Sang Hyun Lee

Professor Sang Hyun Lee, pictured in 2005

Princeton Theological Seminary shares with great sadness the passing of Sang Hyun Lee PhD, LHD (Hon.), DD (Hon.), Kyung-Chik Han Professor of Systematic Theology Emeritus. Professor Lee passed away on Monday, September 4, 2023. Lee was a celebrated scholar, teacher, mentor, and the first Asian American faculty member at Princeton Seminary, after joining the faculty in 1980.

In the 30 years that followed, Lee was instrumental in the formation of the Asian American Program (AAP) and served as its director. AAP went on to become a leading voice and hub for the teaching and scholarship of Asian American theology and has evolved to become Princeton Seminary’s Center for Asian American Christianity. Today, the Center is not only a nucleus for scholarship, but also offers innovative conferences, yearly forums, and leadership development for those in the community.

“The legacy that Dr. Lee leaves behind here at PTS and the wider theological academy is extraordinary,” says Ki Joo (KC) Choi, Kyung-Chik Han Professor of Asian American Theology. “The AAP (and its present iteration as the Center for Asian American Christianity) would not exist were it not for his tireless dedication to the seminary and its students. Dr. Lee reminded all of us in theological education why Asian American voices matter in the struggle for justice in both church and society. We continue his legacy by doing the same, by working tirelessly to uplift those who have yet to be heard, by continuously expanding our circles of affection.”

A distinguished scholar, Lee was best known for his ground-breaking book, From a Liminal Place: An Asian American Theology (2010). Among his other publications, Lee was also the editor of The Princeton Companion to Jonathan Edwards (2005) and author of The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards (1988).

“Professor Sang Hyun Lee was arguably the most important interpreter of Jonathan Edwards of his generation,” says John R. Bowlin, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs. “He was also a serious and learned scholar of Christian doctrine and a profound and original theologian in his own right. But note well, Professor Lee’s legacy endures not only 
through his scholarship, but also through the students he taught, the 
dissertations he directed, and the pastors and scholars he helped form. He will be dearly missed.”

Return to Current In Memoriam