From Yunnan to Northern Thailand: The Transition of China Inland Mission’s Lisu Evangelical Work in the 1950s
|關鍵字:||中國內地會;楊宓貴靈;傈僳族;本色化;泰北||公開日期:||2014||摘要:||中國內地會（China Inland Mission）成立於1865年，向來以｢向中國人傳福音｣為號召，是西方在華的重要傳教團體之一。二十世紀上半葉內地會在雲南西北的傈僳族地區有著令人驚艷的傳教成果。然而當1950年中國共產黨獲得政權之後，為擺脫帝國主義的遺毒，發動三自愛國運動，指出中國的基督教會必須追求自治、自傳、自養等三目標。面對此一困局，西方傳教士只好全面撤出中國。撤出中國後，這批原本在滇西工作的教士聽聞傈僳族在泰北、緬甸等地亦有分佈，便滿懷熱情轉往泰國北部工作，以求宣教使命之延續。
本文主要是透過女傳教士楊宓貴靈（Isobel Miller Kuhn, 1901-1957〉和內地會的紀錄，首先探討這批教士轉進的過程，進而分析兩地傳教情況的異同。舊的雲南經驗對於新的泰北經驗帶來幾個方面的助益：文化的熟悉、傳教方法的累積、差會本身的經驗。但是在另一方面，泰北經驗與過往經驗仍有扞格之處，像是傳教士自身的調適困境、缺乏基層信徒配合、少數民族間的差異、背景母體文化的差異等。透過此一案例，我們得以對基督教與政治、文化的關係有更進一步的認識，並且再思基督教本色化的努力與成果。
Established in 1865, China Inland Mission was one of the most important and far-reaching mission in China. One group of missionaries in particular has been hugely successful in proselytizing the indigenous Lisu people to Christianity in northwestern Yunnan province since the early twentieth century. Nevertheless, due to the Chinese Communist Party’s rise to power in the 1950s and the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement which sought to purge foreign influence, the missionaries were forced to make a full withdrawal from China. Having heard of the Lisu diaspora in northern Thailand, the missionaries at Yunnan exiled there with the hope that their Yunnan experience would benefit their new life in northern Thailand. Based on the archives of the China Inland Mission and the autobiographies by Isobel Miller Kuhn (1901-1957)—missionary and chronicler of this particular history—this thesis investigates how the missionaries re-established themselves and their mission works in northern Thailand. After a brief review of China Inland Mission’s achievement in northwest Yunnan, the thesis traces the reasons why the missionaries turned to northern Thailand instead after their retreat from Yunnan and canvasses how the veteran missionaries braved the new obstacles in northern Thailand. On one hand, their Yunnan experiences help familiarize the missionaries with the indigenous cultures of the mission field and offer invaluable lessons in running mission societies and improving their methods of preaching gospels. On the other hand, they must tackle fresh challenges in Thailand including missionaries’ difficulty in adapting themselves to the mission field, the lack of support from local people, the ethnic diversity of the Lisu diaspora across borders and the discrepancy of the mainstream culture between China and Thailand. This case in point allows us to ruminate further the role Christianity plays in the cultural and socio-political network of the mission field and to reappraise the indigenization of the Christianity.
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