An Analysis of the Christian Church’s Response to the Handover of Hong Kong around 1997

Ann Gillian Chu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Following the handover of Hong Kong around 1997, the Christian church’s varied response brings forth the question of how the church in Hong Kong can improve its approach to socio-political issues and interactions with the post-colonial Hong Kong government. In this paper, the author argues for Hong Kong theologians to develop a theology that is most suitable for the Hong Kong context because it is unique in its situation of decolonization in comparison to other former colonies, and the extensive borrowing of foreign, especially German, theologians’ ideologies and applying it to Hong Kong cannot replace it, even with thoughtful contextualization. After an introduction to Hong Kong’s colonization and subsequent decolonization, its effects on the Christian church and society at large are discussed. Then, an analysis of the church’s attempts to interpret and react to the handover points out several different approaches, such as migrating to the Western world, perceiving China as a mission field, and participating in social demonstrations. The author acknowledges the heavy borrowing of foreign theology, as well as the pragmatism of the Hong Kong people, that leads to a lack of systematic teaching on how Christians should interact with socio-political issues. The Hong Kong people have unique qualities, represented in the “under the Lion’s Rock” mentality. In order to be helpful to the Hong Kong Christian community, Christian churches in Hong Kong need to collaborate with local theologians to shape a theological view that is suitable and helpful for Hong Kong Christians and society at large. This collaboration will allow them to process socio-political matters through the Christian lens and attempt to maintain a dialogue with the government in order to perform its prophetic role in society. This research is important for the academic world to understand how the discourse community of certain religious circles interacts with the rhetoric of the secular world and whether it is mutually influential.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHong Kong Sociological Association 21st Annual Conference
Place of PublicationHong Kong
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2019


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