Wonhee Anne Joh is an author, theologian, professor and lecturer whose influence in the disciplines of religion, women's equality, and the Asian American experience has created a great deal of thought and positive discourse.
Her articles have been published in a variety of renowned publication around the globe including the New York Times, The International Journal of Theology, and The Asian Pacific American Religious Cultures Encyclopedia. Her book titled Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology has been met with great acclaim from both theologians and critics from around the world.
“Dr. W. Anne Joh areas of research interests include postcoloniality, gender, affect, war, militarism and trauma, political theory and race, economics of freedom, rights and debt, theorizing melancholia and loss, Asian American and Asia Pacific, and theorizing politics of love.”
Joh was born in South Korea on July 17, 1966 and at age 9 she and her family immigrated to the United States. At a very young age she loved to read and at only age 14 her first job would be as a librarian. This love of reading would help shape her future, but it was the injustice experienced by her family and others in the community which would have the greatest influence. The injustices and violations of power she witnessed based on race, gender, class, sexuality, and religion stayed with her, and her literary works and lectures are driven by the desire to educate and facilitate change.
Joh graduated from North Central College in Naperville, IL with a B.A. in Religious Studies (1989) and a B.A. in English Literature (1989). She also earned a M. Div. in Systematic Theology (1992) from the Princeton Theological Seminary located in Princeton, NJ. Joh earned her Ph. D. in Theological and Philosophical Studies (2003) from Drew University in Madison NJ.
Joh is an Associate Professor of Theology at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. She is also serving as an Invited Affiliate Faculty at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Joh describes her teaching philosophy to include “As a teacher, I believe that transformative praxis begins with each of us in our everyday lives. Theological reflection is crucial because the meaning of our lives is often understood through the prism of religious experience. Therefore, theological reflection must be bold and imaginative as well as grounded in the material reality of history of peoples’ lives.”
Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology
Joh's renowned book Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology (2006) Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky is a theological masterpiece. “Utilizing the Korean concept of jeong, Joh constructs a theology that is feminist, political and love-centered, while acknowledging the cross as source of pain and suffering. Joh's innovative vision is a call for political love that is stronger than powers of oppression.”
“Wonhee Anne Joh’s book, Heart of The Cross, also contributes to the conversation not only with postcolonial theory but also with other theories such as post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, and liberationist feminist hermeneutics. In this book, Joh investigates the specific theological category, Christology, by drawing on her Asian/Korean American experience.”
- Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology . Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006
- Terror, Trauma and Mourning : A Postcolonial Theology of Hope . Under Review with Fordham University Press.
- Engaging the United States as a Military Empire : Critical Studies of Christianity from Asian/Asian North American Perspectives . Ed. Anne Joh and Nami Kim. New York, NY: Palgrave, 2016. Forthcoming.
- Korean Christian LGBT: A Critical Approach . Ed. Anne Joh and Nami Kim. Forthcoming.
- “Asian American Feminist Theologies.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion (2015).
- “On Diversity, Institutional Whiteness and the Will for Change.” Religious Studies News (2014).
- “Blasé Racism is Not a Growth Strategy.” New York Times (2013).
- “Mentoring Models with Promise.” Religious Studies News (2013).
- “Grief and Grievability: A Postcolonial Spectrality of the Cross.” Concilium: International Journal of Theology (2013).
- “Theological Reflection on Sexuality and Korean American Identity.” Asian Women Center , Seoul, South Korea (2013).
- “Postcolonialism in Fugue: Contrapunctality of Asian American Experience.” New Overtures: Asian North American Theologies in the 21st Century . Ed. Eleazar Fernandez. Sopher Press (2012).
- “Teaching to Learn from the Other.” Keeping the Light . Ed. Kate Ott and Melanie Harris. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
- “Loves’ Multiplicity: Jeong and Spivak’s Notes Toward Planetary Love.” Planetary Loves: Gayatri Spivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology . Ed. Stephen Moore and Mayra Rivera. New York: Fordham University Press, 2010.
- “Feminist Theological Vision.” New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views . Ed. Mary E. Hunt and Diann Neu. Skylight Publishing (2010).
- “Freeing the Mother-Lode from Mother Over-Load: The Difference Institutions Can Make.” Religious Studies News (November 2010).
- “Gender and Sexuality in Asian American/Pacific Islander (API) Religious and Theological Studies.” Asian Pacific American Religious Cultures Encyclopedia. With Nami Kim, Ed. Fumitaka Matsuoka and Jane Iwamura. ABC-CLIO (December 2009).
- “In Honor of Letty Russell.” Religious Studies News . Ed. Traci West and Rebecca Alpert (Summer 2008).
- “No-Self and the Calling Given to Anyone.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Reli gion (Fall 2008).
- “Violence and Asian American Experience: From Abjection to Jeong .” Off The Menu: Asian and Asian North American Women’s Theology and Religion . Ed. Kwok Pui-lan, Rita Nakaashima Brock, Seung-Ai Yang and Jung Ha Kim. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007.
- “Relating to Household Labor Justly.” Choice, vol. 45, no. 5 (January 2008). Justice in a Global Economy: Strategies for Home, Community, and World . Ed. Pamela Brubaker, Rebecca Todd Peters and Laura A. Stivers. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
- “Transgressive Power of Jeong: A Postcolonial Hybridization of Christology.” Postcolonial Theologies: Divinity and Empire . Ed. Catherine Keller, Michael Nausner and Mayra Rivera. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2004.
- “Postmodern Politics of Difference and Asian American Identity.” Asian Americans and Christian Identity . Ed. Inn Sook Lee and Timothy Son. Seoul, South Korea: Voice Publishing House, 1999.
- “Embracing Ambiguity.” East Wind: Taoist and Cosmological Implications of Christian Theology . Ed. Charles Courtney. New York, NY: University Press of America, 1997.
Awards, honors, and consultations
- General Board of Higher Education and Ministry – Evanston, IL. 2013 Grant Recipient for Theologies in Times of War and Healing
- Harvard Divinity School’s Center for the Study of World Religions – Cambridge, MA. 2009 Collaborative Project Grant Recipient for Postcolonial - Gender - Race - Queer Theory in Practical Theology Consultation
- Ford Foundation – Albuquerque, NM. 2009 Interfaith Women Leaders Gathering
- American Academy of Religion – Washington, DC. 2006 Poster Book Panel – Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology Panelists: Serene Jones, Wendy Farley, Rita Nakashima Brock, Rachel Bundang, Eleazar Fernandez
- Yale University/Union Theological Seminary – New Haven, CT. 2007 Women Activists in the Academy: Teaching Scholars, Changing Models
- Wabash College – Crawfordsville, IN. 2006 to 2007 Pre-Tenure Summer Research Fellowship (Lilly Grant, 2007) Teaching Workshop for Pre-Tenure Asian/Asian North American Faculty (2006 to 2007)
- Association of Theological Schools – Washington, DC. 2005, 2007 Consultation for Asian/Asian North American Scholars
- Fordham University – New York, NY. 2004 to 2005 Post-Doctoral Fellow – Theology
- The United Methodist Church. 1994 to 1998 Women of Color Doctoral Scholars Program