The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and Its Changing Narrative on Human Rights



Year of publication 2021
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan has the longest tradition of any Protestant denomination in the country. There has been a Presbyterian mission in Taiwan for over 150 years and it has long been a promoter of the human rights, minority rights, and political rights of the Taiwanese people. The PCT stands in the line of Protestant reformed churches based on the teachings of John Calvin (1509–1564) and his followers and was formed by the amalgamation of the British and Canadian Presbyterian missions. The two missions shared a theological and historical background, both having been built on the heritage of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland founded by John Knox (1513–1572), who wedded Calvin’s theology to a Presbyterian system with elected church leaders (elders) who met at regular national synods (Tomkins 2009, p. 232). The PCT functions as a presbyter-synodic establishment based on the principle of election and delegation. Local religious associations are united into regional presbyteries with elected superiors. These regional bodies are further grouped into higher units called synods (Filipi 2008, p. 112). From the late 1960s, the central theological position of the PCT began to change, especially with the emergence of contextual theology and a gradual move away from the Calvinist view of the separation of church and state. It nonetheless continued to build on Calvin’s theology regarding the image of God and common grace.
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