Christian Studies in Asia: Taiwan, China, Timor… Theoretical & Methodological Issues

 01/24/2024 / 01/24/2024

 14:00pm - 17:00pm
 Room 2B, Research Center for Humanities and Social sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei
Michel Chambon (National University of Singapore), Piotr Adamek (Fu Jen Catholic University), Jonathan Seitz (Taiwan Graduate School of Theology), Joseph Tse-Hei Lee (Pace University) and Gao Chen-Yang (Academia Sinica)

The French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC), Taipei Office organise the following conference:













Compared to Islam, Buddhism, or Taoism, Christianity is often perceived as the religion of the West, a tradition that, supposedly, was long foreign to Asian civilizations and cultures. Today, despite the existence of some 400 million Christians across Asia, Christianity is rarely treated as an Asian religion. Instead, it is frequently portrayed as a mere colonial import and as a marginal reality of Asian societies. Public discourses easily forget the antique presence of Christian communities in South and Central Asia. Little attention is given to the numerous Christian institutions – schools, universities, hospitals, NGO, diplomatic delegations, etc. – which are present across the entire continent and which impact the lives of many more people than churchgoers only. In several parts of the continent, religious identities are mobilized to cement national unity, making the history and significance of Christianity in Asia a highly contested and controversial topic.

In this context where religious, social, and political issues are deeply entangled, research efforts on Asian Christianity are gaining renewed importance to not only revisit and question the dominant historiography of the continent, but also to better understand the diversity and ongoing transformation of Asian societies.

This roundtable features research from five scholars studying Asian Christianity from the perspective of history, anthropology, theology, or sociology. Based on case studies from Taiwan, China, Timor, or Indonesia, each researcher will present facets of his most recent work and underline the theoretical and methodological aspects of his research. In dialogue with each other and the audience, panelists will discuss the scope and significance of Christian Studies in contemporary Asia.


Michel Chambon, Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore “Catholic Studies in Southeast Asia: Lessons from East Timor and Indonesia

Piotr Adamek, Fu Jen Catholic University, Professor at the Department of Religious Studies “Catholic Studies in Taiwan

Jonathan Seitz, Associate Professor, Taiwan Graduate School of Theology. Christianity in Taiwan and the Presbyterian Challenge

Joseph Tse-Hei Lee, History Professor at Pace University, Taiwan Fellow & Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica History of Christianity across the Chinese world

Gao Chen-Yang, Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica Protestantism during China’s Cultural Revolution

The seminar will be held in English.

ON SITE & ONLINE ZOOM: https://reurl.cc/eLWDjR