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Europeans and the Formation of a Presbyterian Enterprise: A Prototype of a Civic Taiwanese Nation?

  • Yoshihisa Amae

Abstract

Christianity in Taiwan owes its heritage to the Europeans; the faith reached the shores of the island along with the imperial forces. The Dutch Reformists were the first to preach the message to the island’s inhabitants, after the Dutch East India Company established a foothold in southern Taiwan in 1624 to trade with China and Japan; two years later, in 1626, the Spanish Dominicans arrived on the island, as Catholic Spain quickly set up a colony on the northern part of the island to protect its trade from Dutch interference. Under the aegis of their mercantilist patrons, the missionaries succeeded in converting the Taiwanese Plains Aborigines to Christianity in the respective areas. Early church documents suggest that at least 5,400 men and women were added to the church by the Dutch, and some 4,500 natives were converted to Christianity by the Spaniards (Campbell 1903, reprint 1987: 193; Fernandez 1959, reprint 1994: 3). Many Dutch missionaries took Aboriginal women as wives, and they built churches and schools in villages around what constitutes today’s Greater Taiwan (formerly Tainan City and County). Yet their missions were short-lived: the Spanish mission ended in 1642 after being expelled by the Dutch; and the Dutch mission ended in 1662 with the invasion of Zheng Chenggong, a Ming loyalist and military leader, more commonly known as Koxinga in the Western world.

Keywords

Local Church Mission School Taiwanese People Tainan City Japanese Authority 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshihisa Amae

There are no affiliations available

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