December 29, 2017

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

December 28, 2017

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

December 27, 2017

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

December 25, 2017

I remember the first time I heard ‘Mary, Did You Know?’ It was at a concert at my Christian school in Fremont. I was in the band. I played the trumpet, which really meant that I played the cornet, and I did it all with a bad embouchure. We’d give these all-out Christmas concerts where all the bands, handbell choirs, and real choirs (I guess?) would take turns working the audience, and it was at one of these that some high… Read more

December 24, 2017

This is the eleventh 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, and tenth. In 1972, the journalist Josephine So Yan Pui 蘇恩佩 sat down to write a letter. She had recently moved to Hong Kong from Wheaton College, where she had studied journalism. Her letter turned into a manifesto, the social philosophy of what came to be known as Breakthrough Youth Ministries. Translated into English in her book Death Be Not Proud, it reads: The… Read more

December 22, 2017

This is the tenth 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, and ninth. On the face of it, it would seem like I don’t have a right to write about oppression and theologies of liberation. That is what my youth group leader in high school would have said. We were doing a Bible study on suffering, and the youth leader commented that none of us kids really knew the meaning… Read more

December 21, 2017

This is the ninth 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, and eighth. When I first moved to Chicago, my worst fears about Eastern Catholicism were realized. I had been warned by friends of mine that ‘Eastern Catholicism’ was not at all the image I had in my imagination at our ‘Chinese mission’ in Richmond – open to Chinese people, aligned with Chinese democratic movements, able to evangelize by claiming that… Read more

December 20, 2017

This is the eighth in a series of posts testifying about my conversion to liberation theology. For previous posts, here are the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh. By the time I was really wrestling through the possibility that I had converted to liberation theology through Eastern Catholic spiritual direction and liturgy, I was teaching Asian American studies at Northwestern University. The beautiful thing about being a secular academic, though, is that I think of myself as good at compartmentalization. I am actually very bad at it,… Read more

December 20, 2017

In the online spat between Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates, West is softening up and giving a page number now. This does not change two things, though: 1. West did not read more than the title We Were Eight Years in Power when he first commented on Coates and translated his beef with Obama to the book. He did not read the first page where Coates explains the quote where he got the ‘eight years’ and ‘good negro government.’ Now… Read more

December 19, 2017

This is the seventh in a series of posts testifying about my conversion to liberation theology. For previous posts, here are the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth. By the time I started reading Žižek, de Certeau, and Freire in earnest (thanks in large part to the influence of Sam Rocha), I was in the Eastern Catholic catechumenate. As I’ve written many times on this blog, I had encountered the Eastern Catholic churches during the Umbrella Movement because our Vancouver solidarity prayer movement was led in large… Read more

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