Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Similarity & Dissimilarity Between Them- Part 1

Both are influential person. And one wonders what is the one similarity and one dissimilarity between Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong and Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama?

One similarity:
Both have no postgraduate education or research but were awarded honorary degrees for their contribution and expertise in respective areas.

Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong's honorary degrees:
  • Doctorate in Leadership in Christian Evangelism from La Madrid International Academy of Leadership.
  • Doctor of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary.

Dalai Lama's honorary degrees:

  • Doctor of Theology from Florida International University.
  • Doctor of Divinity from Emory University.
  • Doctor of Divinity from Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies.
  • Doctor of Sacred Philosophy from Lafayette University.
  • Doctor of Laws from University of Melbourne.
  • Doctor of Buddhist Philosophy from Rissho University.
  • Doctor of Social Sciences from National Sun Yat-sen University.
  • Doctor of International Diplomatic Science from University of Trieste.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of Buenos Aires.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of Brasilla.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Seton Hill College.
  • Doctor of Human Letters from Brandeis University.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Regis University.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of Colorado.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Chu San University.
  • Doctor of Letters from Nagpur University.
  • Doctor of Humane Arts and Letters from Columbia University.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of Rio de Janeiro.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Karnataka University.
  • Doctor of Humane Letter from University of Washington.
  • Doctorate in Chemistry and Phamarcy from University of Munster.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Southern Cross University.
  • Doctorate in Humane Letters from State University of New York.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Smith College.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Universtiy of Rome.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of Buffalo.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of Santiago.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Rutgers University.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of Costa Rica.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Puerto Rico.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of Miami.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of Toronto.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of British Columbia.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of San Francisco.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Mongolian University of Science and Technology.
  • Honorary Doctorate from National University of Mongolia.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of Tromso.
  • Honorary Doctorate from University of Luciada Porto.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Comenius University.

One dissimilarity:
Numerical difference in their honorary doctorates. Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong has 2, while the Dalai Lama has about 40.


nothing_but_the_grace_of_god said...

I dont really understand, whats your motif of differentiating him and dalai lama title background. Is it very important?

"Man is not what he eats... man is not what he thinks ... man is not what he feels ... man is not what he behaves..., but Man is what he reacts before God!"
(Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong)

I think thats the real thing u should understand about. I am not trying to defend him, but I am sure u are to understand that.

Sze Zeng said...


Is there any way I may address you?

I understand what Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong said about what Man is. And I think that his statement is at best partial.

A more complete way to understand the identity of Man is that "Man is not only how he reacts before God, but also before other Man". Remember that you heard this from Joshua Woo :)

Ok, regarding your curiosity of my motive of pointing out one similarity and dissimilarity between Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong and Dalai Lama. There are a few reasons actually. One of them is that I'm curious how nuanced or deep was Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong's theological research. And one of the way to find out is by checking out his academic achievement. And it appears to me that he has probably done just the rudimentary academic studies.

Timothy said...

If man is not how he reacts before other men, he is not how he reacts before God.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Timothy,

That's a nice way of putting it too.

刘佳- J. Liu said...

Let's just say that your motif is correct, how do you weigh in all the political and so called human rights factors that helped Dalai Lama to earn more academic degrees.

When we are talking about rudimental academic studies, can you really pull out the facts (by hours)that they each studied.

Therefore, I don't think it's quite helpful to compare between the two, not to say they have different faiths.

I don't know much about Tongism or things else, but I think what Tong had preached over and over is that we should never casually believe in something. So, I absolutely admire your courage to blog and judge him, but I won't casually believe in what you say either.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi J. Liu,

First, all those given to Dalai Lama are NOT academic degrees but honorary ones.

Second you are right to point out the socio-political factors involved in the endowment of honorary degrees to Dalai Lama. Yet you falls short to apply this consistently towards Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong.

Don't you recognize that the honorary degree given to Rev. Dr. Tong also a product of socio-polity?

Ever wonder why only a specific seminary with specific socio-political public image such as the Westminster Theological Seminary recognizes his work, and not other academic institutions with Reformed tradition like Tubingen University, Edinburgh University, or Princeton Theological Seminary?

I don't hope or want anyone to causally believe what I say. I let the readers judge for themselves. All I provide is just an alternative perspective. Whether it is right or wrong is up to the readers.

Thank you for your comments. Appreciate that.

Benjamin Ho said...

Josh, its not fair to make comparisons between Rev TOng and Dalai Lama. Tong has never expressed any political goals in his ministry while the Dalai Lama's work is highly politicized. You might want to take someone from Christian circles as basis for comparison (if you really have to do so), say Billy Graham or Ravi Zacharias? and for Dalai Lama, someone like Desmond Tutu or Nelson mandela.