Institute for Advanced Study in Asian Cultures and Theologies (IASACT)



Institute for Advanced Study in Asian Cultures and Theologies (IASACT) is a four-week residential program that provides space and time for scholars to deepen their understanding of theologies and traditions. Participants undertake research and writing in the broad area of Asian cultures and theologies and complete a working paper while in residence. Starting from 2015, IASACT is organized by the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and funded by the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. Since 2004, 218 scholars from 138 institutions in 20 countries have benefited from the time IASACT affords for reflection, interaction and network-building.

More information about the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia.


  • IASACT has been a forum for research, writing and exchange of ideas on cultures and religions in Asia. More than 250 scholars participated in the Institute for the past 15 years as individual researchers. Given the increasing cultural and religious complexities in Asia, there is a strong call for scholars from different disciplines and backgrounds to address the issues collaboratively. In IASACT 2020, we shall address this demand to go deeper into studies and research by extending the forum to research teams to conduct and advance collaborative research on cultures and religions in Asia.

  • Click HERE for the pamphlet of IASACT 2020 for more information.


28 June - 22 July 2020

Arrival: 28 June, 2020 (Sunday)

Orientation: 29 June, 2020 (Monday)

Departure: 22 July 2020 (Wednesday)


•    Library research
•    Plenary session 
•    Peer discussion
•    Seminars on related themes
•    Meeting with mentor


i.    A presentation on research progress (framework, methodology, plans, difficulties) and initial findings or tentative conclusion;
ii.   A final report in the form of a grant proposal or a paper ready to be submitted to a funding agency or an international journal.
A research grant may be awarded to a project that is the most innovative and significant to the themes of the year.


•    Multi-religious cultures and societies
•    Marginalized Communities
•    Other themes are welcome but please specify in your application.


Each scholar
•    will be provided accommodation at Theology Building of the Chinese University of Hong Kong with single occupancy which is a private air-conditioned room with internet connection. (Scholars are expected to bring their own laptops).
•    will be housed on separate floors according to gender. Each floor has a number of washrooms, showers and toilets.
•    will be provided a stipend of USD1,000;
•    will be responsible for one’s own airfares and related travel costs such as insurance and local transportation.


•    Scholars who have completed their doctoral studies or in the process of writing their dissertations;
•    Scholars who are currently affiliated with an Asian institution of higher education;
•    Scholars who have already developed plans for collaborative research;
•    Scholars who are engaging in a collaborative research;
•    IASACT alumni who belong to either of the above groups are welcome.
•    About 5 teams are selected.



Dr. Wai Ching Angela WONG

Vice President for Programs
United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia

IASACT Associate Dean

Prof. Lap Yan KUNG

Associate Professor
Divinity School of Chung Chi College
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Advisory Committee

Dr. Wai Ching Angela WONG (Co-Chair)
Prof. Lap Yan KUNG (Co-Chair)
Fr. Viju Painadath DEVASSY, India
Dr. Jeanny DHEWAYANI, Indonesia
Dr. Joseph GOH, Malaysia
Prof. Archie C.C. LEE, Hong Kong
Prof. Yeong Mee LEE, South Korea
Prof. Anita Christine TIPHAGNE, India


•    Only team application is accepted. Interested scholars should form a research team and apply as a team. 
•    Identify the research principal investigator and specify the roles of each team member.
•    For the effective use of the IASACT as a space for collaboration, teams with three to four members will be prioritized.
•    Ongoing projects with promising progress will be given special consideration.
•    Collaboration across institutions, countries, disciplines and cultural and religious traditions is strongly encouraged.

Please register via HERE. Deadline of registration is January 16, 2020 (Thursday). You are required to submit an application in a team. Please complete the requried information for your team members if you are the principal investigator. Below are the required documents for application:

1.    Topic of research
2.    Abstract (limit: 200 words)
3.    Methodology (limit: 1 page)
4.    What parts or components of the research are expected to be completed at IASACT? Please include a work plan for your stay.
5.    Expected outcome (limit: 1 page)
6.    Expected completion date
Please also attach the curriculum vitae of all team members.

IASACT 2020 is not the regular residential school for writing individual paper. Please join IASACT 2021 or in future years.


QUEST: Studies on Religion & Culture in Asia is a publication from the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, the Chinese University of Hong Kong for the IASACT program. Scholars of IASACT submit a paper to QUEST which is a peer-reviewed journal, and aims to be a “Gold” open access journal. It publishes research and book review articles that may span the full spectrum of religious studies, cultural studies, theological studies, and interdisciplinary studies on the cultures and religions in Asia.