Please click on the speaker’s name to read their biography.
- Dr. Wesley Ariarajah
- Dr. Diana Eck
- Dr. Theodore Jennings
- Dr. Hyun-Shik Jun
- Bishop Hee-Soo Jung
- Dr. Namsoon Kang
- Rev. Dr. Youngsook Charlene Kang
- Dr. Laurel Kearns
- Dr. Catherine Keller
- Dr. Heung Gyu Kim
- Dr. Jung Bae Lee
- Dr. Hyo-Dong Lee
- Dr. Un-sunn Lee
- Dr. Jay McDaniel
- Dr. Seo Bo Myung
- Dr. Andrew Sung Park
- Dr. Peter Phan
- Dr. Young Chan Ro
- Bishop Roy Sano
- Dr. Ick-Sang Shin
- Bishop Kyung-Ha Shin
- Dr. M. Thomas Thangaraj
- Dr. John Thatamanil
- Dr. Hans Ucko
Dr. Wesley Ariarajah
Prof. S. Wesley Ariarajah, Methodist Minister from Sri Lanka, is currently professor of Ecumenical Theology at the Drew University School of Theology. Before joining Drew in 1997 he served as the Director of the Interfaith Dialogue Program of the World Council of Churches, Geneva for 12 years and later as the Deputy General Secretary of the WCC. He has given lectures and written a number of books and articles on Interfaith Dialogue and Ecumenism. His publications include, The Bible and People of Other Faiths (in 12 languages), Not without My Neighbour – Issues in Interfaith Relations, Christians and Hindus – A Century of Protestant Ecumenical Thought, Axis of Peace – Christian Faith in Times of Violence and War. His latest volume, “Your God, My God, Our God –Rethinking Christian Theology for Religious Plurality” will be out this Fall by the WCC.
Dr. Diana Eck
Diana L. Eck is Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University and is also a member of the Faculty of Divinity. For more than a decade, she worked in interfaith relations with the WCC and is currently chair of the Interfaith Relations Commission of the NCC. Her research project, The Pluralism Project, studies religious diversity and interfaith engagement in the U.S. and in 1998, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal for her work on Pluralism. Her Edinburgh Gifford Lectures (2010) were on “The Age of Pluralism.” Eck’s books include Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banaras, A New Religious America, and, most recently, India: A Sacred Geography.
Dr. Theodore Jennings
Theodore W. (Ted) Jennings is Professor of Biblical and Philosophical Theology at the Chicago Theological Seminary. He is the author of nearly 20 books including: Good News to the Poor: John Wesley’s Evangelical Economics (Abingdon); Reading Derrida/Thinking Paul: On Justice (Stanford, 2005); Santificacion y Transformacion Social (ISEDET,, Argentina 2008); Transforming Atonement: A Political Theology of the Cross (Fortress, 2009); Plato or Paul: The Origins of Western Homophobia (Pilgrim, 2009). Professor Jennings has lectured widely in Latin America and Asia, most recently in Mexico (where he previously taught in the Seminario Metodista de Mexico), Argentina, the Philippines, Korea, and Taiwan. His work has appeared in Spanish, Portuguese, German, Japanese and Korean.
Dr. Hyun-Shik Jun
Hyun-Shik Jun is professor of systematic theology and associate dean for academic affairs of College of Theology, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. He is director of the Korean Institute of Christianity and Culture. He received his Ph.D degree in the systematic theology from Northwest University, Evanston, IL. He is interested in interdisplinary research and dialogue among theology, Tonghak, ecology, feminism and economics. He is now working on Korean Green Theology integrating those areas. He has written several books and many articles including Ecofeminist Theology and Tonghak. He serves on the Korean Christian Environmental Movement Alliance and a member of Wisconsin Conference, United Methodist Church.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung
Before his election, Bishop Jung served as a district superintendent in the Wisconsin Conference for eight years and chaired the Department of Religion and Philosophy and was Dean of the University Chapel at Kangnam University and Seminary in Kyungki-Do, Korea.
Jung has served as pastor of congregations in Wisconsin, California, Texas and Korea and was responsible for establishing a new Korean congregation at University UMC in Madison, WI.
