The China Center (China-Zentrum e.V.) has been in existence since 1988. Legally recognized as a non-profit organization, the China Center encourages encounters and exchange between cultures and religions in the West and in China.

Inculturation of the Church in China: The Case of Taiwan

Sitting on this panel and pondering on the inculturation of the Church in China evokes in me sentiments filled with honor and wonder. It is natural that both the Department of Religious Studies of Fu Jen Catholic University and the Conference of Bishops of Taiwan, the two institutions I am associated with, ponder seriously on issues related to the inculturation of the Church in the Chinese environment. I am aware that starting from the 1970s, inculturation has been one of the open battlegrounds for contextual theologies. Cohorts of scholars, theoreticians as well as pastoral leaders have striven to make Christianity a religion at home in the Taiwanese context. Their efforts unveil an undeniable awareness: Inculturation is a process co-natural to the proclamation of the Gospel because culture and context impact each other. The preaching and the reception of the Gospel do not occur in a void, but rather in a context built up with cultural residues, categories and practices capable of conditioning the reception of the Gospel. Hence, inculturation is a necessity inherent in evangelization. As a result, neglecting the cultural dimension in the process of evangelization can be compared to welcoming a guest in a family while the hosting family members are absent. The guest remains at a loss for lack of components that would help his/her insertion and acquaintance with the milieu. Advocates of inculturation often attempt to downgrade portrayals of the Gospel, of Christianity and the Church to the level of perennial guests. [more...]

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