Villanova University, Wonchul Shin

Villanova, Pennsylvania

To provide Asian and Asian-American worshiping communities with rich Pan-Asian theological resources for their public worship practice as a form of public witness that will proclaim the dignity of the Asian and Asian-American community and transform the culture of anti-Asian violence and racism.

Project Summary

As a moral response to the drastic surge in anti-Asian violence, this project provides Asian/Asian American worshipping communities with rich Pan-Asian theological resources for their public worship practice as a form of public witness, proclaiming the dignity of the Asian/Asian American community and transforming the culture of anti-Asian violence and racism. 

 What questions about worship and your discipline will be guiding your project?

My project questions how to develop theological discourses, embedded in rich Pan-Asian Christian traditions, (1) for inspiring the moral imagination of Asian/Asian American Christian communities and (2) for embodying their moral imagination in forms of liturgical practices as a public witness against anti-Asian racism and violence. 

 How do you envision this project will strengthen the worship life of congregations?

In collaboration with the editorial team of the journal Political Theology, this project will provide the targeted audiences (Asian/Asian American Christian communities) with a roundtable symposium that includes four short-length journal articles (2000-2500 words) which (1) thickly describe a specific liturgical practice (such as prayer, hymn, Eucharist, liturgical dance, etc.) embedded in the contributor's own Asian theological traditions, specifically Korean, Chinese, Filipino, and Indonesian theological traditions, and (2) provide theological reflections on the introduced liturgical practices, including implications for doing political theology to strengthen Asian/Asian American communities' moral/political agency and their public witness against the culture of anti-Asian racism and violence. 

 What do you expect might be your greatest challenges (or challenging opportunities)?

One of the challenges is to recruit Asian/Asian American teacher-scholars who have also engaged in congregational ministries for the proposed small group workshop for producing practical resources for public worship against Anti-Asian violence and practice this public worship service outside of the Gold Spa in Atlanta, inviting local Asian/Asian American churches and their allies, for the second anniversary of the tragic shootings. Another challenge is about missing non-Christian voices. The proposed scholarly work, small group workshop, and practice of public worship for the second anniversary of the shootings mainly draw on Christian theological perspectives and traditions in global and transnational contexts. Although this project is committed to employing an ecumenical approach, the voices of other religious communities might not be properly heard and discovered. 

 What do you hope to learn from the Grants Event and other grant recipients?

I look forward to learning from other grant recipients and sharing cross-fertilizing conversations at the intersection of worship and public witness. I would love to hear any constructive feedback and suggestion on my research project from other grant recipients. More importantly, I would like to be a part of the teacher-scholar community, build up a learning community, and develop fruitful collegiality among the members of this community.