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Grace Kao - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

Grace Kao Grace Kao

Visiting Professor of Theological Studies | Loyola Marymount University


Grace Kao is an expert in the areas of christian ethics, public theology and feminist theology and ethics.



Grace Kao Publication Grace Kao Publication Grace Kao Publication Grace Kao Publication



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Consistent with her training in religious studies, theology, and philosophy at Stanford University (BA/MA) and Harvard University (PhD), Grace Kao’s expertise lies at the intersections of those fields. She regularly teaches and researches in the following areas: christian ethics,
human rights and animal ethics/theology, public theology,
feminist theology/ethics, and Asian American theology/Christian ethics. Her scholarship has been generously funded and enhanced by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Erasmus Institute (Notre Dame), the American Academy of University Women (AAUW), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Project on Lived Theology.
Grounding Human Rights in a Pluralist WorldHer book, Grounding Human Rights in a Pluralist World, was published in 2011 by Georgetown University Press in their Advancing Human Rights Series. Her co-edited anthology, Asian American Christian Ethics, was published by Baylor University Press in 2015 and represents the first volume of its kind. Her second co-edited anthology, Encountering the Sacred: Feminist Reflections on Women’s Lives, was published by T&T Clark in 2018.
Dr. Kao is currently at work on three different book projects, two of which are now under contract.
She has also published articles in leading academic journals including the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, the Journal of Religious Ethics, the Journal of Buddhist Ethics, and Political Theology.
A sought after speaker, Dr. Kao keeps an active conference schedule and has been invited to guest teach or deliver scholarly talks at institutions including Yale Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary, Columbia Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Harvard University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Case Western Reserve University, Arizona State University, Loma Linda University, Pomona College, Calvin College, and Haverford College.

Education (2)

Stanford University: M.A., Philosophy and Religion

Harvard University: Ph.D., Theology and Philosophy 2003


Areas of Expertise (8)

Asian American Theology

Public theology

Christian Ethics


Religioius Studies


Human Rights and Animal Ethics/Theology

Feminist Theology/Ethics

Affiliations (5)

  • American Academy of Religion
  • The Society of Christian Ethics
  • Pacific, Asian, and North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry
  • CreatureKind
  • Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative

Articles (4)

Toward A Feminist Christian Vision of Gestational Surrogacy

Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

2019 Although increasing in usage, surrogacy remains the most controversial method of assisted reproductive technology. Many Christian ethicists have either objected tout court or expressed strong reservations about the practice. Behind much of this caution, however, lies essentialist assumptions about pregnant women or an over emphasis on the statistical minority of well-publicized disasters.

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Working Contextually and in Solidarity with Others

Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion

2015 I am grateful to Nami Kim and Anne Joh for drawing attention to the place of Asian/Asian North American feminist theological reflections within the larger discourse of feminist studies in religion. I affirm many things they write in their lead-in essay, most especially their use of and invitation for an intersectional analysis to social problems.

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Prospects for Developing Asian American Christian Ethics

Society of Asian North American Christian Studies 3

2011 I am grateful for this opportunity to contribute to an important conversation that we are about to have about the desirability of, and prospects for, develop-ing a field that we might call Asian American Christian Ethics (AACE). For the sake of properly contextualizing my remarks, I will begin by reviewing how a panel session devoted to this topic at this year’s Society of Christian Ethics (SCE)conference even came to be

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Moving Forward by Agreeing to Disagree: A Response to “Healing Ecology

Journal of Buddhist

2010 This paper was the subject of discussion at the American Academy of Religion national meeting in Atlanta, October 31, 2010 on “Nondualist Ecology: Perspectives on the Buddhist Environmentalism of David Loy.” Co-hosting were the Buddhist Critical-Constructive Reflection Group and the Comparative Religious Ethics Group.

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