Andrew Sung Park

Professor of Theology and Ethics

Teaching and Research
Andrew’s teaching and research interests include Christian Mystics, and the dialogue between Theology and Science, Liberation Theology, Ecological Theology, Healing Theology, Global Theology, Transformation of Christianity, and Christian Ethics.
Education
B.A., Seoul Methodist Theological University

M.Div., The Iliff School of Theology

M.A., The Claremont School of Theology

Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley

Professional
Full Member of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (Ordained Elder)

Member of the American Academy of Religion (AAR)

Steering Member of the Teaching and Learning Committee of AAR

Member of Center for Natural Sciences and Theology

Member of the Center for Process Studies

Member of “Interfaith Just Peacemaking”

Editorial Board Member of Journal of Asian & Asian-American Theology

Steering Committee Member of the Korean Religion of AAR

Board Member of “GoTell Communications”

Publications
Triune Atonement: Christ’s Healing for Sinners,
Victims, and the Whole Creation. Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.

This is a study of the atonement, the meaning of the death of Jesus Christ. The book surveys historical views but also proposes that the atonement be seen as the death of Christ for both victims and the oppressed, as atonement for sinners and oppressors, as atonement for the whole creation including animals and nature. This triune atonement refers to the involvement of the Trinity in the atonement, here presented from an Asian American perspective.

“Provides a rich survey of the history of doctrines of atonement. It then proceeds to offer the most inclusive interpretation of the atonement that I have seen anywhere. The book can be read by theological neophytes, but it has much to offer to professional theologians as well.”
– John B. Cobb Jr., Claremont School of Theology

“A necessary correction to familiar patterns of Christological construction.”
– Susan L. Nelson, Claremont School of Theology

From Hurt to Healing: A Theology of the Wounded. Abingdon Press, 2004.
In his book, From Hurt to Healing: A Theology of the Wounded, Andrew Sung Park explores the subject of abusers and the abused and how Christian theology has approached these very different sets of personal situations with one vocabulary and one solution.

Traditionally, we have had only the language of sin to describe these very different human predicaments. We are right to speak of the sinner’s need of forgiveness, but we have forgotten to take the next step: to seek healing for the victims. Having drawn the map of salvation for sinners, we have left it to those who have been sinned against to find their own way to wholeness and peace.

Park proposes that the Korean religious term han can serve as an instrument in this endeavor. While it is an intricate concept, in short han can be defined as the psychic and spiritual hurt caused by unjust oppression and suffering, and can be a powerful tool, allowing pastors and other caregivers to explore the depths of anguish that victims experience.

It can illustrate the fact that, having sinned against their victims as well as against God, the perpetrators of violence and abuse must seek salvation not only by asking for God’s forgiveness, but also by working for the healing of those they have wronged.

The Other Side of Sin. Co-editor with Susan Nelson. State University of New York Press, 2001.
Offers a fresh perspective in Christian thought by looking at sin from the perspective of the sinned-against rather than that of the sinner needing forgiveness.

The Changing Face of God: God Who Needs Our Salvation (Video lecture. New York: Washington National Cathedral and Morehouse, 2000).
Videotaped at Washington National Cathedral.

“Does the face of God change? Years ago I would have said, ‘No.’ Countless hymns, passage of Scripture and confessions of faith assert or imply the changelessness of God. To take issue with traditions that are centuries, if not millennia old, seemed to be daunting and misguided…. But when the great professions of confidence in God harden into philosophical propositions, one is bound to ask: What difference would it make to say that God has only one face? Even if true in some sense, the fact of the matter is that features each of us would count as necessary and changeless would be a matter of considerable debate.”
– From the Introduction.

In 1998 – 99 five scholars presented lectures at Washington National Cathedral about our images of God and what difference they make. This book, and its companion videos, will allow parish study groups and individuals to consider and discuss the viewpoints of Marcus Borg, Karen Armstrong, Jack Miles, James Cone, and Andrew Sung Park.

While the book and videos can be used independently of one another, in combination they make an excellent parish study resource. The material itself is designed in such as way that it can be covered in six or more group sessions, and study questions accompany each chapter.

Video titles: “The God of Imaginative Compassion” (Armstrong); “The God Who is Spirit” (Borg); “God is the Color of Suffering” (Cone); “A Complicated God” (Miles); and “The God Who Needs Our Salvation” (Park).

The Rev. Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr. is an Episcopal priest and the Director of Spiritual Life and Formation at the Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. From 1997 to 2000, he served in numerous capacities at Washington National Cathedral, including Canon Educator and Director of Programs in Spirituality. He is the author of more than sixty books and articles, including A Still Small Voice: Women, Ordination, and the Church.

Racial Conflict and Healing: An Asian-American Theological Perspective. Orbis Books, 1996.
Andrew was awarded a Gustavus Myers Award
for an outstanding book on human rights in North America for this book.

A Korean theologian approaches the issue of racial conflict – including discrimination between minority communities – and constructs a “theology of seeing” that aims to heal the ruptures of racism. As ethnic tensions continue to simmer and occasionally erupt, immigration and affirmative action laws are hotly debated in legislatures and newspapers nationwide. Discrimination and oppression afflict every ethnic minority: African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native Americans – even Asian-Americans (the so-called “model minority”) struggle in the racially-charged atmosphere of contemporary America.

In the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and the ensuing violence against Korean-Americans, Andrew Sung Park seeks a theological model that will help transform a society of oppression, injustice, and violence into a community of equity, fairness, and mutual consideration. Park emphasizes that such a transformation does not and cannot begin only with good intentions, but must be grounded in an understanding of all the socio-economic and cultural issues that lead to oppression and tension. Using the Korean term han to describe the deep-seated suffering of racial oppression, he then suggests resources for understanding and healing in both Christian and Asian traditions.

Korean Family Devotions. Co-Author. Upper Room Books, 1994.
Written in Korean with an English translation, this devotional–based on the lectionary cycle–will help families and congregations celebrate their faith throughout the Christian year. In addition to inspiring meditations that explore such themes as love, vision, and forgiveness, the book includes suggested hymns and prayers.

The Wounded Heart of God: The Asian Concept of Han and the Christian Doctrine of Sin. Abingdon Press, 1993.
Traditional doctrines of sin and salvation center primarily on the moral agency of the sinner. Andrew Sung Park addresses the relational consequence of sin – the pervasive reality of victims’ suffering and the scar from the sins of others who have wronged them.

He asserts that one cannot grasp the full meaning of the sin and guilt of sinners until one has looked at the concept han/shame of their victims. If reconciliation with God and with other humans is to take place, not only must one’s sin be repented and one’s guilt forgiven, but the han of those who have been wronged must be healed.

Personal Life
Andrew’s interests include jugging, singing, and playing the guitar, tennis, soccer, and ping pong.

He is married to Jane (Chemist at Sinclair) and they have enjoyed studying alternative medicine and learning how to relate theology to science.