About Alexander Chow

Alexander Chow is an American-born Chinese who was raised in Southern California. He completed his PhD in theology at the University of Birmingham, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Renmin University of China, where he was doing research in Chinese Christianity and teaching in the School of Liberal Arts, and joined the University of Edinburgh in September 2013. He is also an editor of Studies in World Christianity.

Studies in World Christianity, Issue 23.2

Chinese Identity, Christian Identity

Studies in World Christianity

Readers of Studies in World Christianity will be well acquainted with the parable of the Professor of Comparative Inter-Planetary Religions.1 As narrated by Andrew Walls, this long-living, scholarly space visitor travels to Earth on a number of occasions to conduct field research related to the religion known as ‘Christianity’, from the Council of Jerusalem to the Council of Nicaea, from the seventh century in Ireland to the 1840s in London and the 1980s in Lagos, Nigeria. What would differ if our space visitor were to narrow the scope of his research to a particular subgrouping of the human species, such as to those with some affiliation with the descriptor ‘Chinese’? Would Walls’ ‘indigenising’ principle have to be envisioned differently if we were to speak of a more unified understanding of ‘culture’? Or, perhaps, would ‘Chinese culture’ need to be re-evaluated as embodying manifold meanings, especially when ‘Chinese’ is not limited to a given time or locale? Does Walls’ ‘pilgrim’ principle, which speaks of the universalising factor of Christianity, add to or take away from Chinese culture? Continue reading

Wikipedia in the Classroom

As discussed elsewhere, Edinburgh’s World Christianity students have been working to bring what they are learning in their courses out into the wider world through Wikipedia. The University’s Wikimedian in Resident Ewan McAndrew interviewed Dr Alexander Chow1 and two students, Lucy Schouten and Nuam Hatsaw,2 about their experiences.


  1.  Abridged version available here
  2. Abridged version available here

Studies in World Christianity, Issue 22.3

Eschatology, Time and Space

Studies in World Christianity

In his famous commentary on Romans, Karl Barth examines Romans 8:24–25 and explains that, without eschatological hope,1

there is no freedom, but only imprisonment; no grace, but only condemnation and corruption; no divine guidance, but only fate; no God, but only a mirror of unredeemed humanity.

For this Swiss theologian, Christianity void of ‘restless eschatology’ is Christianity void of a relationship with Christ and a new life offered by the Holy Spirit. Eschatological hope is the basis for Christian salvation and offers a reason to strive and a reason to change – to change oneself and to change one’s surrounding world. Most commonly, eschatology is understood in terms of the dimension of time. But for others, eschatology reorients understandings of the dimension of space. The four articles in this issue of Studies in World Christianity engage this overarching subject of Christian eschatology, but also how different contexts develop understandings of eschatology in terms of time and space. Continue reading

Prof. Andrew Walls: What is World Christianity?

This is an interview with Prof. Andrew F. Walls, founder and honorary professor of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity, conducted in August 2016. Prof. Walls discusses his understanding of the field of study which is now known as ‘world Christianity’ – a field which he helped to create.