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Professor Sebastian Kim

Sebastian Kim profileChair in Theology and Public Life

Contact details

E: s.kim@yorksj.ac.uk

T: 01904 876439


Profile Publications Professional Activities Research Teaching


Invited public lectures/ conference presentations

  • ‘The identity and mission of the church in the Asian contexts of communal conflict, poverty and injustice’, Wisdom in Mission Consultation, Wickham (13-14 May, 2003).
  • ‘Fundamentalism, freedom of religion acts and the question of religious conversion in India’, Yale-Edinburgh Conference, Yale University (3-5 July, 2003).
  • ‘World evangelisation, Hindutva and the problem of conversion in India’, Third International Convention of Asia Scholars, Singapore (19-22 Aug, 2003).
  • ‘Hindutva, Secular India and the Report of the Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee, 1954-57’, Consultations at Union Biblical Seminary (15-17 January, 2004).
  • ‘Integrity of the Church in East Asian Context of Povery and Injustice’, International Conference on ‘Interrogating Mission’, Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton (6-9 May 2004).
  • ‘“Scriptural Imperialism” or “Bible Christianity”? The Bible and Culture in the Early Korean Protestant Church’, International Conference on Interaction Between Christianity and East Asian Cultures’, Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Cambridge (29 Sep–2 Oct 2004).
  • ‘Pandita Ramabai’s Conversion Toward Mukti: In Search of Companionship, Integrity and Faith’, International Conference on ‘The Legacy of Pandita Ramabai’s Life and Work’, Union Biblical Seminary, Mylapore Institute of Indigenous Studies and the University of Cambridge (17-20th January 2005).
  • ‘Hindu-Christian Debates on Conversion in Bengal in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century’, The Ancient India and Iran Trust, University of Cambridge, 10 March 2006 (public lecture).
  • ‘Theology in the Public Sphere: Negotiating Religion, Identity and Integrity’, York St John University, 26th January 2006 (Town & Gown Lecture).
  • ‘Public Theology in Multi Religious Society: Reflections on Legislation and Identity’, University of Edinburgh, 29th November 2005 (Baillie Memorial Lecture).
  • ‘The Future Shape of Christianity from an Asian Perspective’, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Holland, 28 October 2005 (keynote lecture).
  • ‘World Christianity: Regional Expressions and Global Meeting Point’, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, Oxford, 29 January 2008 (public lecture).
  • ‘Global economic problems and the challenge of liberation theologies’, Shaping the Future of Global Economy Conference, European Business Forum, York St John University, 10 November 2007 (keynote lecture).
  • ‘Reconciliation Possible? The Churches’ Efforts Toward the Peace and Reunification of North and South Korea’, Westminster College, Cambridge, 26th October 2006 (public lecture).
  • ‘How to be a Christian in the 21st century: making the link between the God to whom we pray and the God with whom we live’, Theological Study Day, Ripon Cathedral, 7th October 2006 (public lecture).
  • ‘Religious and Secular Identities in Conflicts: Reflections on the Public Debate over the Danish Cartoons’, lecture, Abbots’ group annual meeting, Ampleforth Abbey, 2nd March 2007.
  • ‘World Christianity: Regional Expressions and Global Meeting Point’, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, 29th January 2008 (public lecture).
  • ‘Community Identity and Peacemaking: Meaningful Engagement of Religious Communities in Contemporary Society’, University of Bradford, 10 March 2008 (public lecture).
  • ‘Doing Theology in the Public Sphere: Some Aspects of Engaging in Public Theology’, Faith and Order Conference, the Methodist Church, University of Durham, 2-4 September 2008 (keynote lecture).
  • ‘The Public Significance of the Christian Gospel in Plural Societies: Some Aspects of Engaging in Public Theology’, Kirche zwischen Postmoderner Kultur und Evangelium, Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg, Greifswald University, 4-6 June 2009 (keynote lecture).
  • ‘Public Engagement of the Church: Rowan Williams, Sharia Law and the Media’, Annual public lecture at Hull Theological Society, 27 May 2009, University of Hull.
  • ‘Christianity in the Multicultural World’, Keynote lecture at the Korean Association of Christian Studies Annual conference, 16-18 October 2009, Daejun, South Korea.
  • ‘Changing concept of religious freedom in state constitutions in India’, Keynote lecture at a conference on Religion, Culture and Society, 22-25 January 2010, University of Basel, Switzerland.
  • ‘The Controversy over Minarets in Switzerland: Religious Symbols in the Public Sphere’, Symposium on Cosmopolitanism, Religion, and the Public Sphere, York St John University, 4-6 February, 2011.
  • ‘Byungin bakhae (persecution of Catholic Christianity; 1866-1873) and Western imperial advancement in Korea’, conference paper, Institute of European History, Domus University, 1-3 September 2011, Mainz, Germany.
  • ‘Authentic Leadership in the Contexts of Global Christianity: Pandita Ramabai Saraswati (India), Archbishop Óscar Romero (El Salvador) and Revd Han Kyung-Chik (South Korea)’, Symposium on the Challenge of Leadership in a Changing Church, York St John University, 4th October 2011.
  • ‘Christian Mission and Ecclesiology in India: Encounters with Hinduism in the Context of the Conversion Debate’, International Consultation on Christian Self-understanding on Hindu Religion, World Council of Churches, Geneva, Switzerland, 12-15 October, 2011.
  • ‘'Protestant Christianity and Political Struggles in Twentieth-century Korea', lecture, University of St Andrews, 1st March 2012.
  • ‘Theology, Universities and the Public Sphere: a global perspective’, conference paper, Association of Departments of Theology and Religious Studies, York St John University, 31st March, 2012.
  • Public lectures on ‘public theology’, 16-20th April, 2012, organised by the Institute of Sino-Christian Studies in China
    • Renmin University (April 16): ‘Freedom of Expression Versus Respect for Faith: The Danish Cartoon Controversy’
    • Beijing Language and Culture University (April 17): ‘Global Economic Justice: Latin American Initiatives to Overcome Inequalities’
    • Peking University (April 18): ‘Exclusion and the Quest for Authentic Christian Community in India’
    • Tsinghua University (April 19): ‘Freedom of Expression Versus Respect for Faith: The Danish Cartoon Controversy’
    • Capital Normal University (April 20): ‘Peace-Building: The Response of the Western Churches to the Iraq War’
  • World Christianity and the Role of Korean Christian Diaspora’, keynote lecture, The Council on Overseas Korean Churches for Education & Ministry, Marriott Hotel, Paris, 23-25th April, 2012.
  • ‘The Question of Individuality in Conversion: Hindu-Christian Encounters’, conference paper, Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, 26-29 April 2012, University of Erfurt, Germany.
  • Public lectures, Shanghai, 21-24th October, 2013, organized by the Institute of Sino-Christian Studies in China
    • Tongji University (Oct 22): ‘Religion and Society: Contribution of Public Theology to Civil Society’
    • Tongji University (Oct 23): ‘Public Theology, Media and Culture’
    • Fudan university (Oct 24): ‘Religion and Pace: Contribution of Public Theology and Peace-building’
  • Protestant Theological University, international conference, Amsterdam, 19-21 May 2014: ‘God in the Public Domain in Post-war Korea: Revolution or Reforming?’ (keynote lecture).
  • Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology, 21 May 2014: ‘Wisdom in Public Life: Inspiration from the Hebrew Bible’ (public lecture).
  • St Wilfrids Lecture, 12th June 2014: ‘Minjung Art: A Tool for Peace-building in the Korean Peninsula' (public lecture)
  • Radboud University, Nijmegen, Conference on Grace, Governance and Globalization, 27-30 August 2014: ‘Towards a Hermeneutic for Public Theology: Conversations with Habermas and Schillebeeckx’ (keynote lecture)
  • University of Münster, Conference on Christianity in Asia, 17-19 September 2014: ‘Inter-Asian and Global Missionary Movements’
  • Public lectures, Wuhan and Nanjing, 13-17th October 2014
    • Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Oct 13): ‘Contribution of Public Theology to Peace-building’
    • Wuhan University (Oct 14): ‘Contribution of Public Theology to Civil Society’
    • Nanjing Union Theological Seminary (Oct 15 & 16): ‘Public Significance of Theology in Plural Societies’
  • ‘Public theology and Social justice’, Symposium on Religion and Social Justice, Tongji University, Shanghai, 29-31 Oct 2015
  • A series of lectures on public theology at Zhejian University, Hangzhou, 2-6 Nov 2015
  • ‘’Religious Freedom, Minorities and the Concept of Religion: Critical Issues in Conversion in India’, keynote lecture, Conference on Religious Freedom and Conversion in India Today, South Asia Institute for Advanced Studies, Bangalore, 21-23 September, 2015
  • ‘Freedom of Religion Acts in India’: A Theological Perspective’, ADF International, Delhi, 19th September 2015
  • ‘Public Significance of Theology in Plural Society: Examples from Global Context’, keynote lecture, Conference on Public Theology and Its Relevance Today, University of Madras, 24th September 2015

