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An Analysis of the Understanding of and Engagement with Stanley Hauerwas’ Theological Convictions Among Selected Hong Kong Theologians in the Occupy Central and Umbrella Movements

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the understanding of and engagement with Stanley Hauerwas’ theological convictions among selected Hong Kong theologians in the Occupy Central and Umbrella Movements. The analysis considers why Hong Kong theologians are interested in referencing the works of Hauerwas, a renowned American theologian, rather than other prominent voices in Christian ethics. This paper argues that the self-proclaimed Hong Kong Hauerwasians have a good grasp of Hauerwas’ theology and that they consider living in Christ’s narrative and seeking to manifest the kingdom of God as an end rather than a means, as love and peace are inherent to the kingdom of God. Therefore, the co-optation by the Occupy Central and Umbrella Movements of the Christian ideals of love and peace and the leveraging of these ideals to achieve democracy would appear contrary to Hauerwas’ theology. The structure of this paper is in three parts: Christ’s narrative dictating the definition of justice (Christology), the communal manifestation of God’s kingdom leading to change of language (ecclesiology), and patience and providence informing understanding of means and ends of love and peace and non-violence and non-resistance (eschatology). Each part examines the voices of Benny Tai, Freeman Chi-wai Huen, Andres Tang, John Chan, and S. M. Chiu, who represent different positions in the discussion of civil disobedience in Hong Kong. This paper concludes that Hong Kong was not and is not a democracy, which is why theologians should stop assuming that Hong Kong is or should be a democracy when constructing their theological analysis. Democracy is not the telos of Christianity and should not be its focus. Likewise, civil disobedience should first and foremost provide a civic education that leads to theological reflection, not necessarily to the achievement of democracy. This paper observes that none of the Hong Kong Hauerwasians stand strictly against civil disobedience and that political theology and ethics are considered contextual theology. It notices that the Hong Kong theologians’ engagement with Hauerwas’ theological convictions regarding the Occupy Central and Umbrella Movement make an excellent starting place for Hong Kong Christians as a church community to contemplate becoming more conscious of the public nature of their collective thoughts and actions, and eventually to broaden their understanding of political theology through knowledge of a variety of theologians.
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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2018
EventAmerican Academy of Religion, Society of Biblical Literature, and American Schools of Oriental Research - Pacific Northwest Region Annual Meeting - Tacoma, United States
Duration: 11 May 2018 → …

Conference

ConferenceAmerican Academy of Religion, Society of Biblical Literature, and American Schools of Oriental Research - Pacific Northwest Region Annual Meeting
CountryUnited States
CityTacoma
Period11/05/18 → …

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