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Justice

Global Symposium I: The Hong Kong Protests and Political Theology

The Political Theology Network is pleased to present the special global symposium on the Hong Kong Protests and Political Theology

The Political Theology Network is pleased to present the following special global symposium on a timely and thought-provoking new volume from Rowman and Littlefield, The Hong Kong Protests and Political Theology

Book Summary: The Hong Kong protests that began in the second half of 2019 captured the world’s attention as demonstrations against an extradition bill grew into a larger civil liberties movement. While protests began as peaceful demonstrations, the disproportionate police force with which the government responded escalated the situation to an international crisis. This book provides the historical and social backgrounds of the Hong Kong protests and theological reflections on the protests by Hong Kong contributors and international scholars from diverse vantage points. It discusses the relation between Christianity and Communism and the neoliberal economy, as well as civil disobedience, religion and social movements, and the roles of the churches in social conflict. 

The pieces featured in this global symposium offer an international conversation on the political and theological issues emerging from the Hong Kong protests. The three Hong Kong authors Lai Tsz-him, Jessica Hiu-tung Tso, and Francis Ching-wah Yip will draw from their contributions to the book to discuss uncivil and civil disobedience, sexual violence in the protests, and Paul Tillich’s concept of the demonic as applied to Hong Kong. They will be followed by Kyle Lambelet and Cheryl B. Anderson from the United States and Volker Küster from Germany. This discussion is much needed as mass protests and assemblies in public spaces have become central in the fight for political change, economic equity, racial justice, and queer people’s rights in recent years. Using the protests in Hong Kong as a case study, this symposium sheds light on doing political theology from an intercultural perspective.

Symposium Essays

Uncivil and Civil Disobedience in the 2019 Hong Kong Protests

The coexistence of numerous means of resistance in Hong Kong underscores the limitations of the violent/nonviolent dichotomy, pointing out that achieving social change is not either peaceful or militant but can be both, depending on the context. It also raises questions to Christian theologians and ethicists regarding the justification (or perhaps critique) of coexistent ways of resistance in facing authoritarian regimes.

Hong Kong “Freedom Cunt”: Sexual Violence and Crucifixion

There is the rising emergence of a new breed of women protesters in Hong Kong—women who are fearless in the face of escalating brutality from the police and authorities. They remind us of the women in Galilee in the Gospel who were so brave and caring and overcame community pressure and even the fear of execution.

The Demonic in Hong Kong

We need to recognize the tragic aspects of the events, in which the perpetrators of evil are themselves grasped, enslaved, or “possessed” by demonic powers as structures of evil.

Reasoning about (Non)violence in the Hong Kong Protests

It is not always clear what we mean by violence or nonviolence, though, like pornography, we assume, we’ll know (non)violence when we see it.

The Significance of a Derogatory Term

A derogatory term, “freedom cunt” uttered against a female is offensive, but it is also instructive.