Update for Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Chester Dobson, HR
In 1994 I resigned as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Alton to accept a joint call by the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) to return to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Between then and now, in chronological order, I have served as Executive Director of the Christian Communications Institute of Payap University (an evangelistic unit using traditional Thai and modern performing arts), Associate Director of the Pastoral Ministry Unit of the Church of Christ in Thailand (the national church with Presbyterian heritage), Assistant to the President of Christian University of Thailand (2001-2007), General Secretary of the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia, and Assistant to the President of Payap University in Thailand (2008-2012) where I continue as Adviser to the President. I was honorably retired from ministry by Giddings-Lovejoy in 2003.
I live in a rural village 25 kilometers southwest of Chiang Mai on an orchard farm. I have become involved in what sociology calls longitudinal studies, collecting life stories of a large group of LGBT individuals. I am considered an “elder” and spokesperson for LGBT advocacy efforts. And I have been doing participant observation of Northern Thai Buddhist faith and practice (theological anthropology). 500 of my reflections on these topics, including also post-modernist theology and current events, are posted on a blog-site entitled “Ken Dobson’s Queer Ruminations from Thailand” available at www.kendobson.asia.
The life and thought of a Queer Christian Missionary in Thailand…
-Culture gaps and differences
-Christianity and Buddhism in Thailand
-Social and political responses to gender ambiguity
-The coming crisis when the humanities wither
-Popular culture and philosophy of religion
I am a retired Presbyterian missionary from the USA living in a rural village in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I began my life and work in Thailand in 1965. I have been a pastor in Illinois for two extended periods. I have paid attention to the ways culture impacts how we perceive the world and how we respond to issues. I consider myself bi-cultural, bi-lingual, bi-sexual, bi-religious and bi-vocational (although I am more North American than South East Asian, I am better at English than Thai, I am more gay than bi, I am more competent at Christian than at Buddhist philosophy and theology, and I am better at teaching than writing). My passions are for intercultural understanding, appreciation of the humanities as the central academic disciplines of civilization, reduction of religious prejudice and ignorance, and protections for gender minorities and valuation of gender diversity. I am fascinated by irony.
Rev. Dr. Ken Dobson