The Transforming Spiritual Landscape of Peripheral Faith Communities, A Road Map to the Future Collection

David Stiver
Graduate Theological Union Archives
Graduate Theological Union
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, California, 94709
Phone: (510) 649-2523/2501
© 2018
Graduate Theological Union. All rights reserved.

The Transforming Spiritual Landscape of Peripheral Faith Communities, A Road Map to the Future Collection

Collection number: GTU 2018-09-01

Graduate Theological Union Archives

Graduate Theological Union

Berkeley, California
Processed by:
David Stiver
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
David Stiver
© 2018 Graduate Theological Union. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: The Transforming Spiritual Landscape of Peripheral Faith Communities, A Road Map to the Future Collection
Dates: 2017-2018
Collection number: GTU 2018-09-01
Collector: Ronald Nakasone
Collection Size: .1 linear feet 3 video files
Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
Berkeley, CA 94709
Abstract: The Japanese American National Library, the Japanese American Religious Federation, and the Asia Project at the Graduate Theological Union presented three forums on The Transforming Spiritual Landscape of Peripheral Faith Communities beginning in October 2017.
Physical location: Special Collections Box 25, 1/C/2
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

The Transforming Spiritual Landscape of Peripheral Faith Communities, A Road Map to the Future Collectio, GTU 2018-09-01. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

Acquisition Information

Videos provided by Ronald Nakasone during 2017 and 2018.

