Women and the World Church: Second Panel

The Centre for World Christianity co-hosted a one-day conference on ‘Women in the World Church’ to explore the historical and contemporary role of women in global Christianity on 16 September 2017. The title address came from guest scholar Professor Kwok Pui-Lan, an Asian feminist theologian, who focused her remarks on both the women who helped to build the growing Christian communities in the Global South and those of the women missionaries who served them.

As one of a panel of respondents from the field of Arab Christianity, I focused my remarks on a portion of Professor Kwok’s thesis:

The study of the agency of local Christian women must take into consideration the wider social, historical, and political environment in which these women lived.

As I consider the field of the world’s Christianity in which I aim to specialize – contemporary Christianity of the Arab world and of Jordan in particular – I would consider the effects of such environments on local Christian women as well. They have not always affected them, or myself, as I first expected. Continue reading

Women and the World Church: First Panel

I was invited to respond to Professor Kwok Pui-lan’s paper, and share about being a woman in the Zomi church. Professor Kwok highlighted the somewhat contradictory nature of freedom that many missionary women experienced. She noted that although mission work allowed women to have a profession, they were still nonetheless working within the confines of set gender roles and Victorian notions of domesticity. Their work was ‘woman’s work’, and they received low wages if any. For me, as a Zomi woman, her remarks reminded me of the current situation of many women in my community. Continue reading

New Appointment: Dr Emma Wild-Wood

The Centre for the Study of World Christianity is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Emma Wild-Wood as our new Senior Lecturer in African Christianity and African Indigenous Religions, with effect from 1 January 2018.

Emma comes to us from Cambridge, where she has been the Director of the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide and more recently has filled the post of Lecturer in World Christianities in the University’s Faculty of Divinity while the current post-holder has been on a two-year research leave. She also taught in DR Congo and in Uganda for a number of years. Emma did her PhD in the Centre here in Edinburgh under Dr Jack Thompson, so she is returning to familiar territory. Continue reading

What do Monks and Friars have in common?

by Eva Pascal (originally posted here.)

What do Buddhist monks and Christian friars have in common? Quite a bit, in fact. While travelling widely across Asia in the late sixteenth century, Franciscans had rich encounters and exchanges with Buddhist monks that led them to identify Buddhism as a unified tradition and a powerful religion in the region.

Westerners encountering new cultures in the early modern period often found it difficult to categorize unfamiliar traditions. For many, the religious landscape was divided into Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Anything outside of that landscape was lumped together as idolatry or paganism – often described as superstition. Repeated new encounters with other traditions prompted new categories with newly identified religions. Many scholars of the process of the transformation of how Westerners categorized and understood religion agree that Buddhism, when it came to be identified as a single entity in the West, had the special distinction of being the first religion parallel to Christianity, and the first “world religion” next to Christianity. Scholars have largely assumed the idea of Buddhism as a common religion across Asia emerged in the west in the nineteenth century. Continue reading

Hong Kong Public Lecture: Christianity and Nationalism: Friend or Foe?

Hong Kong Public Lecture
6th October, 2015 (Tue), 7:30-9:30pm, HKSKH All Saints’ Cathedral

Christianity and Nationalism: Friend or Foe?
Reflections from East Asian Experience in the Twentieth Century

Speaker: Professor Brian Stanley, University of Edinburgh
Respondent: Professor Francis CW Yip, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Christianity and Nationalism - Friend or Foe Continue reading