C. S. Song
Choan-Seng Song (Chinese: 宋泉盛; pinyin: Sòng Quánshèng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Sòng Choân-sēng) (born 1929) is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theology and Asian Cultures at the Pacific School of Religion and acting minister at the Formosan United Methodist Church in San Leandro, California. He studied at National Taiwan University (1950-1954), the University of Edinburgh (1955-1958) and Union Theological Seminary, where he received his PhD in 1965. Song was principal of Tainan Theological College (1965-70) and, later, president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (1977-2004).
He is perhaps the most widely published Asian theologian alive today, writing Christian theology steeped in Asian religious motifs.
A major theme underlying Song's theology is his attack on the Western-centric nature of Christian theology. He sees it as highlighting an individualistic gospel that uproots non-Western converts from their original cultures. It Instead, Song argues, God redemptively works in creation through all cultures, even the so-called "non-Christian" cultures. Asian Christians are therefore obliged to articulate an Asian theology, coming from the "womb" of Asia.
Song borrows his methodology from Latin American liberation theology, which adopts largely from a Marxist critique on religion and capitalism. Song describes the people of Asia as being victimized by a history of Western imperialism, both colonially and culturally, creating an identity crisis for Asian Christians. Hence the task of contextualization is found through liberation of these unjust circumstances and the reconstruction of a new identity for Asian Christians
Works by Song
- "New China and Salvation History: A Methodological Inquiry," in South-East Asia Journal of Theology, 15.2 (1974):52-67.
- Christian Mission in Reconstruction: an Asian Analysis, (New York: Orbis Books, 1975). ISBN 978-0-88344-074-2
- Third-Eye Theology: Theology in Formation in Asian Settings, (New York: Orbis Books, 1979). ISBN 978-0-88344-474-0
- The Compassionate God: An Exercise in the Theology of Transposition, (New York: Orbis Books, 1982). ISBN 978-0-334-01951-0
- Theology from the Womb of Asia, (New York: Orbis Books, 1986). ISBN 978-0-88344-518-1
- Jesus the Crucified People, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990). ISBN 978-0-8006-2969-4
- Jesus and the Reign of God, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993). ISBN 978-0-8006-2671-6
- Jesus in the Power of the Spirit, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994). ISBN 978-1-57910-958-5
- Federschmidt, Karl H. Theologie aus asiatischen Quellen. Der theologische Weg Choan Seng Song's vor dem Hintergrund der asiatischen ökumenischen Diskussion (Münster/New York: Lit, 1994) Ph.D. dissertation, full text online, contains a comprehensive bibliography of Song's publications up to 1994.
- Yung Hwa, Mangoes or Bananas? The Quest for an Authentic Asian Christian Theology (Oxford: Regnum Books, 2009), 170.
- C. S. Song, Christian Mission in Reconstruction: An Asian Analysis (New York: Orbis Books, 1975), 20-28
- C. S. Song entry in the Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology by James Wu