In July 2019, Religious Studies Professor Reverend Joseph Cheah, OSM, Ph.D., was one of only two U.S. scholars invited to speak at the Institute for Advanced Study in Asian Cultures and Theologies (IASACT) Conference. Fr. Joe presented his research on the Asian Pneumatology of the Federation of the Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), and in particular, how the FABC reimagined hospitality and spirituality in Asia by removing the perception of the Church in Asia as “foreign” through interreligious dialogue and inculturation.
The basic operative approach to inculturation taken by Asian bishops is through the Triple Dialogue – i.e., dialogue with the local cultures, peoples, and other religions. The last component of the Triple Dialogue or interreligious dialogue is regarded by the Asian bishops as an essential component of how Asian Christians live their faith amidst their neighbors of other religions. Fr. Joe’s presentation offers a rough contour of the ways in which the Divine Spirit has operated in the life and pastoral mission of the Asian Church situated in a multicultural and religiously pluralistic context.