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Under the Umbrella: Grounded Christian Theologies and Democratic Working Alliances in Hong Kong

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Taking the geographies of the 2014 Umbrella Movement as its point of departure, this paper provides a geographical reading of democratic landscapes in Hong Kong. Using a new cultural geography approach, this study unpacks the grounded theologies that undergird the participation of Christians in democratic movements in Hong Kong. The central argument is that two Christian grounded theologies in Hong Kong—collaborative and critical—have been generated according to how Christians acting within two different working alliances have positioned themselves vis-à-vis the Hong Kong government. Drawing from both ethnographic and public archival research, I trace the origins of a democratic working alliance back to the 1978 Golden Jubilee Incident, after which a democratic consensus was developed in Hong Kong. Following this thread through the 1997 handover, I demonstrate that this consensus bifurcated into two groups of Christians who disagreed theologically as to whether collaborating or critiquing the government was the ideal way to implement democratic reform. This paper contributes to the study of religion in Chinese societies by providing a geographical approach that can be used for comparative work in the social scientific study of religion and democracy.雨傘之下:香港基督教兩種接地神學與民主合作聯盟摘要本文以二零一四年雨傘運動為起點,從地理學的角度研究香港的民主景觀。此硏究乃以一個新的文化地理學路徑去分析多種的接地神學如何從下面支撐起香港基督徒對於民主運動的參與。其中心論點是已經形成了兩個不同的香港基督教接地神學 —— 合作性的和批判性的,其不同之處在於如何定位自身與香港政府之間的關係。本文通過民族誌和檔案硏究法追溯作為民主合作聯盟之起源的一九七八年金禧事件。從金禧事件到一九九七年回歸,民主共識在神學上演變為訴求方式不同的兩派,一派認為與政府合作乃執行民主改革的理想途徑,另一派則認為批評政府才是執行民主改革的理想途徑。本文使用地理學路徑做宗教和民主運動研究,對華人社會的宗教社會科學硏究或有助益。

Affiliations: 1: Comparative Religion Unit, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington,


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