Known across the denomination for his work on refugee, immigration, cross-cultural and interfaith relations issues, Jung has been a board member of the General Commission on Christian Unity and Inter-Religious Concerns and General Commission on United Methodist Men.
He was the first of three bishops elected at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference in 2004 and was assigned to the Chicago Episcopal Area. Bishop Jung is one of only three people of Korean descent to be elected Bishop in the UMC, and the first non-Anglo bishop to serve as the head of this ethnically-diverse conference. He currently serves on the UM General Board of Discipleship, JustPeace, the UM National Hispanic Plan and the UM Korean National Plan.
Education: Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
M.A. Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, CA
Dr. Namsoon Kang
Kang is Professor of World Christianity and Religions at Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University. She taught on the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, UK, and Methodist Theological University, Korea. She was a plenary speaker at the WCC 9th Assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2006. She has given lectures and speeches in Hong Kong, Thailand, Jamaica, India, Korea, Japan, Philippine, Indonesia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, and the US. Holding her Ph.D. from Drew University, she is currently the president of WOCATI (World Conference of Associations of Theological Institutions). Her most recent publications include The Handbook of Theological Education in World Christianity (Co-edited), “Transethnic Feminist Theology of Asia,”” and “Towards a Cosmopolitan Theology: Constructing Public Theology from the Future.”
Rev. Dr. Youngsook Charlene Kang
The Rev. Dr. Youngsook Charlene Kang is Director of Mission and Ministry, Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church. She has just completed her term as District Superintendent of the Metropolitan District. Prior to her superintendency work, she served as Deputy General Secretary, Mission Contexts & Relationships/Mission Education for the General Board of Global Ministries.
Rev. Kang earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew Theological School. She also earned the Master of Divinity degree from the Iliff School of Theology and the Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver. She worked closely with many ecumenical and interfaith organizations including the World Council of Churches, National Council of Churches, Church World Services, Colorado Council of Churches and Relgious Advisory Council of the University of Denver.
Dr. Laurel Kearns
Dr. Laurel Kearns is Associate Professor of Sociology and Religion and Environmental Studies at Drew Theological School and the Graduate Division of Religion of Drew University, where she has taught certification, masters, Ph.D and D. Min students since 1994. . She has researched, published and given talks around the globe on religion and environmentalism for over 20 years. In addition to helping found the Green Seminary Initiative, she has worked with the interfaith group GreenFaith since 1995, and is now serving on the Sustainability Committees of both Drew University and the American Academy of Religion, where she also chaired the Religion and Ecology Steering Committee. In addition to EcoSpirit: Religions and Philosophies for the Earth, co-edited with Catherine Keller, she has contributed chapters to volumes such as the Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology and the blackwell companion to religion and social justice; Religion, Globalization, and Culture; and the Oxford Handbook on Climate Change and Society, as well as articles in journals such as Sociology of Religion, Religon, Nature and Culture, and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Dr. Catherine Keller
Catherine Keller is Professor of Constructive Theology in the Theological School and Graduate Division of Religion of Drew University, where she has taught since 1986. In resonance with an older Drew theopoetics, her teaching roots in a Christianity nourished by a deep doctrinal history, a daunting social engagement and an enlivening pluralism. Her research plies the spectrum of recent philosophical, feminist and eco-political theory in interaction with cosmology and mysticism. Books she has authored include Apocalypse Now & Then; God & Power; Face of the Deep: a Theology of Becoming; and On the Mystery. She has co-edited several volumes of the Drew Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium, including Postcolonial Theologies, Ecospirit, Apophatic Bodies, and, Polydoxy. She is currently writing Cloud of the Impossible: Theological Entanglements.
Dr. Heung Gyu Kim
A native of Korea, Heung-Gyu Kim received his B.Th. degree from Methodist Theological University, Seoul, Korea, M.Div. from the Perkins of SMU, and Ph.D. in systematic theology from SMU. He was a recipient of John Moore and Dempster Fellowships. A clergy member of the Central Annual Conference of the Korean Methodist Church, he is serving Naeri Methodist Church, mother church of Korean Methodism, established in 1885 by Henry G. Appenzeller, the first missionary to Korea and graduate of Drew. He also served pastoral appointments in the United Methodist Church of Nebraska and Texas before going back to his home country in 2004. In addition his pastoral services, Dr. Kim taught courses related to systematic theology at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Methodist Theological University, and Paichai University. His publications include Prolegomena to a Christian Theology of Religions and some other Korean books.
