I’m Nancy Tan – the one in the salmon pink shirt. This picture was taken last month at a retreat for the female pastoral staff and I gave a talk on “Interpreting the Bible: from Feminist and Masculinities Perspectives”. It was an overnight retreat for the sisters to relax from their busy schedule at church and to encourage and empower each other. Each of the sisters in this picture are activists: actively protecting the rights of the marginalised, oppressed, harassed and frightened people living in HK now – from victims of abuse to the asylum seekers. I am very honoured to be in this picture!
I am currently an Associate Professor in Hebrew Bible at Divinity School of Chung Chi College, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I teach courses related to the Hebrew Bible, and also Gender Critical Interpretation of the Bible and Contextual Interpretation of the Bible. Through these courses, and some of my current research interest and work, I hope to challenge conventional interpretations that propagate the suppression and denial of the rights and self-esteem of women and some men in the Bible and especially today.
I am now working on a book entitled Resisting Rape Culture: The Hebrew Bible and Hong Kong Sex Workers with the Routledge series on Rape Culture, Religion and the Bible. I have been working on a project reading Bible passages that mention sex workers with the sex workers in Hong Kong. This book is part of the output of some of the readings.
Activism is an inherent component to negotiate issues of injustice. It is the only avenue to raise the awareness and consciousness of the public the stories of injustices suffered by the society. It compels the public to make ethical judgments. From now until the 16 days of 2020, I hope to complete the book I have mentioned above, get it published and also promote it. I hope this small token could become part of the larger on-going efforts to instill respect for sex workers in more people, and also to eliminate rape culture in our society.