Assistant Professor of New Testament Interpretation
Director of the Center for Asian/Asian American Ministry
- B.A., University of Santo Tomas
- M.Div., Candler School of Theology at Emory University
- Th.M., Candler School of Theology at Emory University
- Ph.D., Drew University Graduate Division of Religion
A Sacred Suspicion
My vocation as a biblical scholar stems from and reflects my intersectional identity as a Korean-Filipino missionary kid who grew up in the Philippines. Worshipping in Tagalog, Korean, and English-speaking congregations drew me towards ordination in The United Methodist Church where I continue to transgress and traverse multicultural assemblages.
In particular, my pedagogy seeks to proclaim the Gospel in ways that are liberating, critical, and de/re-constructive. I do so by engaging the New Testament with critical interpretive lenses such as postcolonialism, gender and sexuality, socio-economic, race and ethnicity, ableism, and posthumanism/eco-justice among other perspectives. Such engagement questions the self-evident, (hetero)normative, and anthropocentric.
Although I advocate for generous biblical interpretations that seek to identify how particular ideas provide comfort to those espousing them, this work is always combined with a ritual pause – a sacred suspicion that certain ideas and interpretations do not serve everyone. I make a strong point, however, to not conclude with such critiques. Application of the critical that dismantles unethical propositions should also aide in the construction of positive alternative systems. Moreover, this application, I propose, should be a holistic practice in which students extend their learning beyond the (virtual/virtu-real) walls of a classroom.
I encourage students to apply their understanding of the biblical texts on the streets as they march for justice, in the community garden as they value the responsivity of more-than-humans, and in sacred spaces as their profound presence and voices sustain various beloved communities of the divine.