The goal of the First Book Grant Program for Minority Scholars is to assist junior, non-tenured religion scholars in writing a major book project centered on some aspect of Christianity in North America. The grant money allows the recipient to devote an entire academic year to the endeavor while undistracted by other professional responsibilities. Tan was awarded $45,000 in March.
The book, Introducing Asian American Theologies, surveys principle themes, sources, practices, trends and challenges in Asian-American theologies. The research for Tan's book was funded by a University summer fellowship grant. The book is scheduled to be completed in spring 2006.
"At present, there are no significant studies or accessible surveys of Asian-American theologies," Tan says. "As a Chinese-American theologian, I hope to remedy this shortcoming by presenting a systematic survey and discussion of Asian-American theologies that is accessible to students and the non-experts, yet remaining a useful resource for scholars and experts."
Tan is originally from Malaysia and received his Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 2002. He has been a professor at Xavier for three years.
"This book complements my area of teaching at Xavier by highlighting an important link between religion and culture in Asian-American communities," says Tan. "When completed, this book will join the growing list of multicultural and diversity resources produced by Xavier faculty."