Early career scholar honoured by RGC for research excellence in transnational history of Christianity
Professor WONG Wai-yin Christina, Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies and at the Divinity School of Chung Chi College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has been awarded the 2021 Early Career Award from the Research Grants Council (RGC) in recognition of her excellent achievement in the research area of transnational history of Christianity.
Professor Wong’s award-winning project entitled “Radical Social Movements and Networked Ecumenism: An Analysis of Three Christian NGOs in Colonial Hong Kong, 1960s–1990s” delves into how transnational ecumenical networks established and supported social movements in colonial Hong Kong. The project examined the Tsuen Wan Ecumenical Social Service Centre, the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee, and the Society for Community Organisation and their role in social movements throughout the city’s late 20th century colonial history. These organisations worked with the poor to addressing socio-economic issues like housing and labour concerns. Professor Wong adopted a multidisciplinary approach combining political studies, sociology, human geography, social work and theology.
As a graduate at CUHK, Professor Wong majored in theology receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1999 before completing a Masters of Philosophy degree in 2001 specialising in religious and gender studies. She then completed her doctorate at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, with the aim of strengthening her research in gender studies and theological education. She returned to CUHK as a faculty member in 2015, and has taught topics widely about feminist theology, body theologies, women and world missions, and gender in ministry. The transnational history of Christianity in South China, including Guangzhou and Hong Kong, is her major research focus which she hopes will transform local communities and churches. Professor Wong completed a research project focused on rediscovering the history of transnational cooperation between western women missionaries and Chinese women in Guangzhou, which was funded by the Direct Grant for Research by the Faculty of Arts, CUHK in 2016–2017.
Professor Wong said, “I am very honoured to receive the Early Career Award. As a scholar of mission studies of world Christianity and a practitioner of the ecumenical movement, I hope my research can help foster our analysis on transnational ecumenical networks and their impact on social movements in colonial Hong Kong, and contribute to historical research on Christianity in Hong Kong.”
About the RGC Early Career Scheme
The RGC Early Career Scheme aims to nurture junior academics and encourage them to continue their excellent work in the years ahead.