CSCA Christianity in Southeast Asia Series

The CSCA Christianity in Southeast Asia Series consists of commissioned studies on present-day Christianity in Southeast Asia, specifically in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. This Series aims to build up Southeast Asian Christian scholarship in Asia, and to encourage much-needed theological reflection and critical inquiry on Christian life in Asia. This Series hopes to meet the intellectual needs of Christian communities in Asia and beyond: to produce academic books for teaching Christianity to the faithful, and to introduce what Southeast Asian Christians think to the wider audience, in the hope this will advance Christian mission in the third millennium.

No. 7 – What Young Asian Theologians Are Thinking

What Young Asian Theologians Are Thinking

Editor: Leow Theng Huat


It is not always easy to discover exactly what young Asian theologians are thinking (to paraphrase Douglas J. Elwood). Overwhelmed with commitments, young theologians find it difficult to pursue their research interests. This book is the result of an invitation to a few young theologians to pause and reflect upon the key theological issues they are concerned with in their respective contexts.

The nine articles cover a broad range of topics. The first section (“Text and Context”) focus on specific portions of the Biblical text and how they speak to various parts of Asia. The second, entitled “Theology in Context”, propose ways of meaningfully engaging the Christian faith with the contributors’ own contexts in China, Hong Kong and Thailand. The final three articles “On Terminology and Methodology” deal with basic issues of how we should explicate key concepts and undertake the theological task. The last portion contains three responses from senior scholars.

Price: $15.00

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No. 5 – In Search for Asian Sounds and Symbols in Worship

In Search for Asian Sounds and Symbols in Worship

Author: Loh I-to

Editor: Michael Poon

Pages: 258

Publication year: 2012

ISBN 13: 978-981-07-1069-9


This volume of collected essays by Professor Loh I-to, the foremost Asian church musician and ethnomusicologist, introduces a new generation of Christians in Asia and beyond the theological vision and issues of contextualisation of Asian liturgy and music. The essays, edited and introduced by Michael Poon, span over 25 years of research, music composition, and teaching. The book also includes a foreword by Lo Lung Kwong and an interpretative essay by Lim Swee Hong. It makes an ideal textbook for seminary courses on Asian church music and theological contextualisation.

Professor Loh I-to’s pioneering work in promoting church music and Asian theology with local cultural resources that can be distinctly identified as ‘truly Asia’ deserves our highest applause and respect.

Thu En Yu (Principal of Sabah Theological Seminary, Malaysia)

For many in the global ecumenical family Professor Loh I-to represents one of most outstanding promoters of Asian church music today.

Dietrich Werner (Programme Coordinator ETE/World Council of Churches)

What would the world church be like if Asian Christian found their voice? I-to Loh has given us a sense of the musical richness of the diverse cultures that make up the largest and most complex continent on the globe.

C. Michael Hawn (D.M.A. University Distinguished Professor of Church Music, Director, Sacred Music Program)


  • Foreword by Lo Lung Kwong
  • Introduction Loh I-to as Bridge-Builder: Communication and Communion in the Asia Pacific – Michael Poon
  • Preface
Pilgrimage in Contextualisation
  • Toward Contextualisation of Church Music in Asia
  • Revisiting Ways of Contextualisation of Church Music in Asia
  • Contextualisation of Asian Liturgy and Music: From AILM to Global Contexts. A Personal Recollection, Reflection and Vision
  • Approaches to Contextualisation of Church Music: With Special Reference to “Welcoming Another Year with The Spring Breezes”
Quest for Asian Sounds and Symbols in Worship
  • Worshipping through Incarnational Music: My Mission
  • Contemporary Issues in Inculturation
  • Asian Symbols and Symbolic Acts
  • A Glimpse at Multipart Practices in Traditional Asian Music
 Sign Posts
  • Contributions of ‘Asian’ Traditions to The Presbyterian New Hymnal, USA (1990)
  • A Survey of Texts and Musical Styles in Sound The Bamboo (2000) The Significance of Seng-Si 2009: The New Hymnal of The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan
 Loh I-to and His Work
  • I-to Loh: Life and Influences– Lim Swee Hong
  • Published Works of Loh I-to
  • Bibliography

Price: $25.00

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No. 4 – Christian Mission and the Test of Discipleship: The Princeton Lectures, 1970

Christian Mission and the Test of Discipleship: The Princeton Lectures, 1970

Author: Shoki Coe

Editor: Michael Poon

Pages: 73

Publication year: 2012

ISBN 13: 978-981-07-1068-2


Shoki Coe’s lectures on mission, published here for the first time since it was delivered in Princeton Theological Seminary in 1970, introduce a new generation of Asian Christians to Shoki Coe, the father of contextualizing theology. Coe delivered his Students’ Lectures on Mission at a critical turning point in his intellectual development and in the turbulent nation-building history in Asia.