Biography / Administrative History

The Japanese American National Library, the Japanese American Religious Federation, and the Asia Project at the Graduate Theological Union presented three forums on The Transforming Spiritual Landscape of Peripheral Faith Communities beginning in October 2017.
The forums were "History and Origins of Racial-Ethnic Faith Communities," October 28, 2017; "Remembering the Future: Reflections on Theological Education," November 28, 2017; "Remembering the Future: Reflections on Theological Education: Model Programs, Initiatives and Curricula," February 24, 2018.
These events were an ongoing exploration in theological education and responses within peripheral communities as experienced by Asian-American and multiple-cultural professors of religion. The recordings are part of the effort by the Graduate Theological Union Special Collections to capture and preserve the memories of significant educators in a collegial format.
Below is a short biographical description of the participants.
Ronald Y. Nakasone is a member of the Core Doctorate Faculty at Graduate Theological Union; on the faculty of College of Religious Studies at Mahidol University, Thailand; and a long time faculty member at Stanford University Center for Geriatric Education (1990-2012). He has published over 120 articles and books on Buddhist Studies, ethics, and aesthetics, aging and spirituality, and Ryukyuan (Okinawan) studies.
Born and raised in Hawaii, he received a BA, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Philosophy, 1965; MA, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Oriental Art History, 1967; MA, Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan, Buddhist Studies, 1975; and PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Buddhist Studies, 1980. He is an ordained Jodo Shinshu (Pure Land) priest.
An accomplished sho (calligraphy) artist, he has exhibited in Kyoto, Tokyo, Paris, Seoul, Xian, Chiang Mai, Santiago, and throughout the United States. Several works are on display at Graduate Theological Union, as well in a variety of museums both in the United States and Asia.
His publications include Asian American Religious Cultures, 2 vols. co-editor, ABC-CLIO, 2015; "On Learning and Teaching the Art of Sho (calligraphy), Spotlight on Teaching Religions and Religiosity," American Academy of Religion, Vol. 19 no. 3, 2014; "Unarigami, Sacred Feminine Voices in Ryukyuan Polity, Religion and Politics," Peter Lang, 2014; "The Diaspora of the Corporeal Remains of Lord Buddha," The Journal of Religion and Culture (Thailand), vol. VIII, no. 1, 2014; "Spiritual Genealogy: Interfaith and Multicultural Reflections on Spirituality and Aging," Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging, 2014; and "Reflections on the Structure of Buddhist Thinking," Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Universities, Vol. IV, 2014.
Edmund Yee is former director of Theological Education for Emerging Ministries program at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty at Graduate Theological Union. His degrees include: BA, Midland Lutheran College, 1963; MDiv, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, 1967; CPhil, University of California, Berkeley, 1975; MA, San Francisco State University, 1971; and PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1977.
His publications in Chinese and English cover the areas of Chinese literature and culture, Confucian thought, and Asian American Lutherans. These include Asian American Religious Cultures, 2 vols. co-editor, ABC-CLIO, 2015; Abundant harvest: stories of Asian Lutherans, co-editor with Paul Rajashekar, Minneapolis, Lutheran University Press, 2012; Church and Discipleship: Asian Lutheran Reflections, co-editor with Lily R. Wu, Chicago, ALIC, 2005; Sacred Sea: An Anthology of Asian Devotions and Prayers, co-editor with Lily R. Wu, Chicago, AAPI, 2003; Asian Spirit Journal: An Anthology of Devotions and Prayers, co-editor with Lily R. Wu, Chicago: AAPI, 2003; The Soaring Crane: Stories of Asian Lutherans in North America, Minneapolis, Augsburg Fortress, 2002; "Confucian Education: A Moral Approach," Religion East and West (Issue 2), 2002; and "Yuzan Ji: Evolution, Legacy and Criticism," Chinoperl Papers, No. 20-22, 1997-1999.
Fumitaka Matsuoka is Robert Gordon Sproul Professor of Theology Emeritus at Pacific School of Religion and was Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean and Professor of Theology at PSR (1993-2000) and at Bethany Theological Seminary (1987-1992). He served as the director of the Institute for Leadership Development and the Study of Pacific and Asian North American Religion (PANA Institute) at PSR from 1984-1987. An ordained minister of the Church of Brethren, he served as minister in California, an educational minister in Indonesia, and in campus ministries in Japan. His education includes BS, McPherson College; MDiv, Bethany Theological Seminary, 1969; ThM, Union Theological Seminary, Virginia; and PhD, Union Theological Seminary, 1978.
His books include Asian American Religious Cultures, 2 vols. co-editor, ABC-CLIO, 2015; Asian and Oceanic Christianities in conversation : exploring theological identities at home and in diaspora, co-editor, New York, Rodopi, 2011; Learning to speak a new tongue : imagining a way that holds people together--an Asian American conversation, Eugene, OR, Pickwick Publications, 2011; Realizing the America of our hearts: theological voices of Asian Americans, co-editor, St. Louis, MO, Chalice Press, 2003; The Color of Faith: Building Community In a Multiracial Society, 1998; and Out of Silence: Emerging Theological Themes of Asian American Churches, 1995.
Archie Smith, Jr. was James and Clarice Foster Professor of Pastoral Psychology and Counseling at Pacific School of Religion, retiring in 2011. He was the first African-American tenured track professor hired there in 1975. His degrees include BA, Linfield College, 1961; MDiv, Colgate Rochester Divinity School, 1964; STM, Union Theological Seminary, New York, 1966; MSW, Brandeis University, 1971; and PhD, Brandeis University, 1973.
According to the faculty description on an earlier PSR website, "An ordained American Baptist minister and a licensed marriage, family and child therapist, Dr. Smith brings an intimate understanding of the struggles of individuals and faith communities to his classrooms. He has taught and practiced in the People?s Republic of China, Kenya, London, Australia and Germany. His teaching explores oppressive practices and emphasizes the importance of historical information, clinical experience and research, and narrative." He has served in various pastoral offices at the McGee Avenue Baptist Church in Berkeley.
His writings include Siblings By Choice: Race, Gender, Violence with Ursula Riedel-Pfaefflin (2004); Tending the Flock: Congregations and Family Ministry, co-edited with K.B. Lyons, 1998; Navigating the Deep River: Spirituality in African American Families, 1997; and The Relational Self: Ethics and Therapy from a Black Church Perspective, 1982.
The Archie Smith, Jr. papers, 1962-2013, can be accessed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, New York Public Library (
Roy I. Sano, is a retired bishop in the United Methodist Church (1984-2000) and Professor Emeritus of Theology and Pacific and Asian American Ministries at Pacific School of Religion. His education includes BA, University of California at Los Angeles, 1954; MDiv, Union Theological Seminary (NY), 1957; MTh, Graduate Theological Union, 1968; and PhD, Claremont Graduate University, 1972. He served in student pastorates and also churches in Loomis, San Jose, and Los Angeles. He was the chaplain and taught at Mills College, Oakland, CA, from 1969-76. He founded the Pacific and Asian American Center for Theology and Strategies in Berkeley, serving as director from 1972-1978.
The following is from the UMC website ( "Bishop Sano was elected to the Episcopacy in 1984, and served the Denver and Los Angeles Areas, until his retirement in 2000. He was assigned to several Boards and Agencies of the UMC. He was a delegate to five plenary session of the Consultation on Church Union, and to three Assemblies of the WCC. He was the President of the Council of Bishops, 1991-92; COB Liaison to Association of United Methodist Theological Schools, 2000-04; and served as the first Executive Secretary of the Council of Bishops from 2004-2008."
"Roy Sano was born in Brawley, California. His parents had emigrated from Japan, and were converted to Christ upon the death of their third child. When Roy was eleven years old, after the start of World War II, the family was sent to the Poston Relocation Center. The family moved to Pennsylvania, under the sponsorship of a Quaker family. It was during this time that Roy felt a call to the Christian ministry and accepted Christ. After World War II, the Sanos returned to California, and their family was reunited after the war. One brother served in the U. S. Armed Forces in the Pacific. Another brother, who had been adopted by a maternal uncle in Japan, served in the Japanese Imperial Army and was imprisoned in Siberia, before returning the U.S.?"
Among his publications are Outside the Gate: A Study of the Letter to the Hebrews, Abingdon Press, 2014. The theologies of Asian Americans and Pacific Peoples: a reader, editor, Asian Center for Theologies and Strategies, Pacific School of Religion, 1976. Many additional writings by him are available in the Pacific and Asian American Center for Theology and Strategies Collection (
Karl Kaoru Matsushita is director of the Japanese American National Library in San Francisco. Born and raised in Japan, he came to America and attended University of California, Berkeley, and University of Illinois, receiving a degree in sociology. He operated a book trading business in San Francisco for many years before the library was founded.
The idea for the library came during the strike at San Francisco State in 1969 when students fought for an ethnic studies program. With help from Tetsuden Kashima and James Hirabayashi, who developed program guidelines, Karl began collecting basic curriculum materials. Community input added to the creation of the curriculum at SF State, which was used as a model for similar efforts at UC-Berkeley and UCLA.
Karl observes, "At that time there was no place in the Japanese American community where anyone could obtain resources about our history, people. I was asked to help put together a curriculum. Many people from the community became involved and offered to help develop materials in their specialties like history and sociology. Since we wanted the library to be located in the community we asked for community support." (
This community group became the Center for Japanese American Studies in 1969, in large part to support three different groups within the community: the Issei, the youth, and newcomers from Japan. Karl and others continued to collect Japanese American materials, storing them in their homes.
In 1981, the Center was offered a permanent facility in Japantown's Nichibei Kai building. Later, in 1985, the Library and the Center separated, due to the greater amount of money needed to support the Library.
Karl, who had become library director in 1981, coordinated the Library move in 1987 to 1619 Sutter Street. The Library has grown to one of the most important research collections on the Japanese in America. See their website ( for more information.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains three video files and some related printed material.



Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Asian Americans--Religion.
Asian Americans--Social life and customs.
Asian Americans -- Social life and customs.
Civil rights -- Religious aspects.
Christianity and justice.
Cultural pluralism -- United States.
Distributive justice -- Religious aspects - Christianity.
Group identity -- United States.
Race relations - Religious aspects.
Religious thought - Study and teaching.
Women's rights.
United States -- Religion.
United States--Religion$.

Matsushita, Karl Kaoru
Matsuoka, Fumitaka
Yee, Edmond, 1938
Nakasone, Ronald Y.
Sano, Roy I.
Japanese American Religious Federation
Pacific School of Religion (Berkeley, Calif.)
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
Graduate Theological Union
Church of Brethren
United Methodist Church
Jodo Shinshu

Other Finding Aids

Pacific and Asian American Center for Theology and Strategies Collection, GTU 2001-9-01; Gordan K. Chapman: Protestant Church Commission for Japanese Service Collection, GTU 2002-9-01; Japanese-American Internment Camp Church Bulletins and Newsletters Collection, GTU 94-9-02; National Conference of the Chinese churches in America, GTU 96-3-02; Nuclear Free Pacific and Other Pacific Island Issues Collection, GTU 2012-06-12; and Lester E. Suzuki Collection, GTU 2000-11-02.