Dr. Beverly Moon is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church assigned as a professor at the Methodist Graduate School of Theology in Taipei, Taiwan.
The school was established in 1999 by the Methodist Church in the Republic of China (Taiwan) to offer courses of study leading to a range of degrees for church professionals. At its 10th anniversary in the fall of 2009, the graduate school had 155 students and an alumni pool of 230. Students from other Christian denominations also attend the school.
Dr. Moon, a historian of religions with expertise in comparative religions, taught for almost 10 years at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan, before moving to the theological school in 2010. Tunghai was founded in the early 1950s by the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, at a time when many Christian universities in China were closing due to the Communist Revolution.
Beverly Moon grew up with an awareness of the variety of religious faiths in the world. Her paternal ancestors were originally Quakers who came to the United States to escape religious persecution in Europe. Her mother's parents were Presbyterian and Roman Catholic farmers who homesteaded in Nebraska. At the time of his birth, her father's family was in New Mexico, far from any Quaker community. Drawn to Methodism by its theology and music, he became a United Methodist clergyman. He spent most of his career working at Fresno State College, where he helped to establish an interfaith center.
"Thus it is," says Beverly, "that I grew with awareness of different faiths: the students who often gathered together in our home were from all over the world. It is no wonder that I finally became a teacher of comparative religions. I was fortunate to study the history of religions both at the University of Chicago and later at Columbia University."
For more than 30 years, Beverly lived in New York City, where she worked as a teacher and academic writer and editor. Her students were from around the world. She worked on such publication projects as The Encyclopedia of Religion, An Encyclopedia of Archetypal Symbolism, Goddesses Who Rule, Parabola: The Magazine of Myth and Tradition, and Tricycle: A Buddhist Review. She also taught at Chung Chi College in Hong Kong. December 2010 saw the publication of her book The Role of Revelation in the World's Religions.
After she was commissioned as a missionary in 2000, Beverly helped to establish a graduate institute for the academic study of religion at Tunghai University. This was a new field in Taiwan, and Beverly is pleased to see a growing interest in interdisciplinary studies, and in the relationship between religions and healing. She underscores two benefits of the comparative study of religions: "Through this kind of study we come to understand our own traditions as well as those of our neighbors; and understanding builds respect, and appreciation of the world's religions that overcomes fear, hate, and violent intolerance."
Beverly has a son, Joseph Dunlap, who is a high school English teacher. He and his wife, Jessica, and their sons, Harlan and Shane, have recently made their home in Austin, Texas.
Beverly Moon is available for Covenant Relationship support in Central Texas Annual Conference, New York Annual Conference.
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- Last profile update: 20 Dec 2012
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