Religion and NGOs in Taiwanese Society
June 30-July 9, 2006
Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China, is the first traditionally Chinese society to have fully embraced democracy. It maintains many elements of traditional Chinese culture, combined with significant Western and Japanese influences, to form a richly diverse modern society. Taiwan occupies a sensitive and crucial place in the complicated relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United States as well as in the political and economic development of the Far East. Due to the increasingly tense cross-straight relations with China, however, the diverse and fascinating religious and cultural developments within Taiwan does not necessarily achieve the same attention and analysis from the outside world. This seminar introduces the complexity of modern Taiwan society, focusing on the evolution of two important phenomena: NGOs and religions. We will examine the relationship between NGOs, religions, and political change in Taiwan, and the roles that women and young people play in these organizations.
National Chengchi University (NCCU), located in a suburb of Taipei, is the host institution for this seminar. Founded in 1927 in Mainland China and relocated to Taiwan after 1949, it is the leading public university in the Republic of China and is noted for its academic programs in the social sciences, communications, and business administration. NCCU’s Institute of International Relations (IIR), the oldest and best-known think tank in Taiwan, will host the majority of the lectures with the remainder provided by faculty at Chengchi University and local experts. The Center of International Education and Exchange of Chengchi University will be in charge of the daily operation of the seminar. The University’s web site is: www.nccu.edu.tw.
Dr. Bih-jaw Lin, Vice President of National Chengchi University and Director of the Institute of International Relations, is the faculty leader for this seminar. Trained as both a diplomat and a political scientist, Dr. Lin has been teaching courses in International Politics, East Asian International Relations, and International Security. Before serving as Vice President, Dr. Lin was a Professor and Director of the Institute of International Relations and Dean of the Graduate Institute of Diplomacy. Before returning to academia, Dr. Lin held positions as Deputy Secretary-General at the National Security Council and the Deputy Secretary-General at the Presidential Office in the Republic of China.
Dr. Christie Chang, Resident Director of the CIEE Study Center in Taipei, has a Ph.D. in Linguistics and teaches Translation and Cross-Cultural Communication at National Taiwan University. Dr. Chang has also been active in a number of local religious organizations and NGOs. In 2002 she was co-coordinator of the 7th Sakyadhita International Conference on Buddhist Women in Taipei.
Following are the tentative lectures, site visits, and study tours for this seminar:
-The Role of NGOs and Religions in Taiwanese Society
-Globalization, Civil Society, and the Development of NGOs and Religion in Taiwan
-Religious Beliefs in Taiwan: How Religious are the Taiwanese?
-Engaged Buddhism in Taiwan in a Global Perspective
-Daoism, Qigong Practice, and Spiritual Healing in the Taiwanese Society
-The Interplay of Politics, Religions, and NGOs in Taiwan
-The Status of Female Deities in Taiwanese Folk Religions
-Gender Issues in Religions and NGOs in Contemporary Taiwan
-Youth Culture, NGOs, and Religions
-Religious Education and the Varieties of Religious Experience in Taiwan
Site Visits/ Study Tours
-The Museum of World Religions
-Long-Shan Temple and the famous Snake Alley in the oldest district of Taipei
-Confucius Temple and Pao-An Temple (Daoist)
-City temples (folk religions, Daoist, and Buddhist) in the Song-Shan district
-NGOs in Taipei
-Tour to Hualian, East Coast of Taiwan, visiting Tzu-Chi Foundation (largest NGO in Taiwan), He-Nan Buddhist Monastery (Pure Land tradition, famous for modern Buddhist Arts, music, and literature), and sightseeing at Taroko Gorge
This 10-day seminar begins and ends in Taipei.
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