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Research at St Andrews

Ann Gillian Chu

Person

Research overview

Christian Perspectives of Civic Action under Non-Democratic Governments Based on Church Discussions in Post-Umbrella Movement Hong Kong

I research how Christians conceptualise civic engagement in light of Hong Kong’s resistance movements. I aim to provide a framework for thinking about the intersection of religious identity and political practice in non-democratic regions, such as Hong Kong.

Background

What started on 27 March 2013 as a small-scale movement to Occupy Central with Love and Peace later morphed into the large-scale Umbrella Movement, which lasted from 28 September 2014 to 15 December 2014. This movement paralysed key areas in Hong Kong for over two months by blocking major roadways. In the wake of these movements, individuals and organisations now ponder Hong Kong’s identity and core values. Without an understood and shared theological ethics with which to approach individual political affiliations during and after these movements, the church did not propose a clear position or response to this socio-political situation of pseudo-democracy.

Purpose
Through a research project on these movements, I plan to articulate a theological ethics that is capable of informing and forming individual Christians and the Christian church, insofar as it shapes thought processes and the civil disobedience of Christians as responsibility rather than antagonism, particularly in the context of the post-Umbrella Movement Hong Kong.

Impact
This research is timely and important because the events discussed are significant, but little research has been published on this topic due to its contemporaneity. Debates on this topic, both among scholars and laity, have recently abounded, but are written almost exclusively for lay people. Although some scholars have approached the issue through analytical approaches using biblical hermeneutics and theological angles, these approaches have not integrated a large-scale ethnographic approach, as this research project hopes to do. Moreover, little has been written in the Anglophone world to reflect upon these movements, which is why an academic study of the situation in English by a Hong Kong scholar such as myself would be a significant step towards bringing the knowledge and experience gained from these movements by Chinese Christians in Hong Kong to the wider English-speaking academy. As I grew up in Hong Kong and was primarily educated in the Western world, I offer an unique perspective on this issue and an ability to speak effectively to both worlds. In addition, my study contributes to Christian political theology in a context of Hong Kong’s soft authoritarianism, because most political theologies assume a Western democratic context, which is not exactly what Hong Kong was, is, or ever will be.

http://gillianchu.com

 

透過香港教會群體對後雨傘運動的討論,探討基督徒對非民主體制下公民運動的態度

本人主要研究基督徒如何理解香港抗爭運動中的公民參與。本研究目標乃是提供框架,以供思考非民主政體下(如香港),宗教身分認同如何與政治行動融合。

背景

2013年3月27日,一場小型的和平佔中,後來演變成大規模的雨傘運動(從2014年9月28日直到12月15日)。雨傘運動進行時,許多主要幹道受到阻塞,導致香港許多重要地區癱瘓長達兩個月。運動結束後,在港信徒與各基督教機構積極思索香港的身分以及核心價值。然而,因缺乏一套共享之神學倫理,以及對神學倫理的認識,香港教會無從理解個人在運動前後之政治立場,自然無法對此偽民主之社會政治情勢,提出明確的立場或回應。

目的

透過研究這兩場運動,我計劃提出一套神學倫理,幫助基督徒和基督教會認識自身,並形塑其未來,明白基督徒若實行公民抗命,乃為責任,而非純粹搞對抗——特別是在後雨傘運動的香港。

影響

本研究所討論之事件牽涉重大,卻因為發生時間距離現今尚短,已發表之相關研究不多。因此,本研究可說是既及時且重要。雖然已有許多學者透過聖經詮釋和神學視角來分析此議題,卻未見整合大規模民族誌之進路,而這正是本研究期望貢獻之處。另外,在英語世界中,相關著述極少。因此,由香港學者(例如本人)以英文撰寫之學術研究,將是極重要的貢獻,將香港基督徒在此運動中獲得的知識和經驗,帶入英語學術界。本人生長於香港,大部分教育則是在西方國家完成,因此能就此議題提供獨特視角,有效地向雙方溝通。此外,本研究為基督教政治神學,提供香港軟性極權主義之脈絡。此貢獻尤其重要,因為大多數政治神學均以西方民主社會為其預設,但這並非香港的背景:過去不是,現在不是,未來也不會是。

https://gillianchu.com/chi/

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