The three lectures, “Text and Context in Missions,” “Missio Dei” and “Christian Mission in the Context of Asian Nation Building,” transcribed and edited here, underline the key role that the Asia Pacific plays in world Christianity. They also shed light to Coe’s train of thoughts that led to the birth of contextualising theology.

To place Coe’s lectures within the wider canvass of Asian theological development, this book includes one of Coe’s most important essays “My Political Involvement,” a tribute by the leading Asian ethnomusicologist Loh I-to, and Michael Poon’s introductory essay on “Shoki Coe and the Rise of Asia Pacific Christianity.”

“The present crisis in mission is due largely to the fact that we have come to the end of an era and the beginning of another, in the history of both of the church and of the world. It is at this critical point of transition that the question of self-identity and self-identification, the question of faithfulness and the question of relevance of missions have to be raised.”

– Shoki Coe


  1. Foreword: My Memory of Dr Shoki Coe – Loh I-to
  2. Introduction: Confessing the Faith in Asia Today: Shoki Coe and the Rise of Asia Pacific Christianity – Michael Poon
  3. Text and Context in Missions
  4. Missio Dei
  5. Christian Mission in the Context of Asian Nation Building
  6. My Political Involvement

Price: $15.00

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No. 3 – Church Partnerships in Asia: A Singapore Conversation

Church Partnerships in Asia: A Singapore conversation

Editor: Michael Poon

Pages: 225

Publication year: 2010

ISBN 13: 978-981-4305-23-5


This collection of essays introduces readers to what is important to the character and forms of church partnership at the beginning of the twenty-first century, as viewed by major Asian Protestant church leaders. The essays are based on the papers presented in a conference on ‘Cooperation and Partnership in the Mission of Church in the 21st Century’ held in Singapore in 2009.

The Singapore conversation took place amid huge volatility in the first decade of the new millennium: the 9/11 attacks, SARS outbreak, Indian Ocean tsunami, the Nargis cyclone, Mumbai terrorist attack, the H1N1 pandemic, and the still evolving global financial crisis. Perhaps for the first time since 1945, Asian churches can no longer rely on their Western counterparts to provide intellectual leadership and material support. This book offers a missiological reading on the fresh directions that Asian churches take amid radical social and ecclesial reconfigurations in the globalising age.


This book includes essays by 26 church leaders and theologians from India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, China, Japan, and Korea, which include presentations by Zosangliana Colney (India), Gao Feng (China), and Stephen Than Myint Oo (Myanmar). Michael Poon and Kimhong Hazra offer interpretative essays to place the conversations in context.


Part One: Biblical and Historical Reflections
  • Bible Readings
    • The Liturgical Context of Mission (Romans 15:14-19) — Simon Chan
    • A Minister’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) — Mark Chan
    • Conflict and Co-operation (Joshua 22) — Gordon Wong
    • A Cup of Water: Mission for Transformation (1 Kings 17:8-16) — Yu Chin Cheak
  • On Volatile Grounds: A History of Church Partnerships in Asia — Michael Poon
Part Two: Present-day Asian Churches: Realities and Challenges
  • Co-operation and Partnership in the Mission of the Church in China — Gao Feng
    • Responses — Iman Santoso, Indonesia & Makito Masaki, Japan
  • The Life and Witness of the Church in Myanmar: Past, Present and Future — Stephen Than Myint Oo
    • Responses — Surakit Kamonrat, Thailand & Bolly Lapok, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Mizoram Presbyterian Church: Practice of Co-operation and Partnership — Zosangliana Colney
    • Responses — Khamphone Kounthapanya, Laos & Wee Boon Hup, Singapore
Part Three: Case Studies on Partnership
  • Short-Term Mission Trips
    • The School of Biblical Teaching and Short-Term Missions in India— Paul Swarup
    • A Case Study of the Lutheran Church in Singapore— Terry Kee
    • The Best Practices Document: A Guide for Foreigners to Vietnam— Pham Dinh Nhan Daniel
  • Sharing of Resources
    • Forms of Partnership in Myanmar — Mar Gay Gyi
    • Compilation of the Khmer Indigenous  Hymnal and Khmer Discipleship Manuals — Barnabas Mam
    • The Korea Research Institute for Missions — Steve Moon
  • Leadership Formation and Training
    • Leadership Formation and Training in Malaysia — Tan Kong Beng
    • Partnership of Asian Churches in the Twenty-first Century: Theological Education and Asian Culture — Kan Baoping
  • Migrant Workers
    • Chen Li Presbyterian Church Local Thai Mission: Reaching Out to the Thai Migrant Workers in Singapore — Phua Chee Seng
  • Bible Translation
    • The Bontoc Scripture Society — Daphne-Marie Falag-ey
    • The Bible Society of India: Partnership in Scripture Translation — G.D.V. Prasad
Part Four: Concluding Reflections
  • Forging Friendships for the Witness of the Church — Kimhong Hazra
  • Into Deeper Levels of Communion: Apostles’ Passion, Martyrs’ Depth — Michael Poon