Organising of international academic conferences

  • International Conference on Peace and Reconciliation on ‘Mediating Peace: Reconciliation through art, music and film’, 6-9 Nov 2012, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • International Conference on Peace and Reconciliation on ‘Building communities of reconciliation with reflection on the life and teaching of Rev. Kyung-Chik Han’, 31 Oct-4 Nov 2010, Presbyterian College and Theological University
  • International Conference on Peace and Reconciliation on ‘Embracing the Dispaced: Shaping theories and practices for a sustainable peace’, 7-10 July 2009, University of California in Los Angeles
  • International Conference on Peace and Reconciliation on ‘In search of Common Identity: The Korean Peninsula and Other Contexts’, 15-18 Aug 2006, York St John University
  • International Conference on ‘The Legacy of Pandita Ramabai’s Life and Work’, 17-20 Jan 2005, Union Biblical Seminary
  • International Conference on ‘Interaction Between Christianity and East Asian Cultures’, 29 Sep-2 Oct 2004, Chinese University of Hong Kong


Professional membership

  • Fellow of Royal Asiatic Society
  • Executive Committee member of the Global Network for Public Theology
  • Member of Society for Study of Theology



  • Editor, International Journal of public Theology, Brill
  • Editorial board member, Studies in World Christianity, Edinburgh University Press