Killjoy Prophets, Asian America, Evangelicalism (Part 2)

“For some reason the term “oriental,” as a label for those of Asian descent continues to remain in the vernacular of US American culture whether it is the 80 year old grandmother making a side comment about the dry cleaners or the college freshmen from small town USA talking about the international student that sold her a mattress”

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In seminary I took a course called Cultural Hermeneutics team-taught by two professors. One would go on to become one of my favorite teachers and the other would become my senior thesis advisor. A close friend, at the time and now, Erica Liu, along with a handful of other Asian Americans and I sat eagerly looking through the syllabus on that first day of class. We would be introduced to African American, Latin@, African, and Asian frameworks for reading the Bible and doing theology. But…where was the section on Asian American hermeneutics? It would be an understatement to say we felt let down.

But, the professors were both very open to revising the syllabus right away and added a section including some relatively new resources by Asian American theologians. This is what made me love and respect these teachers – their willingness to listen to us, and even be changed…

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Shannon A Thompson

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