Shalon Park Joins Princeton Seminary Faculty - Princeton Theological Seminary
Shalon Parks

Princeton Theological Seminary welcomes Dr. Shalon Park as the Assistant Professor of Asian Christianity. Park will join the faculty on July 1, 2025.

“I am attracted to this role because of Princeton Seminary’s enduring partnership with Asian churches and institutions,” Park says. “I deeply value the institution’s longstanding commitment to ecumenical tradition and meaningful conversations with Asian Christians.”

A historian who is originally from South Korea, Park specializes in Asian Christianity. Her scholarship explores the intersections of Asian religions and transpacific Christianity from the sixteenth century to the contemporary era. Park’s research and teaching interests include Asian Catholicism, the rise of monasticism in Asia, women and celibacy, and Korean Christianity. Another research interest regards Asian women’s expressions of piety and sexuality found at the interreligious borders of Confucianism and Catholicism.

Park’s book project, Christian Vernaculars, examines how Korean Christians articulated, circulated, and interiorized faith in new forms of vernacular expression. It also explores how Korean Catholicism reveals a rich repository of understudied forms of Asian faith, both within the intra-East Asian literary world and between Asia and Europe.

A double alum of Princeton Seminary, Park holds a PhD in World Christianity and the History of Religions from the Department of History and Ecumenics, and an MATS in Religion and Society. She received an MA in Historical Theology from Wheaton Graduate School and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia in Italy and a grant holder for the PRIN project, “Making Korea a Religiously Plural Society? Historical, Legal, and Social Approaches.” The project is funded by the Italian Ministry for Universities and Research.

Park describes her time as a postdoctoral fellow in Italy as “transformative,” helping her develop a broader perspective on studying Asia, thanks to the collaboration with European scholars who bring unique viewpoints. “The depth of Italian scholarship on Korea was a delightful surprise, Park says. “It is not just a matter of the region you study but the region where you study that has a significant impact on your scholarship.”

In her new role, Park will teach various courses on Asian Christianity, including Asian Literature and Religions, Interfaith Dialogue, and World Christianity and Translations. The Asian Christianity course will highlight the polycentric development of Asian Christianity from premodern to contemporary South, Southeast and East Asia. Translating World Christianity is an interdisciplinary course that underscores translation as a critical concept for exploring religious and literary boundaries in Asia and beyond.

Park notes that having lived abroad for most of her life, she has had to consistently navigate intercultural spaces. This background and experience will influence her work as the Assistant Professor of Asian Christianity.

“I came to believe that the study of Christianity involves multiple layers of cultural intricacies, and my position as an Asian Christian helps me to appreciate Christianity from a different angle,” she says. “I would like to apply this to Princeton Seminary’s diverse students, who bring their own unique backgrounds to their study of Christianity.”

President Walton adds, “Shalon Park brings a wealth of expertise in World Christianity and a fresh perspective on the complexities of early Korean Christianity, challenging conventional narratives. Her interdisciplinary approach promises to enrich the classroom experience and foster collaborative opportunities within our learning community.”

Park is looking forward to joining the Princeton Seminary faculty next summer and specifically contributing to a vibrant theological community dedicated to fostering critical studies on Asian Christianity and cultivating scholarly dialogues with Asian churches and institutions, she says.

“I anticipate that Princeton Seminary will be one of the leading global institutions for studying Asian Christianity,” Park says. “I aim to bridge the gap between church and academy through rigorous historical research, facilitating a deeper understanding of this dynamic faith tradition.”