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CSLR Welcomes Eric Wang
By CSLR | Emory Law | Apr 15, 2020 12:04:00 AM

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University is proud to welcome the latest Woodruff Fellow and JD/MTS joint degree student, Mr. Eric Wang.  A summa cum laude graduate from Princeton University, Eric is currently pursuing a Master of Theological Studies degree at Candler School of Theology. He will join CSLR and the Law School in the fall to pursue his JD. Mr. Wang is currently working with John Witte Jr. analyzing Christian theories of economic and social rights in relation to industrialization at the turn of the twentieth century, exploring pivotal figures like Abraham Kuyper, Lyman Abbott, Walter Rauschenbusch, and others. He hopes that this research will also yield insights for discourse on theology, labor, and industrialization in parts of East Asia.


"Eric Wang is an exceptionally promising scholar of Law and Christianity. He brings to Emory and the CSLR a unique combination of intellect and humility as well as a keen understanding of public policy. His faith-filled commitment to advancing the common good of humanity is apparent in everything he does. We're thrilled to work with him in the years to come."  – Dr. Justin Latterell, CSLR Interim Managing Director


It’s a great joy to welcome Eric Wang into our CSLR community as a JD/MTS joint degree candidate.  He’s a special talent, with a keen eye for the essentials, a gifted and elegant pen, refined rhetorical gifts, intense intellectual curiosity, and a warm and generous heart.  He’s a brilliant lawyer and professor in the making; we at CSLR look forward to helping him shape, sharpen, and share his great gifts.  – John Witte, Jr., Woodruff Professor of Law; McDonald Professor of Religion; CSLR Director


We caught up with Eric recently to learn more about him and his research.


Welcome to CSLR! First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from? What led you to Emory Law?

I’m a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio (one of the most underrated places on earth). I grew up watching Chinese historical dramas, attending Ohio's summer "church camps," and flipping through issues of the Economist.  Emory Law drew me in because of its amazing faculty, scholars, research and publications on law and religion. Since this past fall, I've already been studying at Emory as an MTS student at the Candler School of Theology. After reflecting on my time at Emory thus far, I felt a strong sense that I was called to be here for the next few years.


Can you tell us a bit about the work you plan to do here [or have already done]?

The past few months at the CSLR, I've been working as one of Professor Witte's research assistants, under Dr. Justin Latterell's mentorship and supervision. We've been excavating Reformed rights theories amidst and in response to industrialization in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It's been inspiring seeing how people made theological sense of shifting economic realities back then, and I think their stories offer prophetic lessons for today. 

Moving forward, I plan to take more courses, do more interdisciplinary research, write, attend talks, and have good coffee with people of the CSLR community. Already in the fall of 2019, Professor Witte's course on church-state relations in the West (Law 645) gave me a nice, 2000-plus-year-old palette of political theologies to interpret and re-imagine the world. With more courses like Law 645 and more RA work, I aim to gain a robust understanding of Western legal-political thought, down to its moral and theological roots. My vocational hope is to put this thought in creative conversation with scholarship from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. I firmly believe that there’s so much the West and East can learn from and with each other…even if only via Zoom for now!


What is the last book you read and recommend? 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Arnold Köster: Two Distinct Voices in the Midst of Germany's Third Reich Turmoil by Paul Spanring [Amazon]


What do you like to do in your free time?

Theoretically, I love to run in Lullwater Preserve, paint landscapes, host worship jam sessions in Candler's Wesley Teaching Chapel, cook Asian fusion recipes, and grab coffee at Kaldi's with friends.  Realistically, I sleep!