You can order Making Paper Cranes: Toward an Asian American Feminist Theology from Amazon. This book is a part of the Young Clergy Women Project imprint at Chalice Press. A small portion of proceeds will go to support The Young Clergy Women Project, a network for women ministers.
Drawing on memories of making paper cranes with her mother at the kitchen table, Mihee Kim-Kort begins with one of her favorite stories from childhood about the tradition of making a thousand cranes. Intrigued by the symbol of the crane, she explores the migrations and movements of the community of Asian American women. What results is a theological endeavor that engages the social histories, literary texts, and narratives of Asian American women as well as the constructive theologies of feminist and liberation theologians. But, it is ultimately one young woman’s embrace of living into this community and identity, and articulating a particular theology that is hopefully accessible to all who have experienced powerlessness and marginalization.
Simply put, Making Paper Cranes is about Asian American mothers, daughters, sisters, and women who courageously discover the grace in the struggle, the survival, and the song.
BLOGS and OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA:
Rev. Katie Yahns wrote an article about the book for Fidelia’s Sisters.
Rocky Supinger is blogging through the book at YoRocko.
Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim has posted about the book at her blog.
Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow wrote a review picked up by the Huffington Post.
Revs. Carol Howard Merritt and Derrick Weston interviewed Mihee about the book on the God Complex Radio.
Rev. Carol Howard Merritt posted about it on her blog on the Christian Century.
“With this historical backdrop, Making Paper Cranes takes us on a theological journey that explores, reflects and contributes to Asian American Feminist Theology discourse through engaging literary, historical, and sociological sources. Most importantly, Kim-Kort writes from her heart as she finds herself in the statistics and dates of these literary, historical, and social narratives. She opens up her life and shares her journey, in theological terms, from Korea to the United States, and through artful ways, Kim-Kort tugs at our heart through a theological narrative rooted in the genuine fragility of life told honestly.
Kim-Kort’s book adds richness to the Korean immigrant history as Asian American Feminist theologians remember, recall and retell our stories. Much of her stories are experiences she recalls with clarity, spontaneity, and integrity. She candidly shares her own personal struggles growing up as a Korean child in America. Many of the stories, both hers and other Asian Americans, are difficult to digest at times as they become our stories. Many Asian Americans can personally identify with the experiences of sexism, racism, prejudice and subordination she confronts in this writing. Kim-Kort provides valuable insights into the woundedness, pain and han that exists within many immigrant women. Despite the particularity of all these stories they become the life stories of all of humanity as we see a glimmer of ourselves in them.”
-From the Foreward written by Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Associate Professor of Doctrinal Theology at Moravian Seminary and author of The Grace of Sophia: A Korean North American Women’s Christology and The Holy Spirit, Chi, and the Other: A Model of Global and Intercultural Pneumatology.
“This is a splendid contribution to the heterogeneous and polyphonic orchestra of American liberation theologies. From an inclusive perspective that incorporates the fruitful insights developed by various ethnic, national, and feminist contextual theologies, Mihee Kim-Kort designs the horizons of an emerging Asian American feminist theology. It is a poetically beautiful and theoretically bright entry of a new voice to our contemporary theological dialogues. It deserves to be read by anyone in society, the academy, or the church concerned about the future of our plural world.”
-Luis Rivera-Pagan, Professor Emeritus of Ecumenics at Princeton Theological Seminary, and author of A Violent Evangelism: The Political and Religious Conquest of the Americas.
“Weaving personal narrative, social history, and theological discipline, Kim-Kort creates a rich tapestry that tells an important story. Though the focus is primarily upon Asian-American women, this is a work that should be read by anyone who identifies or stands in solidarity with those who live on the margins of our society. Kim-Kort brings color, texture, and spirit to this endeavor that is not only rigorous in its exploration, but lively in its telling.”
-Erica Liu, Colleague and Pastor of Pres House.
“Mihee, a Korean American Presbyterian immigrant woman, takes us on a journey of honest self-discovery employing a wry sense of humor, keen cultural insight and an ability to ask and respond to powerful questions with which we can all identify.
In the first part of the book Mihee unpacks some of the realities of growing up as an Asian American women in the United States. As one who has a degree in Asian American Studies, I think Mihee does a wonderful job at surveying the vast ways in which Asian Americans in general and Asian American women, in particular, face exclusion and otherness. Mihee captures the nuances of being Asian in a society that often thinks of culture and race as a conversation between Black and White.
The last part of the book dives into some theological thinking, but not in a way that one might expect. The tone does not change, nor does the weaving in of personal stories that give depth to the thinking that we are asked to undertake. I love her nuanced look at “fragmentation” not as a negative occurrence, but as a process that we must all go through, culturally and theologically. What makes Mihee’s treatment of both culture and theology is that she does not call us to follow a tidy linear progression, but rather to an embracing of a spiraling web that does not create anxiety and confusion, but rather liberation and discovery.
In the end, Making Paper Cranes is not a book that should be limited to only Asian Americans, women or church folks, but rather this book should be read by any and all who yearn to know better and understand the complexities of American culture. While Mihee’s story is told through the lens of a Korean American Presbyterian immigrant woman, when we think about American history, in reality it is the story of us all.”
-From a generous review by friend and admired colleague Bruce Reyes-Chow, Pastor, PCUSA GA Moderator, adjunct seminary instructor, speaker, social media guru, and author of The Definitive-ish Guide for Using Social Media in the Church (Forthcoming by Shook Foil Books).