Edmond Tang was educated in Hong Kong where he gained his first degree in philosophy before postgraduate studies in theology at the Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven in Belgium. He taught systematic theology at the Catholic seminary in Hong Kong in 1975-6 before joining Pro Mundi Vita in Brussels as Asia researcher from 1977 to 1989, while teaching occasionally Asian theology at the Catholic University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. During his time at Pro Mundi Vita he published a series of concise studies on Asian churches, notably on China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, which were widely used in theological education and research in Asia. In 1990 he moved to London to be Director of the China Desk of the Council of Churches in Britain and Ireland. The Desk was an ecumenical initiative which combined research in Chinese Christianity with promoting relations between British and Irish churches with the then emerging churches in China.
In 1999 he joined the Department of Theology at Birmingham and has since been teaching and doing research on Christianity in East Asia. He continues to be an important consultant to European church networks as well as governments on Chinese religious policy and practice. A more recent initiative was assisting the Archbishop of Canterbury to organise a series of China study days with the participation of Chinese and British academics.