Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Between Heaven and Earth: A Study of the Church`s Position regarding the Preservation Movement of Lo-Sheng Sanatorium in view of the History of Church-State Relations.
Historical Theology, Church-State Relations, Lo-Sheng Sanatorium, Sheng Wang Presbyterian Church, Huilong St. William Catholic Church.
|Issue Date: ||2017-01-12T06:37:16Z (UTC)
Since 2004, there have been more than ten demonstrations organized by various student groups, civil organizations and university professors, protesting against the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) company’s plan to tear down the historic site of Lo-Sheng Sanatorium to replace it with a depot. Appeals include altering the depot plan and making the Sanatorium a national heritage site. In every demonstration there will be a few seniors who were infected with leprosy. Some of them were amputated. All of them were once lepers. They were healed of their leprosy, but leprosy has left them with an irremovable scar of poverty and social discrimination, making them unable to leave the Sanatorium area. The government wants them to move into the new hospital building, but they organize self-help groups seeking to stay at the old site.
Since the biblical times, leprosy has been the concern of the church. There were pastors going into the Lo-Sheng Sanatorium during the Japanese colonial period to care for the sick. After WWII, PCT has continued the work to provide hospital care and living support. Later, PCT rented a land in the Sanatorium and established Sheng Wang Presbyterian Church. The catholic church also came in in 1963 and later established St. William Catholic Church. The two churches have continued their medical mission till today, developing a close relationship with the people in the Sanatorium. The plan of the MRT system has influenced the churches to move and sell their original building. However, the two churches have never joined any of the demonstrations to conserve the Sanatorium. Sheng Wang Presbyterian Church tends to hold a neutral standpoint, while the Saint Williams Church tends to support the government policy. The question raised in this paper is therefore: Since both churches emphasize the sovereign power of God over the world, the need to uphold social justice, and the care of the poor, why then were they absent in the demonstrations or even supported the government and encouraged their members to support the government? What kind of theological thinking or contexts are behind their choice? This paper will investigate the position of the two churches through the lens of church-state relations.
The result of going through documents and conducting interviews shows that although the two churches are willing to do medical mission, they are intertwined in a unique church-state relation, forcing them to depart from the theological position of their churches. Because the governmental influence is huge in the power structure of the Sanatorium, the churches are not able to confront the governmental decision and thereby destroy their relationships. Besides, the two churches rented the land from the government and do not have right over the land. Therefore they are also not able to refuse the government from taking back the land. Meanwhile, the members of the churches are also members of the Sanatorium, making them difficult to fight. The demonstration also divides the church, so the church is forced to take the position to make peace in the community. As for the catholic church, all members support government policies and the fathers also encourage the members to sacrifice themselves and seek the common good with the government.
|Appears in Collections:||[台灣神學院] 研究部-神學碩士班（Th.M.）|
Files in This Item:
All items in TAITHEO are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.