Emily S. Wu

Emily S. Wu

Adjunct Professor

Emily S. Wu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Area of Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She has recently defended her dissertation entitled "The Utilization of Spiritual Capital by the Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the San Francisco Bay Area," an ethnographic account on how traditional Chinese medicine has evolved to adapt to the healthcare needs of the Chinese diasporans and non-Chinese Americans in California. She is interested in developing a cross-cultural understanding of the spiritual dimension of Chinese healing, where while the practices often address the spiritual needs of the patients, the term "spiritual" actually has no ready equivalent in the Chinese language. She received her M.A. in Religious Studies from Boston University, where her thesis, an ethnographic study on Black Sect Tantric Buddhism, explored how the Chinese immigrant charismatic leader disseminates his eclectic Chinese-Tibetan folk Buddhist teaching through introducing his own brand of fengshui (geomancy) practices to the American mainstream.

Besides her primary specialization in Chinese religions and interest in how Chinese spiritual and healing practices evolve in the North American context, Ms. Wu is also interested in the new religious movements and how they reflect cross-cultural social and political discourses in today's globalized world. She has extensive field experiences with new religious groups in both the United States and in Taiwan, and has taught a masters level course on New Religious Movements in the United States at the Graduate Theological Union.

Ms. Wu is currently having a fantastic time teaching "Religion and Spirituality in Asia" at the University of San Francisco.

Courses Offered
  • Religion and Spirituality in Asia