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Committee on Asian/North American Asian Theologies (CANAAT) [formerly the Centre for Asian Theology (CAT)] in the Centre for Religion and Its Contexts, Emmanuel College

Purpose and Objectives


To be a theological resource and support to Emmanuel College, the Toronto School of Theology, and the United Church Faith Communities in Toronto and beyond. 


  1. To raise awareness of theological developments in Asia and in the Asian North American context.
  2. To encourage and enhance scholarship in Asian and North American Asian theologies in the Toronto School of Theology by:
    a) increasing library holdings in these theological areas;
    b) holding occasional public lectures, forums, and workshops in these areas;
    c) making information re: (a) and (b) available to the public through the CANAAT page on the
    Emmanuel College website, with links to related ecumenical bodies and UCC sites sharing its purpose.
  3. To contribute to the academic, worship, and social life of the Emmanuel College community as appropriate.
  4. To work with The United Church of Canada in supporting its Asian partnership endeavours, and with ecumenical bodies such as the Foundation for Theological Education in South East Asia (FTESEA), the Association of Asian North American Theological Educators (AANATE), and Pacific Asian North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry (PANAAWTM) committed to enabling theology and theological education in Asia and in North America.

How We Came to Be

The Centre for Asian Theology was officially launched in the fall semester of 1996 following Hanshin Professor Jong-Hwa Park's initiative in fall 1993, and later with the help of President Chai-Yong Choo of Hanshin University. Provision was made for an exchange of theological books between Emmanuel and Hanshin. The ensuing Agreement of Co-operation between Hanshin and Victoria/Emmanuel, begun in 1994-95, includes student and faculty exchanges between the two institutions.

With the recent establishment of the Centre for Religion and Its Contexts at Emmanuel College, the Centre for Asian Theology (CAT) formalized its transition into one of this comprehensive Centre’s constituent entities in March, 2016, highlighting its context in North America with its new name, the Committee on Asian/North American Asian Theologies (CANAAT), with an updated mandate.


Recent Activities

Recent Activities

The Committee on Asian/North American Asian Theologies (CANAAT) is holding its fall gathering on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 1:30-3:30 pm ET. It will be a hybrid gathering, happening at EM 107 in person and also via zoom (see @EC for the link).

Fiona Li, PhD candidate at Regis College, will present her research on Mariology and Asian Canadian women. It will also be an excellent opportunity for Toronto School of Theology (TST) graduate students to make connections with each other and with the larger Asian leaders' community in Toronto.

CANAAT, directed by Dr. Wenh-In Ng (emeritus professor) and Dr. Henry Shiu, is committed to being a theological resource and support for the students, leaders and scholars of Asian descent in TST and the United Churches in Toronto and wider areas.

Annual Lunar New Year Lunch Celebrations

An interfaith Lunar New Year service was held on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, as we celebrated the Year of the Tiger. This gathering drew on both Buddhist and Christian traditions, with reflections from Khenpo Kunga Sherab (currently teaching a course on the Abhidhamma at Emmanuel) and Wenh-In Ng, chair of the Committee on Asian/North American Asian Theologies (CANAAT).

 Watch the full service by clicking on the video below:

A celebrative occasion to mark the arrival of the year of the monkey was held for the Emmanuel community on February 3, 2016, followed by worship led by members of the United Church delegation reflecting on their visit to churches in Shanghai, Beijing and Souzhou at the invitation of the China Christian Council and their consultation on theological education at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary in late 2015.

Ecumenical Gathering of Toronto School of Theology Asian/Asian Canadian Students

Initiated by former research fellows of the Centre for Asian Theology and past attendees to PANAAWTM from Emmanuel College, Knox College, and Regis College, a group of Advanced Degree/graduate students of Asian heritage from TST met over lunch in the spring of 2016 for mutual support and to share progress in their studies and research. For information re upcoming gatherings and/or to join, contact convenor YunJung Kim.

The Foundation for Theological Education in Southeast Asia (Newsletter No. 2, August 2016)


Past Activities

Past Activities

Christianity and China in the 21st Century
October 22-24, 2015, an international academic conference sponsored by Emanuel College/Victoria University and The United Church of Canada, with scholars and church leaders from China and the United States and Canada. Topics presented ranged from the current state of church-state relations and church music in ministry training to the construction of Chinese and Sino-Christian theology.

