Transnational Perspective: Can Research on the Presbyterian Church Enrich our Understanding of Cross-Strait Relations?



Year of publication 2021
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description While political relations between China and Taiwan have been tense, economic and social cooperation in many dimensions has intensified. In the traditional cross-strait studies, from the analytical perspective of liang’an ??, the individual political viewpoints of each of these two parts of Taiwan straits have been highlighted. However, in recent years, many new channels of interaction between the mainland and Taiwan have emerged. Studying such cultural and social flows is the aim of the cross-strait studies from the perspective of kua’an ??. In the talk, the perception of one particular group will be brought into this transnational perspective – the changing experience of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan. It is a Christian church established in Taiwan, and it is rather specific as, while being a religious entity, it has been extensively active in social and political fields. The church has promoted Taiwanese independence from mainland China. However, their political position is not the whole picture – the church also interacts within contact zones between mainland China and Taiwan. In the talk, first, the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan will be introduced with a focus on its political activism, which can be easily categorised under the cross-strait studies from the liang’an perspective. Then, a different observation from the kua’an perspective will be provided; and at the end, we will answer whether a small group as the Presbyterians can bring a new understanding of cross-strait studies.
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