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Title: From periphery to partnership : a critical analysis of the relationship of Baptists in Hong Kong with the Colonial Government in the post-World War II era
Author: Lau, Chun-pang Vincent
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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Baptists in Hong Kong, originally a peripheral denomination before the World War II, had become the largest Protestant community by the time of the handover of the colony to China in July 1997. This study aims to narrate and explicate the formation of the church-state practice of Baptists in Hong Kong in the period of 1949 to 1984. The thesis is focused on the question of the extent to which the British colonial policy contributed to the rise of the Baptist community in Hong Kong. The thesis will uncover the roots of the British colonial strategy in the post-World War II era and how the Baptist denomination happened to be part of the scheme. The thesis will also attempt to account for the formation of the Baptist church-state practice. The thesis finally will employ John Howard Yoder’s criticism of Constantinianism to critique the Baptist church-state practice in the post-World War II period, and the core concepts of Yoder’s Jeremianic model will serve as an alternative of the Baptist church-state practice in the post-colonial era. The study will be based upon a theological and empirical research. The socio-political- ecclesiological context of Hong Kong in the post-World War II period and the British colonial policy in the territory will be scrutinised. The uniqueness of Baptist polity that has led to the emergence of the Baptist lay-leaders and the interactions between the laity and the pastors on the issue of Baptist educational institutions accepting the government subsidy, embodying the formalisation of the church-state practice, will be examined. The rationale behind the Baptist leaders’ willingness to become a partner with the government will be explored, by investigating the patron-client relationship between the colonial government and Baptists and kuan-hsi (network), a prominent feature of the Chinese cultural heritage. The practice of Baptist worship service will be investigated as it is regarded as the principal factor of the formation of spirituality. I will suggest that pietistic individualism focusing on personal religious and spiritual experience contributes to a problematic church-world dichotomy in the minds of Chinese Christians. A review of Chinese theology in the first half of the twentieth century will disclose a solid heritage of pietism among Chinese Christians.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available