Monday, June 13, 2005


Just sent off the July article for The Taichung Voice. The month's topic is 'Theology'. I'm not sure that it was a particularly suitable topic for me to write about, but I guess Lance is thinking that it might be better to offend everyone equally than to only offend certain faiths. Anyway, I had to Google a whole bunch of stuff, so here are a bunch of links that I'm going to post here and then delete from my bookmarks. Red A, you had asked to see a couple of these, so I've tried to describe what some of them are. The links are not in any particular order.

Taiwan GIO Religion page- Has government stats for the number of members for the major religions in Taiwan. Note Tian De Jiao at #7, and the 53,000 Muslims in Taiwan.

Wikipedia on Metaphysics

Another GIO site on religion, with overlapping material from the first. I did not use the word 'syncretistic' in the article, but I think it's a pretty neat word, and most suitable to descibe Taiwanese approach to religion. on religion
I have been to Lukang a couple of times, and have never seen the Muslim influence there. But then again, I was never really looking for it.

GIO site, Religions (index)

God Wars: which memes will adapt and win the battle for humanity's devotion? Some odd Geocities site. Even I won't touch the religion-as-meme approach.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints page on Taiwan
Number of members: 38,735 That's after 49 years of missionaries in Taiwan. Compare to the Phillipines: 526,180

Introduction to I-Kuan Tao

U.S. Department of State, Religious Freedom, Taiwan
The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan has been active in politics, particularly in the pro-independence movement, and maintains contact with some elements of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.
Encyclopedia- Protestant Denominations

Google Image Search- Guan Gong


Anonymous said...

Good info man. If you ever run into Clyde Warden, he's doing a study on Marketing mormonism in Taiwan as a marketing issue. He's got lots of interesting stuff to say.

I want to get back to you on the Taiwan HSR thing.....

Michael Turton

Red A said...

"Worshipers of officially recognized religions can freely congregate, hold religious services, and proselytize, as long as they act within the bounds of the law, public morals, and social systems."

"To be recognized, religious groups must apply and register with the Civil Affairs Department of the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) ?????? after meeting stipulated requirements, including a minimum number of local believers, organizations, and sufficient funds."

Does anyone see a catch-22 here? How can I legally proseltyze to get my first "local" believer in order to become legal?

Also, I like the "sufficient funds" part.

Overall an interesting website from the GIO...I didn't notice the Moonies on the list but they are definitely in Taichung!

On a sour note, I was disturbed to learn the Chinese for "Church of Scientology."

Johnny Atomic said...

What is a meme?

Angus said...


A self-replicating unit of cultural meaning, as understood by biologist Richard Dawkins. Transmitted socially among individuals of different generations, memes evolve through processes of mutation and natural selection. Thus, for example, the jingles sung by children while skipping rope, the conventional standards for fashionable dress, and the notions comprising the "common-sense" view of the world are all passed on through time, gradually modifying without any deliberate guidance.

Recommended Reading: Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford, 1990) {at}; Richard Brodie, Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme (DeVorss, 1995) {at}; Susan Blackmore and Richard Dawkins, The Meme Machine (Oxford, 2000) {at}; and Aaron Lynch, Thought Contagion: How Belief Spreads Through Society (Basic, 1999) {at}.