For fifteen years, Dr. Zhongxin Wang (pictured with me at right) has been running the Chinese Christian Scholars Association in North America (CCSANA), bringing professors from Chinese universities to the USA for conferences and vice versa. I have had the privilege of going on a CCSANA- sponsored lecture tour through China in 2004-2005 and I participate in the local conferences in Boston whenever I can.
This year, on Friday July 9, 2010, I will present a lecture to the most recent group of visiting Chinese scholars on the flourishing of the scientific study of religion. Dr. Wang tells me that this is a topic of great interest to many Chinese academics and researchers and I can certainly understand that.
This lecture will give the great joy of reuniting with Prof. Liu Xiaoting from Beijing Normal University, with whom I spent many wonderful days in China. I speak no Chinese and he speaks no English but we seem to understand one another just fine. An energetic, witty, and boisterous man, Dr. Liu is respected for his formidable intelligence and his determination to speak the truth as he understands it.
Dr. Wang has worked tirelessly to build scholarly and ecclesial bridges between China and the United States. CCSANA exists solely because of his energy and imagination and fund-raising skill. The lecture tour in China had a profound effect on me and I believe this is true of everyone involved in CCSANA activities.