Dr. Jung Bae Lee
Lee JungBae is Professor of Cross-cultural Philosophy of Religion hat Methodist Theological University where he teaches in the areas of philosophy of Religion & theology of culture since 1986. He received Dr. Theol from Basel Univ, Switzerland. He is the author of A study on the korean protestant avant-garde indigenous theology(Seoul 2003), Cross-cultural hermeneutic and theological Imagination(MTU press 2005), God who is without being(Seoul 2009), praying in accordance with Bin Tang, empty space(Seoul 2011), and of numerous books on ecology, theology of life.
Dr. Hyo-Dong Lee
Professor Hyo-Dong Lee joined the faculty of the Drew University School of Theology and its Graduate Department of Religion as Assistant Professor of Comparative Theology in September 2007. He is a native of South Korea and holds a B.A. from Yonsei University, an M.A. from McGill University, an M.Div. from the United Theological College, Montreal, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. His teaching and research interests lie in the area broadly defined as theology of religions and comparative theology, and more specifically, a dialogue between the Christian/Western theological tradition and Northeast Asian religious thought, including Confucianism Daoism, Donghak, etc. His interests extend also to postcolonial theories and European postmodern thought. His publications are: “Interreligious Dialogue as a Politics of Recognition: A Postcolonial Re-reading of Hegel for Interreligious Solidarity.” The Journal of Religion 85, no. 45 (2005); “‘Empty and Tranquil, and Without Any Sign, and Yet All Things Are Already Luxuriantly Present’: A Comparative-Theological Reflection on the Manifold Spirit.” In Polydoxy: Theology of Multiplicity and Relation. Ed. Catherine Keller and Laurel C. Schneider. London and New York: Routledge, 2010. He has recently completed a book manuscript, which is a comparative-theological examination of the notion of Spirit and Ch’i, drawing on Hegel, Whitehead, Deleuze, Daoism, Neo-Confucianism, Donghak, and postcolonial theory.
Dr. Un-sunn Lee
Un-Sunn Lee is Professor of Philosophy of Education and Asian Studies at Sejong University, Seoul Korea. She received a Dr. Theol. from Basel University in a comparative study of Wang Yang-ming and H. Pestalozzi. Her special research interests lie in feminist dialogue between Religion, Politics and Education. She is the author of Postmodernism and Korean Feminist Theology(Seoul 1997), Confucianism, Christianity and Feminism(Seoul 2003), In Search for the lost Transcendence, The religiosity of Korean Confucianism and Feminism(Seoul 2009), Korean Feminist Theology of all life-giving Spirituality(Seoul 2011).
Dr. Jay McDaniel
Dr. Jay McDaniel is the author of several books at the intersection of process theology, ecology, and Buddhism, including With Roots and Wings: Christianity in an Age of Ecology and Dialogue and Gandhi’s Hope: Learning from Other Religions as a Path to Peace. For the past eight years he has turned his focus to cross-cultural dialogue with process thinkers in mainland China, working on the mutual development of East and West, under the auspices of the Institute for the Constructive Postmodern Development of China. This has led him to turn to online sources as means by which learning communities in Asia and the West might learn with, and from, one another. Toward this end he has been developing a website — www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org – which includes more than 300 articles, come in Chinese, on applied process theology, and a 20 part video series introducing viewers in China and the United States to the philosophy of Whitehead
Dr. Seo Bo Myung
I teach at Chicago Theological Seminary, as associate professor of theology and cultural criticism. My areas of teaching and research interest include philosophical theology and comparative religious studies. My most recent research project has been focused on looking into the current state of higher education and changing conceptions of knowledge in the humanities. I also direct the Center for the Study of Korean Christianity, founded five year ago, to promote interest in the history and theology of Korean Christianity.
