IIAS welcomes Prof. Cheng-tian Kuo

15 March 2016

From February until June 2016, IIAS will be enjoying the company of Professor Chengtian Kuo, the latest incumbent of the Taiwan Chair of Chinese Studies. Prof. Kuo is teaching a course on religion and politics at Leiden University while working on his book manuscript on Democratic Theology of Ecology at IIAS.

IIAS supports professorial fellowships allowing Asian scholars to come to the Netherlands to teach in the Dutch BA and MA programmes in Asian Studies. IIAS currently supports two chairs at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS). One of these is the Taiwan Chair of Chinese Studies, which is the result of an agreement between IIAS and the Ministry of Education of Taiwan.

Teaching Religion and Politics in East Asia

Prof. Kuo is teaching a course for the third year of the Leiden BA in Chinese Studies, entitled ‘Religion and Politics in East Asia’. In addition, he will be convening a two-day international seminar in April 2016 under the title ‘New Religious Nationalism in Chinese Societies’ (see announcement on this page).

Researching Democratic Theology of Ecology

Prof. Kuo’s main research interests lie in the areas of Asian Political Economy and Asian Religious Politics. Currently, he is working on a three-year research project, entitled Democratic Theology of Ecology. This research combines theories of economics, sociology of religion, religious politics, religious hermeneutics, and cognitive psychology, to challenge what he calls ‘three false consciousnesses’ (i.e., green economy, deliberative democracy, and green consumption) of contemporary ecological theories in economics, political science, and sociology. At IIAS, Prof. Kuo is working a book manuscript under the same title, which will include cases of ecological religions from East Asia and Western Europe.

Cheng-tian Kuo, short bio

Professor Cheng-tian Kuo holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Political Science, and Joint Professor of the Graduate Institute of Religious Studies, at National Chengchi University in Taibei, Taiwan. In addition, he is currently serving as a Member of the Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior.

Prof. Kuo’s research covers seven Asian Societies: Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines. His research activities have resulted in more than one hundred conference papers, book chapters, and journal articles, as well as six single-authored books, including Religion and Democracy in Taiwan (State University of New York Press, 2008) and The Democratization of Nationalist Theologies: Taiwan and Mainland China (National Chengchi University Press, 2014). Prof. Kuo holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago, an MA from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BA from National Taiwan University.