Written by Wen-Hsu Lin. According to statistics from 2017, about 6% of the Taiwanese populace are Christian. Despite having a history dating back several centuries, Taiwan’s Christian community remains largely understudied and rarely discussed. Scholars have tried to better understand this group using survey data. Through the data, we first reveal the demographic characteristics of Taiwanese Christians. More importantly, under the well-documented trend that the country has become more secularized, we further investigate whether Christian faith still matters to Christians’ behaviour and attitude toward social issues.
Visualizing Transnational Christianity in Cold War Taiwan: Traces and Possibilities
Written by Joseph W. Ho. Visual cultures – distilled in materials as granular as individual photographs or as broad as cross-cultural ways of seeing war and peace – mediated relationships between image-makers, subjects, and audiences. In the process, people and images constructed modern imaginations of the present while looking toward uncertain futures existing between nations and Christian groups as well as local and international histories.
Whiteness and Protestant Christianity in Taiwan
Written by Yin-An Chen. The connection between Whiteness and Protestant Christianity does not simply result from its relation to Western missionaries but is consolidated by the power of Western Christianity in its theological language, ideology, and hierarchy. In other words, what Whiteness maintains in Protestant Christianity is not about whether white European and American people established Protestant churches—it is about who can talk about God and explain the doctrine. It is about the power of speech and authority instead of skin colour. Whiteness, in this sense, is a method of securing the power of speech and authority.
Falling Through the Cracks of Care: Southeast Asian Migrant Workers Navigating Through Healthcare in Taiwan
Written by Shao-Yun Chang (張韶韻) and Hang-Tang Chen (陳翰堂). Since their labour was first viewed as a supplement to the domestic labour market, Southeast Asian migrants have become indispensable to the manufacturing, agricultural, fishing, and care industries over the last three decades. While the initial foreign population was primarily Thai and Filipino workers, Vietnamese and Indonesian workers are now taking over factory jobs, farm work, and caring for seniors and the disabled.
The Earth God and Personifying Climate Change
Written by Natasha Heller. Rising global temperature increases and predictions about sea levels can be abstract, even for adults. How can the phenomena of global warming be visualized? How can climate change and environmental degradation be made understandable by young children? The earth’s round shape, as imagined from space, lends itself to the addition of eyes and a mouth to convey unhappiness or illness on a global level. Distressed or lonely polar bears also convey the negative effects of global warming but are still quite distant from most children’s everyday lives.
Gods of Democracy: Divination and Epidemic Prevention in Taiwan, 2020
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.
How Taiwan uses Buddhist literature for environmental education
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.
From “Silent Teacher” to “Virtual Teacher”: Medical Imaging Technology and the Future of Anatomy Classes in Taiwan
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.
BRINGING BUDDHISM TO THE MASSES – LOOKING BACK AT SAN MIN BOOKS’ “NEW TRANSLATION” SERIES OF BUDDHIST CLASSICS
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.
The Evolving Personhood of the Fetus: Abortion Ritual in Taiwan within the Transnational Flow
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.
Gender, Women and Buddhism in Taiwan
Thus, although Buddhism in Taiwan does not confer complete equality on women, their position is greatly improved over that of the past. Moreover, it has provided opportunities for women to greatly enlarge their social lives through volunteering and participation in Buddhist groups as well as opportunities to develop and utilize their social, organizational, administrative and leadership abilities.