“My study uncovers the dynamics of Taiwanese Protestantism that extends from Taiwan to the US, detailing the links among religion, race, and politics. ”
Using ethnographic and in-depth interview methods, my dissertation examines how actors within 3 transnational Taiwanese Christian church organizations construct and mobilize narratives of Taiwanese identities in both Taiwan and the US. Investigating the Evangelical Formosan Church, the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, and the Taiwanese Presbyterian Churches under Presbyterian Church(USA), my dissertation attends closely to how organizational features — such as hierarchy, social norms, and inter-denominational relationships — affect and reflect narratives of Taiwanese identity. Previous studies on Asian American Protestantism rarely focus on the organizational structure of religion. My dissertation details the organizational features of 3 denominations and the transnational religious landscape in which they are embedded. That landscape includes other denominations, independent missions, among other parachurch organizations. These churches are vectors for the circulation of multiple narratives of Taiwaneseness. These narratives can unify and mobilize the global membership toward agendas like Taiwanese independence from the PRC or opposition to gay marriage. My dissertation expands on my earlier work funded by the Notre Dame University's Global Religion Research Initiative Project Launch Grant and represents the empirical material for sociological journal articles. I will share my research findings with those in PC(USA), EFC, and the PCT as well as affiliated seminary and college informants I collaborate with.