The New Messenger Magazine is currently a ministry under the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT). It publishes bimonthly and influences not only the development of the Christian Church in Taiwan but records the generations of voices of the youth of PCT and of the Taiwanese society. Therefore, this essay seeks to present three themes: (1) the history and development of the New Messenger Magazine, (2) the influence of Liberation Theology upon it, and (3) its political involvement.
The goal of this research is to find out how the theories of liberation theology actually influence the political involvement of the New Messenger Magazine. When liberation theology of Latin America was introduced in Taiwan, Taiwanese Christian students began to be influenced by it. This contributes to the democratization process of Taiwan. PCT has played a significant part in it. And the New Messenger Magazine is integral to the whole process. In the process of challenging the political powers and establishing a modern democratized society, liberation theology is combined with contextual theology, producing a contextualized liberation theology.
By mapping out the dialogical interrelations between liberation theology and political involvement, the essay seeks to understand history, society, contexts and the people living in. When PCT is trying to step forward in its contextual theological thinking and move forward in its practice of faith in the political realms, these past discussions and records are vital in terms of their power to influence our experience and transforming into the power of action. By understating the past and the present, we can find out better which direction we should stride forward towards the kingdom of God.
The first part of the essay divides the development of the New Messenger Magazine into three periods: Messenger Magazine period, New Publication period, and New Messenger Magazine period. It analyzes the articles about liberation theology and political involvement in these periods. The second part and third part quote and summarize key themes of liberation and political theology in the three periods and try to present the paradigm shifts in the periods to show the interrelations between the magazine and society.