in our continued ministry of God’s word. I very much appreciated that class. But, in hindsight, I realise that the tools I was trained in were much more focused on properly holding the Bible than in holding the newspaper—the present situations the congregation was facing.

It has been two decades since taking that class and the majority of my sermons have been delivered in Chinese communities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. I have read a number of books, with envy, which address other communities such as Cleophus LaRue’s The Heart of Black Preaching (WJK 2000) and Justo González and Pablo Jiménez’s Púlpito: An Introduction to Hispanic Preaching (Abingdon 2005). So I was excited to see the publication of a book that’s authors read a similar ‘newspaper’ as I do—Matthew Kim and Daniel Wong’s Finding Our Voice: A Vision for Asian North American Preaching (Lexham 2020).

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Chinese Christianities: Assignment for the 2020s

At the end of 2019, the AAR Chinese Christianities Seminar had concluded its fifth and final year under the “seminar” status. We needed to therefore submit a proposal if we wanted to continue in the future as a “unit.” We were successful (yay!), and the Chinese Christianities Unit now has a 2020 CfP. (You can follow us on Facebook too!) In the process of writing our proposal, we had to make an intellectual argument as to why such a group was needed. Here is an excerpt of that text, jointly produced by our steering group.

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AAR 2020: Chinese Christianities Unit – Call for Papers

American Academy of Religion, 2020 Meeting
Chinese Christianities Unit
Deadline for proposals: 2 March 2020

Half a century ago, John Fairbank offered an “Assignment for the ‘70s,” arguing for scholars to take into consideration the encounter between American missionaries and Chinese Christians. Mindful of the growth in the academic field of Chinese Christianities, especially the rapid production of new studies in the last decade, this inaugural year of the Chinese Christianities Unit offers us a new challenge—an “Assignment for the 2020s,” which suggests the need to slow down and reconsider the field of Chinese Christianities, from multiple disciplinary, confessional, and regional perspectives. We welcome papers in the following or related areas:

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Yale-Edinburgh 2020 – Call for Papers

Oral, Print, and Digital Cultures in World Christianity and the History of Mission
New College, University of Edinburgh, 25–27 June 2020
Proposals due: March 6, 2020
Registration deadline: March 30, 2020

The next meeting of the Yale-Edinburgh Group on World Christianity and the History of Mission will take place in New College, University of Edinburgh, from 25–27 June 2020. The theme will be Oral, Print, and Digital Cultures in World Christianity and the History of Mission.

Studies in world Christianity and the history of mission have not been afraid to engage the topic of culture. However, they have mostly referred to the encounters of Western Christian cultures with another, whether that be Confucian and Hindu culture, or the indigenous cultures of the Americas, Africa, and Oceania. This year’s theme uses the language of culture to speak about three different mediums in which the Christian message is communicated and the Christian life is practiced. These cultures have developed somewhat chronologically, but they also simultaneously coexist in the contemporary world. Continue reading→