Dr. Andrew Sung Park
Andrew Park has been engaged in dialogue with Buddhists since 1985. Andrew’s research interests are the rebirth of Christianity, spirituality and liberation, inter-religious dialogue, multi-culturalism, racial relations, just peace-building, Christology, global and ecological wholeness, theology and science, the healing of the Holy Spirit, and Christian ethics. His publications include The Wounded Heart of God (Abingdon Press, 1993), Racial Conflict and Healing (Orbis Books, 1996, a Gustavus Myers Award for an outstanding book on the subject of human rights in North America in 1997), God Who Needs Our Salvation a video-tape, (Morehouse Publishing, 2000), The Other Side of Sin (SUNY 2001, co-editor), From Hurt to Healing (Abingdon, 2004), and Triune Atonement: Christ’s Healing for Sinners, Victims, and the Whole Creation (John Knox/Westminster, 2009). In addition, he has authored a number of journal articles and book chapters. He is an ordained elder in the California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Dr. Peter Phan
Peter C. Phan came to Georgetown University in 2003 and currently he holds the Ignacio Ellacuría Chair of Catholic Social Thought and is the founding Director of Graduate Studies of Ph.D. program in Theology and Religious Studies. He has earned three doctorates: S.T.D. from the Universitas Pontificia Salesiana, Rome, and Ph.D. and D.D. from the University of London. He has also received two honorary degrees: Doctor of Theology from Catholic Theological Union and Doctor of Humane Letters from Elms College. Professor Phan began his teaching career in philosophy at the age of eighteen at Don Bosco College, Hong Kong. In the United States, he has taught at the University of Dallas, TX; the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, where he held the Warren-Blanding Chair of Religion and Culture; Union Theological Seminary, NY; Elms College, Chicopee, MA; and St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI. He is also on the faculty of the East Asian Pastoral Institute, Manila, and Liverpool Hope University, England. He is the first non-Anglo to be elected President of Catholic Theological Society of America.
His publications in theology are wide-ranging. They deal with the theology of icon in Orthodox theology (Culture and Eschatology: The Iconographical Vision of Paul Evdokimov); patristic theology (Social Thought; Grace and the Human Condition); eschatology (Eternity in Time: A Study of Rahner’s Eschatology; Death and Eternal Life); the history of mission in Asia (Mission and Catechesis: Alexandre de Rhodes and Inculturation in Seventeenth-Century Vietnam) and liberation, inculturation, and interreligious dialogue (Christianity with an Asian Face; In Our Own Tongues; Being Religious Interreligiously). In addition, he has edited some 20 volumes (e.g., Christianity and the Wider Ecumenism; Church and Theology; Journeys at the Margins; The Asian Synod; The Gift of the Church; Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy). His many writings have been translated into Italian, German, French, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. He is general editor of a multi-volume series entitled Theology in Global Perspective for Orbis Books and a multi-volume series entitled Ethnic American Pastoral Spirituality for Paulist Press. His writings have received many awards from learned societies.
Dr. Young Chan Ro
Young-chan Ro is Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, and Director of Korean Studies Center, George Mason University.
He authored The Korean Neo-Confucianism of Yi Yulgok (SUNY Press, 1987) and co-authored The Four-Seven Debate: The Most Famous Controversy in Korean Neo-Confucianism (SUNY Press, 1995). He also published several book chapters in Neo-Confucianism including, “Ecological Implications of Yi Yulgoks cosmology ” Confucianism and Ecology (Edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Berthrong) Harvard University Press in 1998, and “Morality, Spirituality, and Spontaneity in Korean Neo-Confucianism” Confucian Spirituality, Volume Two (Edited by Tu Weiming and Mary Evelyn Tucker), The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2004.He has published many articles in Korean studies, Confucian studies, and comparative religion.
He is a graduate of Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea and Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (Th.M.) and received Ph.D. in Religious Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara. He teaches in the areas of comparative religion, conflict and dialogue in religion, Mysticism: East and West, and East Asian religions, especially Confucianism and Daoism.
He is a recipient of a most prestigious academic award in Confucian studies in Korea, Yulgok Scholarly Award in 2004. He also served as co-chair of Korean Religions Group of American Academy of Religion (AAR)
Bishop Roy Sano
Roy I. Sano was born to Japanese immigrants parents, 1931, Brawley, CA.