Price: $25.00

No. 2 – Christian Movements in Southeast Asia: A Theological Exploration

Christian Movements in Southeast Asia: A theological exploration

Editor: Michael Poon

Pages: 144

Publication year: 2010

ISBN 13: 978-981-4305-15-0


This book discusses present-day Southeast Asian Christian movements amid huge social and political changes in the region.

Michael Poon, editor of the volume and director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia, notes there is a need “to deepen the understanding and expression of the theological nature of Christian movements in our lands, to encourage their growth, and help ensure that these newer expressions and practices are connected to the central calling of the whole church.”

Six prominent global and regional historians, missiologists and theologians join hands to evaluate the popular expressions of Southeast Asian Christianity, and to discuss their significance in relation to the emerging scholarship on world Christianity.

From the book:

Historical studies are crucial to contextual theological reflection… Christian communities who are cultural and religious minorities in the new Singapore and Malaysia nations need local reference points for their own identity. Western missionary heritage alone can no longer serve as a credible basis of identity in the post-Pacific War years.

– Michael Poon

When theologians begin to engage the implicit theologies found in the actual life of the people of God in their varied contexts, a lot of our current theologies may have to be re-thought… Christianity underwent a major revolution when it moved from its Jewish confines into the Gentile world. We may be at the threshold of another Copernican revolution in theology.

– Simon Chan


Simon Chan, Charles Farhadian, Roger Hedlund, Michael Poon, John Roxborogh, Andrew Walls


  1. Introduction: The Theological Locus of Christian Movements in Southeast Asia — Michael Poon
  2. Folk Christianity and Primal Spirituality: Prospects for Theological Development — Simon Chan
  3. Situating Southeast Asian Christian Movements in the History of World Christianity — W. John Roxborogh
  4. Present-day Independent Christian Movements: A South Asian Perspective — Roger E. Hedlund
  5. Understanding Southeast Asian Christianity — Roger E. Hedlund
  6. A Missiological Reflection on Present-day Christian Movements in Southeast Asia — Charles E. Farhadian
  7. Documentation and Ecclesial Deficit: A Personal Plea to Churches — Andrew F. Walls
  8. Popular Spiritual Movements in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia: A Select Bibliography for Seminaries — Compiled by Michael Poon and W. John Roxborogh

Price: $20.00

No. 1 – Issues of Law and Justice in Singapore: Some Christian Reflections

Issues of Law and Justice in Singapore: Some Christian reflections

Authors: Daniel K. S. Koh, Kiem-Kiok Kwa, Debbie Ong, Tan Seow Hon, Thio Li-ann, William Wan and Gordon Wong.

Editors: Daniel Koh and Kiem-Kiok Kwa

Pages: 237

Publication year: 2009

ISBN 13: 978-981-4270-16-8


This book is an attempt at putting together in one accessible volume what some Singapore Christians think about matters of law and justice in their own country. It is the first volume in the CSCA Christianity in Southeast Asia Series.

The writers share the same concern about Christians being the light and salt in the world. Christians can make meaningful contribution to public discussion on matters which affect the common good. Justice properly understood is justice for all even if it is informed by the Christian faith. That is why Christians who love God and their neighbours are interested in issues of law and justice.

While the book is primarily written for Christians, it may be of interest to the wider readership. Readers will be able to identify some common interests, and gain further understanding of how thoughtful Christians have sought to contribute to developing a wholesome social vision, “based on justice and equality”, for a multi-racial, multi-religious society.


  1. Justice: A Christian Social Ethical Perspective — Daniel K. S. Koh
  2. Random Reflections on Law and Justice in the Bible — Gordon Wong
  3. Criminal Law, Punishment and the Christian — William Wan
  4. Religion and Abortion in Singapore — Tan Seow Hon
  5. Reflections on the Law of Marriage & Divorce in Singapore— Debbie Ong
  6. “To Act Justly, To Love Mercy…” Reflections on the Social Principles of the Methodist Church in Singapore — Kiem-Kiok Kwa
  7. Attending to the Weightier Matters of the Law: Faith, Hope and Love in the Public Square — Thio Li-ann

Price: $30.00