Beyond Democracy: A Reflection on Christian Engagement in Civic Action under Non-Democratic Governments based on Hong Kong’s Post-Umbrella Movement Discussions

Weekly seminar of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (CSRP).

Through analysing Hong Kong’s protest culture, primarily focusing on the developments of the Occupy Central Movement and the Umbrella Movement, this seminar argues that, in the case of Hong Kong, the language of rights and of democracy is so pervasive that the Christian understanding of the proper religio-political stance is informed by the secular narrative rather than the Christian narrative.

The discourse on civic action in Hong Kong’s Christian community has been shaped by multi-faceted external forces such as Hong Kong’s relationship with its political overlords, the language of Western post-Christendom democracy, and Christian teachings. This seminar will provide the historical context of protest in Hong Kong, Hong Kong’s relationship with Britain and China, and Christianity in Hong Kong, and will consider these factors in relation to the period in which protest became prominent. These factors are crucially relevant to the Hong Kong Christian community’s understanding of civic engagement after the Umbrella Movement, and this context is necessary to understand Hong Kong’s unique post-colonial trajectory of decolonisation, which led to a system of autocratic government control.

Location: St Mary’s College Hall

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