Written By Yi-Yu Lai. ince the early 1980s, the PCT (The Presbyterian Church of Taiwan) intentionally organized groups visiting several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, because they attempted to strengthen and magnify their overseas missionary work in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, they not only collaborated with a Taiwanese pastor Jun-Nan Li (李俊男), who started to serve in the City of Cagayan de Oro since 1978, but also made contacts with the UCCP (United Church of Christ in the Philippines). At first, those Taiwanese people were all set to introduce their preaching works to the Filipinos during their first visit of 1983. However, they serendipitously found that the Philippine Indigenous resistance experiences might become a possible alternative to address their church land issue in Taiwan.
Written by Yi-Yu Lai. n the late summer of 1986, a small group of Indigenous people from the PCT (The Presbyterian Church of Taiwan) led a delegation through the Philippines’ Cordillera region. As a delegation that attempted to study minority rights, those people not merely approached Negrito, Bontoc, and Ifugao communities to learn local issues, but also visited several grassroots organizations such as the CPA (Cordillera Peoples Alliance). Although it was not the first time the PCT arranged the Philippines’ tour, their visit’s timing was noteworthy. While martial law was still imposed in Taiwan, people in the Philippines just overthrew the Marcos dictatorship through the People Power Revolution at the beginning of that year
Written by En-Chieh Chao. Scientific epidemic prevention measures are essential and critical, but sometimes not enough. As demonstrated in Taiwan’s experience of 2020, other than an alert government, it takes a civil society and divine deities. After all, to prevent an epidemic literally requires human bodies to work together. The question is: what makes us work together? It could be democracy for some, and divination for others. Sometimes, it is both.
Written by Natasha Heller. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that the world faces. A United Nations report has cautioned that greenhouse gas emissions due to human activity are at a record high, “with no signs of slowing down.” Many nations are recording weather extremes, higher average temperatures and rising seas. Meanwhile, the first wave of increasing numbers of climate refugees points to how a changing environment will reshape human life.
Written by Elsa Sichrovsky. A mixed-reality approach to anatomy courses may be an ideal approach to combining the efficiency of VR technology–and its enhancement of the acquisition of knowledge–with the psychological enrichment and tactile experience of learning from the Silent Teacher. A former medical student brought up an intriguing idea on an online discussion forum: perhaps students could practice anatomy with VR technology before dissecting the Silent Teacher. By doing this, students would approach cadaver dissection already possessing a higher level of anatomical knowledge, and thus fewer unnecessary cuts would be made.
Written by Wen-Ren Liu. When travelling around Taiwan one will inevitably encounter small temples whose religious affiliation is not immediately evident. The prevalence of such temples reflects an area where Chinese religiosity generally differs from the monotheism prevalent in many other societies – while many Chinese believe in the existence of a realm of invisible, non-material existence, they are less inclined to confine their belief to a specific God. In line with this, many religious sites in Taiwan demonstrate an interesting juxtaposition of spiritual beings and symbols pertaining to different religious/spiritual traditions, the main ones being Buddhism, Taoism (and Folk Taoism), and Confucianism…
Written by Scott Pacey. Buddhism in Taiwan sits within a complex religious milieu that includes Daoism, folk religion, Protestantism, Catholicism, and various new religious movements (NRMs).
Written by Corey Bell and Yao-hung Huang. It is in the backdrop of this unique ecology that a truly distinctive event has come into being – the ‘Buddha-Dharma Cup’ 佛法盃. The name is derived from the juxtaposition of the first characters of ‘Buddha’s Light’ and ‘Dharma Drum’…
Written by Shang Haifeng.
This venerable and influential company began releasing publications on Buddhism as part of its “Series of Annotated Modern Translations of [Chinese] Classics” (古籍今注新譯叢書) as early as the 1960’s. This was at the same time that China’s heritage – and its religious heritage in particular – was suffering sustained attacks during the Cultural Revolution.
Written by Grace Cheng-Ying Lin. In Taiwan, abortion rituals (嬰靈超渡, 嬰靈供養) have been gaining popularity since the 1980s. The ritual attempts to appease or rescue Yingling (fetus spirits嬰靈), the spirits of fetuses that have died from abortions or miscarriages. Within most contemporary religious discourse, abortion is seen as an inappropriate means of ending a life.
Written by Alexandre Tsung-ming Chen. During the last five years relations between the Vatican and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have developed at a dramatic pace. Many observers have been surprised at this series of events, even questioning whether the Holy See and PRC will normalise relations in the near future. Since the number of countries officially recognising the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan has fallen from 22 to 17 in the last two years, the Vatican-PRC diplomatic warming has caught Taipei’s attention and contributed to concerns of a diplomatic crisis.
The late Lin Ching-hsuan 林清玄 was a publishing phenomenon, with his books on Buddhism captivating readers in post-martial law Taiwan.