Taiwan Church News
February 20 – 26, 2017
Today’s PCT Context As A Kairos For PCT Mission
Reported by Lin Yi-yin
At the seminar meeting entitled as “Today’s PCT Context”, which is the first session of the International Forum of the Mission of the Church in Taiwan Today held by PCT, Professor Zeng Yang-en reports an ecclesiastical viewpoint on PCT’s contemporary mission. Professor Zeng, a member of WCC Central Committee and also a distinguished church historian of Taiwan Theological Seminary and College, points out PCT are under multi-dimensional challenges in current Taiwan contexts.
These challenges and impacts includes the identity of Taiwan as a country, the Taiwanese identity, threatening of cultural monotony via globalization, technological materialism, consumption culture, bankruptcy of traditional values, the demise of the network of interpersonal relationships and etc.
In order to launch a brand new strategy for PCT’s mission today, Prof Zeng suggests, a more inclusive agenda to accommodate contextual concerns and issues becomes urgent for PCT, such as how to materialize our contextualized theologies and weld the Christian faith into the Taiwanese traditional worship & ritual, ethnic relationship, and gender issues; how to honor the subjectivity of each people; how to practice the ideal of “gender equality” and work out a new culture of “bi-sexual joint-management”; how to empower an “awakening, reforming and transforming” faith revival from within the wall of the church and etc.
In the meantime, Prof Hsiao Sin-huang, a senior counselor to the Presidential Office and an renown sociologist from Academia Sinica, indicates there were five distinctive shifts of social paradigm emerged from Taiwan island since 1980s: beginning of a citizen society, built-up of a democracy, multiplicity of ethnic peoples, emergence of identities on different ethnic people, and proposal for a sustainable ecological development.
Prof Hsiao also stresses there is no way to consolidate Taiwan’s democracy in a permanent peace without facing the challenges and conundrums from various social dimensions, such as China’s military threatening, Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation and blockade from China and International communities, economical inequality, welfare of immigrant labor, unequal development between urban and rural areas, gender justice, pro and con for death penalty, self-identity and etc.
In order to reduce the possible conflicts and reach an inclusive consensus in Taiwan society, a highly patient social dialogue and an inclusive mutual respect between the concerned parties would be the most healthy way for everyone’s interest, concludes Prof Hsiao.
Translated by Peter Wolfe