Speaker to discuss Christianity as global religion

A speech today by an expert in Catholic social thought will help students understand religious diversity on campus, the university minister said.

Georgetown University professor Peter C. Phan’s work on global Christianity and ecumenism, promoting the union between religions, will help the TCU community understand the Christian and religious diversity on campus, said Angela Kaufman, minister to the university.

“His work is immensely relevant for all of us today to hear because it’s a reminder about how large God’s world really is,” she said.

Phan, former president of Catholic Theological Society of America, will speak three times today about Christianity in today’s world.

Kaufman said Phan’s visit will provide a chance for the TCU community to “explore the diverse mosaic that is Christianity.”

Timothy Lee, assistant professor of church history and director of the Asian (Korean) Church Studies program at the Brite Divinity School, said Phan’s lectures will help the TCU community become more aware of diversity of Christianity in terms of cultural and continental diversity because Christianity is no longer a “Western religion” but a “global religion.”

Lee said students and faculty can learn about religious diversity from Phan’s expertise in the Asian-American theology. Phan, who emigrated from Vietnam in 1975, has doctorates of sacred theology, philosophy and divinity and is the author of various books covering different aspects in theology. His teaching career began at 18 and extends from Hong Kong to various U.S. universities.

“He will help guide students to formulate their own positions on the issues regarding the relationship between Christian missions and world Christianity,” Lee said.

Hao Tran, a seminary student at Brite and president of the Brite Asian Student Association, said the entire day is dedicated to a communal setting, chapel service and conversations that encourage the Brite community and the church members to engage in an interreligious dialogue.

“This speech is going to promote religious inclusiveness regardless of what cultural influence you have,” Tran said. “As we engage in religious dialogue, we become a better educated society that recognizes and embraces not only similarities but differences.”

For Your Info

“At Jacob’s Well: An Interfaith Encounter. A Missiological Reading of John 4:4-42”
When: 11 a.m.
Where: Robert Carr Chapel
Open to the public“World Christianity and Christian Mission: Are They Compatible?”
When: noon
Where: Weatherly Hall
Open to everyone in the Brite and TCU communities

“Reading Religious Texts Interreligiously 8212; Possibilities, Challenges, Experiments.”
When: 6:30 p.m.
Where: Kelly Alumni Center
Open to everyone in the Brite and TCU communities