Chung Hyun Kyung, MDiv, PhD, is a lay theologian of the Presbyterian Church of Korea and an associate professor of ecumenical studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
In her theology, Kyung synthesizes the wisdom of the worldwide people’s movements, spiritual legacies of Asian religious traditions, critical academic analysis, and the world of the arts. In 1999, she lived for a year as a Buddhist novice nun in a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas. She has since become a dharma teacher at the Kwan Eum Zen School in New York City.
Kyung first came to international public attention in 1991, when she gave an important speech at the World Council of Churches in Canberra, Australia. She defines herself as a “salimist” (Korean Eco-feminist) from the Korean word “salim,” which means “making things alive.” Her teaching and research interests include feminist and eco-feminist theologies and spiritualities from Asia, Africa, and Latin America; Christian-Buddhist dialogue; Zen meditation; approaches to disease and healing in varied religious backgrounds; mysticism and revolutionary social change; Goddesses and women’s liberation in Asia; interfaith peacemaking, and the history and critical issues of various ecumenical theologies.
A charismatic speaker, Kyung also produced an award-winning, eight-part series, The Power of Women in World Religions, on Korean Public Television and delivered a talk on TedxWomen. Her published works include numerous articles and books, including Struggling to be the Sun Again: Introducing Asian Women’s Theology; In the End, Beauty Will Save Us All: A Feminist Spiritual Pilgrimage, Vols. I and II (published in Korean); Letter From The Future: The Goddess-Spell According to Hyun Kyung (published in Korean); and Hyun Kyung and Alice’s Fabulous Love Affair with God, coauthored with American novelist, Alice Walker.