Subaltern Challenges from Asia to the Ecumenical Movement: Through an Indian Feminist Lens (video)
A panel discussion with Emmanuel’s 2014 Anne Duncan Gray Visiting Scholar, Dr. Aruna Gnanadason, Responders Professor Marilyn Legge and The Very Rev. Dr. Lois Wilson, October 2, 2014.
Transcript of Dr. Aruna Gnanadason's Paper 

When Confucianism Meets Christianity: A Renowned Scholar's Encounter (video)
A lecture by Professor Stanley Jiadong Zheng, Professor of Confucianism & Chinese Philosophy and Visiting Scholar at Emmanuel College, October 1, 2013

Exploring Faith through the Eyes of Culturally Diverse People
An ecumenical and intercultural study group initiated in 2006 and originally co-sponsored with the Ethnic Ministries Committee of The United Church’s Toronto Conference, this group meets monthly during the academic year and is open to anyone interested. Sessions are held on the fourth Friday of each month (except for December and January) in the College from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Topics for 2015-2016 include: the genesis of Muslim and Buddhist studies at Emmanuel College led by Principal Mark Toulouse, how to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission led by Margaret Sumadh of Canadian Peacemakers, ethical and Christian responses to medically assisted dying led by past principal Roger Hutchinson, and developing a Javanese theology of sexual violence led by Ajeng Chrissaningrum of Wycliffe College.  For further information and to visit, contact Coordinator Maria Ling.

Library Resources

A Bibliography

Theological works in Korean, a series of generous gifts from Hanshin University, are catalogued and integrated into the Emmanuel Library, as are titles in Chinese and Japanese. As of May 2014, titles in Asian North American biblical interpretation/Bible study and Christian Education from PAACCE (Pacific Asian American Canadian Christian Education Ministries) have been moved to the Asian-Canadian Centre for Theology and Ministry at Knox College.

The Asia Partnership desk of The United Church’s Partners in Mission contributes regularly to the Emmanuel Library recent resources produced in Asia. If you have books and resources in Asian languages or in English which you think could enhance the work of the Committee, please get in touch with either of the Co-chairs, who will work in consultation with Emmanuel College's Librarian about your offer.
For recent additions in the area of Christianity in Asia and in North America, please consult the lists posted below from time to time.

Recent Books Available at the Emmanuel College Library

CAT February 2015 Recent Book Acquisitions

The Oxford Handbook of Christianity in Asia
, edited by Felix Wilfred (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2014) Call #: BR1065 .O94 2014

Evangelization in China: Challenges and Prospects, by Kin Sheung Chiaretto Yan (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2014) Call #: BV3777 .C5 Y36 2014

Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith From the Ground Up, by Simon Chan (Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2014) Call #: BT75.3 .C4245 2014

China, Christianity, and the Question of Culture, by Yang Huilin (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2014) Call #: BR115 .C8 Y35 2014

Reaping a Harvest from the Asian Soil: Towards an Asian Theology, edited & introduced by Vimal Tirimanna (Bangalore: Asian Trading Corp., 2011) Call #: BR1065 .R43 2011

Breaking the Glass Box: A Korean Woman’s Experiences of Conscientization and Spiritual Formation, by Jungja Joy Yu (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2013) Call #: BL458 .Y85 201

Christianity in Chinese Public Life: Religion, Society, and the Rule of Law, edited by Joel A. Carpenter and Kevin R. den Dulk (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) Call #: BR1288 .C495 2014

Encountering Modernity: Christianity in East Asia and Asian America, edited by Albert L. Park and David K. Yoo (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press in association with UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Los Angeles, 2014) Call #: BR1275 .E53 2014

Christianity and the State in Asia: Complicity and Conflict, edited by Julius Bautista and Francis Khek Gee Lim (London; New York: Routledge, 2009) Call #: BR1275 .C47 2009

Asian Politics and Ecumenical Vision: Selected Writings of Feliciano V. Carino, edited by Philip L. Wickeri and Marina True (Hong Kong: Christian Conference of Asia, 2013) Call #: BR1065 .C27 2013

Training to be Ministers in Asia: Contextualizing Theological Education in Multi-Faith Contexts: Historical, Contextual and Theological Perspectives from Different Asian Countries, edited by Dietrich Werner (Tainan, Taiwan: Programme for Theology and Cultures in Asia, 2012) Call #: BV4140 .A7842 T73 2012

Making Paper Cranes: Toward an Asian American Feminist Theology, by Mihee Kim-Kort (St. Louis, Missouri: Chalice Press, 2012) Call #: BR563 .A82 K56 2012

A Voluntary Exile: Chinese Christianity and Cultural Confluence since 1552, edited by Anthony E. Clark (Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press, 2014) Call #: BV3415.2 .V65 2014

Postcolonial Resistance and Asian Theology, by Simon Shui-Man Kwan (London: Routledge, 2014) Call #: BT30 .A8 K93 2014

Related Organisations

Staff Support

Rev Dr. Michelle Voss Roberts, Principal and Professor of Theology
Ms. Karen Wishart, Librarian
Shawn Kazubowski-Houston, Events and Media Coordinator, Centre for Religion and Its Contexts

Co-Chairs of CANAAT

The Rev. John Young-Jung Lee and Rev. Dr. Wenh-In Ng

Current Research Fellow: Hyung Jin (Pablo) Kim Sun
Past Research Fellows: Sheng Ping Guo, Yun Jung Kim, Sung Ran Kim

Emmanuel College, Victoria University
75 Queen's Park Cres. Toronto, ON M5S 1K7
tel. 416-585-4539 fax. 416-585-4516