Roy was appointed to various pastoral roles for 19 years, and taught a total of 15 years at Mills College and Pacific School of Religion. As a United Methodist bishop, he was assigned to the Denver Area, 1984-1992, and the Los Angeles Area, 1992-2000.
His spouse is Kathleen A. Thomas-Sano. Children are Topaz, Timothy, and Barton, married to Sharon King Sano; grandchildren are Evan and Kira.
He graduated from UCLA and Union Theological Seminary, New York, and completed his Ph. D., 1972, at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA.
Dr. Ick-Sang Shin
Dr. Ick-Sang Shin is Research Professor, the Research Institute of Theology at Sungkonghoe(Anglican) Univ., Seoul, Korea and lecturing on “Evolution Theory and Christianity” at Methodist Theological Univ., Seoul, Korea.
Bishop Kyung-Ha Shin
Dr. Rev. Kyung-Ha Shin is a retired bishop of the KMC who is currently serving as Chief Director of Tae Wha Welfare Foundation holding this position since 2004. He graduated in 1973 with an M. Div. from Methodist Theological Seminary where he also received his Doctorate of Ministry in 1994. He has faithfully served as the senior pastor in various ministerial placements such as Koon Nam Jaeil Church, Dae Kwang Church, West Uijungbu Church, Do Bong Church, and Ah Hyun Church. His denominational leadership includes Dobong District Superintendent and the President of Bishops’ Council of Korean Methodist Church among others. Dr. Shin has wide ranging experience working with various Methodist councils, Christian broadcasting system, and universities including Hyupsung and Mokwon. Dr. Shin has published notable books his most recent being 1 Minute Every Morning.
Dr. M. Thomas Thangaraj
M. Thomas Thangaraj retired in 2008 as Professor Emeritus of World Christianity at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. He taught at Tamilnadu Theological Seminary in Madurai, India for several years before his move to Emory in 1988. He has widely published in Tamil and English, and his publications include, The Crucified Guru: An Experiment in Cross-Cultural Christology (Abingdon, 1994), Relating to People of Other Religions: What Every Christian Needs to Know (Abingdon, 1997), The Common Task: A Theology of Christian Mission (Abingdon, 1999), Hermeneutical Explorations in Dialogue (co-edited, ISPCK, 2007). He is currently at Boston University School of Theology, Boston, MA, as their Visiting Professor of Global Christianity.
Dr. John Thatamanil
John J. Thatamanil is Associate Professor of Theology and World Religions at Union Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Immanent Divine: God, Creation, and the Human Predicament. An East-West Conversation (Fortress Press, 2006). He is currently completing his second book entitled, The Promise of Religious Diversity: Constructive Theology After “Religion.” Prof. Thatamanil is a past-president of the North American Paul Tillich Society (NAPTS), Co-Chair of the AAR’s Theological Education Committee, and Project Director of the AAR’s Summer Seminars on Theologies of Religious Pluralism and Comparative Theology. He teaches a wide variety of courses including “Process Theology,” “Tillich and the Future of Theology,” “Hindu-Christian Dialogue,” and “Comparative Theology.”
Dr. Hans Ucko
Rev. Dr. Hans Ucko, former Program Executive, Office on Interreligious Relations and Dialogue (IRRD) of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Geneva with the particular portfolio of Jewish-Christian relations and equally responsible for multilateral interreligious dialogues and in cooperation with Faith and Order and CWME (Commission on World Mission and Evangelism) the theological assessment of Christian involvement in interreligious dialogue. Former President of Religions for Peace Europe. Secretary of the Board of Trustees, Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT. Co-chair of the interreligious program “A World Day of Prayer and Action for Children” of Arigatou Foundation in cooperation with UNICEF. Major publications include Common Roots, New Horizons, Geneva 1994, The People and the People of God, Minjung and Dalit Theology in Interaction with Jewish-Christian Dialogue, Münster 2002 and Changing the Present, Dreaming the Future – A Critical Moment in Interreligious Dialogue (ed.), Geneva 2006.
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