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This lecture was recorded on April 28, 2023, as part of the 2023 Asian American Theology Conference “Multiple Belongings in Transpacific Christianities: Christian Faith and Asian Migration to the US.” Find out more about the conference here: Introduction by Dr. David Chao of Princeton Theological Seminary.

Abstract: Burmese immigrants are relatively recent arrivals to the US. Their stories are hidden and are not widely mentioned in the academic discourses about Asian American Christianity and theology. Using an integrative methodology of ethnographic interviews and literature, I will explore the hidden and lived stories of Burmese American Christians and their imagination of religious, ethnic, and ecclesial identities. Particular attention will be paid to the grassroots ethnic minority Christians, such as Chin, Kachin, Karen, Lisu, and other minority groups. We will consider questions such as, “How do they imagine their religious, ethnic, and ecclesial identities?,” “Do they share a united or conflictual imagination of their identities?,” and “How do they relate their faith to American politics and Christian nationalism?” This paper reimagines a migrational theology of Burmese religious, ethnic, and ecclesial identities that embody God’s trinitarian mission with the multicultural context of the US.

The Center for Asian American Christianity at Princeton Theological Seminary is advancing the scholarly study of Asian American Christianity, developing a forward-looking vision for Asian American theology, and equipping and empowering Asian American Christians for faithful gospel ministry and public witness.

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