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The development of social teachings in Asian churches : an analysis of the statements on social justice of the Christian Conference of Asia, 1949-1980

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The development of social teachings in Asian churches : an analysis of the statements on social justice of the Christian Conference of Asia, 1949-1980

Tai, Michael Cheng-Teh (1984) The development of social teachings in Asian churches : an analysis of the statements on social justice of the Christian Conference of Asia, 1949-1980. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The teachings of the Asian churches in the last three decades evolved from stressing people's participation in nation-building to a call for a second liberation of people. Asian churches were optimistic that freedom, equality and justice would prevail. This optimism, however, was soon overshadowed by the emergence of new oppressive classes. The churches, witnessing the continuation of people's sufferings, shifted their emphasis to demanding a total transformation of the national power structures. Several factors contributed to this transition of teachings. Nationalism was the main element in Asian history during the forties and fifties. Accordingly, the teachings of the churches moved in the direction of nation building and development. However, the exploitation of the weak and the poor by the powerful did not cease with independence. Poverty was not due to lack of goods but due to exploitation and the distribution of wealth. The tyranny of power deprived people's right to take part in national decision-making and further consolidated the power base of the ruling class who declared emergency or martial law in the name of national security. These manifestations in political oppression forced the churches to state in the seventies that a total transformation of power structures was necessary to bring a second liberation for the people. Theologically, Asian churches argued that an indigenous theology should be developed to speak effectively to Asian issues. Modernization had confused the value system which dominated Asian people for ages, shook the foundation of social cohesion, weakened previously close family relationships and created a tension between tradition and modernity. Though Asian churches have tried to exert their influence upon Asian societies, the effect has been limited. Besides the minority status, Asian churches tend to be vague and unreflective in their teachings. Nevertheless, they have contributed to a sense of unity within the Asian churches and tried to achieve a balance between over-identifying with Asian nationalism and the Western Christian tradition

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Religion
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Tai, Michael Cheng-Teh
Pagination:328 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Dept. of Religion
Date:1984
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bird, Fred
ID Code:3
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:09
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:12
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