The young bishops, the people’s theosis, and my academic praxis (for Zacchaeus Sunday)

For those of us on the New Calendar, Zacchaeus Sunday has come too soon. Just a week after Theophany, the pre-preparation for the Great Fast has already begun. Next week, the Preparation period will officially begin with the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. In three weeks, meat will be eliminated from our diet, and in a month, dairy too. If I were not so thankful that I get to celebrate ‘Christmas’ and ‘Easter’ with my friends in the… Read more

Jook Sing Cafe – a song by Julian Saporiti and the No-No Boy Project

A few months ago, I got a message from someone who has been reading my blog and my academic work. She said that she had been very taken with the concept of jook sing, the ‘hollow bamboo’ that describes Chinese Americans born in North America who might look Chinese but have no sense of Chinese culture. Over the summer, I had worked through a series of posts on being Cantonese despite being a jook sing, as I rediscovered who I was through the prodemocracy… Read more

Lipstick on my relics

Eugenia Geisel is one of my former students at the University of Washington and is now a new colleague on the Catholic blogosphere. When I first told her about Orthodox icons having lipstick stains on them, she remarked that she’d be one to leave them. Given the Latin Church’s emphasis on the three-dimensional body as iconic, she imagined that she might leave them on her relics too. Thus was her new blog born. Lipstick on My Relics, she calls it. I suppose… Read more

Winter Quarter classes at Northwestern

With reference to my previous post on getting back to work at Northwestern after a great break in Richmond, here are the syllabi for my two classes this quarter. One is a course I’ve already taught on Asian American religions, but I’ve made it even more idiosyncratic than last time by adding Gary Okihiro’s Island World. I like to teach from authors who don’t think that they’re doing ‘Asian American religions’ because I think that Asian American religious studies is more… Read more

From Richmond to Evanston, Christ is among us – for Christ is baptized!

Today, I went straight from liturgy to the airport. I live between two suburbs, Richmond in British Columbia and Evanston in Illinois. Tomorrow, I teach again at Northwestern University. It is an exciting set of classes, both advanced undergraduate. One is on Global Chinatowns, another on Asian American religions. A research assistant will be working on a psychoanalytic reading of the afterlives of occupy protests on social media, and another will be doing an independent study on Asian American Christianity…. Read more

Theophany at the Chinese mission of the Kyivan Church in Richmond

There is nowhere on earth like the Chinese mission of the Kyivan Church, the place where it is perfectly normal to be ‘Eastern Catholic’ because you’re Chinese. I never realized that it was a thing in the Kyivan Church that we were the ‘Chinese mission’ until I moved to Chicago. There, I learned that if you are Chinese and in the Kyivan Church, eyebrows furrow in puzzlement until you reveal that you are from Richmond. Then it all makes sense…. Read more

Astronaut fantasies – ‘Hong Kong man’ as James Bond wannabe (To work on fantasy #2)

This is the second post on how my scholarship is about fantasy. It follows a series I wrote on my conversion to liberation theology. The first post is here. As I was planning my honors undergraduate essay in history, I came across a paper in China Quarterly titled ‘Life in the Cities: The Emergence of Hong Kong Man.’ It was written by a sociologist named Hugh Baker, and it had a paragraph that is unforgettable: “Life in the short term” is not,… Read more

To work on fantasy

When I was five, I had a nightmare. My parents rushed into the room because I was screaming. They asked me what was wrong. I said that something terrible had happened. The Ninja Turtles Donatello and Michelangelo had been beating me in the dojo. Donatello had caned me. Michelangelo had whipped me his nunchucks. I knew what was next. Raphael had sai, and Leonardo had katanas. I should have been shredded by Shredder. But it was the turtles who were beating me. My… Read more

‘…and suburban place I’ve been, make me recall my name in the New Jerusalem’ (My conversion to liberation theology #13)

This is the thirteenth entry in a series of posts testifying about my conversion to liberation theology. For previous posts, here are the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth. In the summer of 2015, I moved back to Richmond, British Columbia. My wife was starting a job at a community pharmacy. I was furiously editing the book that became Theological Reflections on the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement. This was a tricky task. On the one hand, some of the interested parties in the production of the… Read more

Illich and Ilyich (My conversion to liberation theology #12)

This is the twelfth entry in a series of posts testifying about my conversion to liberation theology. For previous posts, here are the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh. I have been writing a series about my conversion to liberation theology. This has worried some of my readers. One even took the trouble of sending me the Vatican’s ‘Instruction on Certain Aspects of the “Theology of Liberation.”‘ He shared with me his primary concern with my first post, the one where I simply made the announcement about… Read more

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