This presentation explores the history of Christianity in Taiwan, which can be divided into three distinct phases. In the seventeenth century, Dutch and Spanish missionaries brought Christianity to Taiwan. The Dutch translated biblical and liturgical texts into indigenous Formosan languages as part of their proselytizing programme. After the Europeans left, the Qing dynasty ruled Taiwan and in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, there was little missionary activity. In the wake of the Opium Wars, Europeans returned to Taiwan. In the late Qing period and during the Japanese occupation (1895-1945), missionaries such as the Scot, William Campbell, helped to establish churches and Christian institutions on the island. Since 1945, churches have been established amongst the indigenous and Chinese populations. Whilst Buddhism and Taoism are still the dominant religions amongst Chinese, over half of the indigenous population professes Christianity.
Prof. Chris Joby is a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London. He has a PhD in church history from the University of Durham. He has received several scholarships and prizes for his research. He is currently writing a book on the reception of the Christian Gospel in seventeenth-century Taiwan.