Post-Colonial Theologian to Deliver Smith Lectures at Mercer

January 27, 2010

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037   

MACON — Dr. Kwok Pui Lan, a pioneer in Asian feminist theology and postcolonial theology, has been named Mercer University’s 2010 Harry Vaughan Smith Distinguished Visiting Professor of Christianity. Dr. Kwok will give three lectures in February as part of her appointment. Each lecture is free and open to the public.

The William F. Cole Professor of Christian Theology and Spirituality at the Episcopal Divinity School, Dr. Kwok is an internationally known theologian who has been a pioneer in developing postcolonial theology and a theological critique of empire. She is also a noted Asian Christian feminist theologian and has created a network of theologians from developing countries committed to developing new ways of reading scriptures and traditions in light of the demands of the 21st Century.

Dr. Kwok will speak in Newton Chapel on Mercer’s Macon campus. Each lecture will build upon the theme “Christianity in the 21st Century.” The times and subjects of each lecture are:

“Postcolonialism and World Christianity”
Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 10:50 a.m.

“The Bible and Sexuality: Does the Church Have Anything Good to Say about Sex?”
Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m.

“Obama, American Empire, and Prophetic Christianity”
Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m.

“Kwok Pui Lan sees the near horizon of Christian theology better than most,” said Dr. Richard F. Wilson, chair of Mercer’s Columbus Roberts Department of Christianity. “She understands the need for a global Christianity that is honest about past failures in spreading the Good News and hopeful about a Gospel that is transforming our world. In our pluralistic and multicultural world Dr. Kwok has a clear voice of faith and reason that advances Christian faith without diminishing either the content or the context of the Gospel.”

Dr. Kwok’s current research focuses on globalization and Christian theology and a long-term project, Signifying Jesus, in which she examines the relation between Christology, colonialism and the modern world. She has published extensively in feminist theology, biblical hermeneutics, and postcolonial criticism and is the author of three books: Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology, Discovering the Bible in the Non-Biblical World and Introducing Asian Feminist Theology. Dr. Kwok is also coeditor of two volumes: Off the Menu: Asian and Asian North American Women’s Religion and Theology and Empire and the Christian Tradition: New Readings of Classical Theologians

Dr. Kwok received a B.A. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a Th.D. from Harvard University.

About the Harry Vaughan Smith Professorship
The Harry Vaughan Smith Distinguished Visiting Professor of Christianity was established at Mercer University in 1990 through a generous a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Harry Vaughan Smith.  A 1924 graduate of Mercer, the late Harry Vaughan Smith served as pastor of several prominent churches in Georgia before becoming alumni secretary and assistant to the president at Mercer in 1946, a post he held until 1955. From 1955 to 1970, he served as the executive director of the Georgia Baptist Foundation. Smith is remembered for his faithful work on behalf of all Georgia Baptist causes and his support of Christian education.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.
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