Professor Cheng-tian Kuo is the current incumbent of the IIAS Taiwanese Chair of Chinese Studies. Prof. Kuo is teaching a course in religion and politics at Leiden University while working on his book manuscript on Democratic Theology of Ecology at IIAS.

Teaching and Seminar

Prof. Kuo teaches a course in 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’. 


During his stay at IIAS, Prof. Kuo will be working towards the completion of a book manuscript on Democratic Theology of Ecology (in English). Currently, Prof. Kuo is working on a three-year research project, entitled Democratic Theology of Ecology, which combines theories of economics, sociology of religion, religious politics, religious hermeneutics, and cognitive psychology to challenge what he calls “three false consciousnesses” of contemporary ecological theories in economics, political science, and sociology (i.e., green economy, deliberative democracy, and green consumption). Instead, he proposes that democratic ecological religion has to be an integral component of any holistic solution to ecological crisis. Cases of ecological religions from East Asia and Western Europe will be illustrated.

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.

He received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago in 1990. Thereafter, from 1990-1995 as an assistant professor, he taught courses related to Asian Political Economy and International Political Economy at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Among other publications, Global Competitiveness and Industrial Growth in Taiwan and the Philippines (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995) represented his research and teaching interests during this period. In 1995, Kuo was recruited by Political Science Department of the National Chengchi University in Taiwan as an associate professor. While maintaining research and teaching interests in Asian Political Economy, he further developed academic interests in Asian Religious Politics, which 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's past researches covered seven Asian societies: Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines. These case studies will be included in his course on Religion and Politics in East Asia, offered at Leiden University.