Thursday, September 24, 2009

Roger R. Hedlund CSCA Lecture 1

Present-day Independent Christian Movements in Southeast Asia

23, 24, 25 September 2009, 8:00 pm,
Multi-purpose Hall,
Trinity Theological College.

Organized by the CSCA Asian Christianity Cluster
Lecturer: Professor Roger E. Hedlund
Main Respondent: Professor Simon Chan

Live-posting from facebook:

Prof. Roger E. Hedlund quoted Andrew Walls, "Christendom is dead, and Christianity is alive and well without it.

He made a few interesting remarks, "It doesn't mean that indigenous identity must have indigenous origin... A thing that began from an alien input but may have gone deeply in the soil and became indigenized."

"We need foreigners from Hispanic, Indian, South Eastern cultures to analyze the Western world."

I think the lecture was pretty brief. Basically sharing a few examples of recent and past century's religious movement that have adapted local cultures. One of the instances that he gave was that Mormonism as an indigenous movement which is very much American but have penetrated to most part of the world.

During Q&A session, Prof. Simon Chan asked Prof. Roger Hedlund, "You made a distinction between "followers of Christ but not Christians" and "Christians". What’s your criterion/criteria for distinguishing?"

Prof. Roger Hedlund asnwered Prof. Simon Chan, "For example, many of the Hindu do not bother about the dogma like trinity, not quite like evangelicals that some of here might like...we need to be a little patient with some of the dogma...The early followers of Jesus, they were not recognized as ‘Christians’. There was a sociological sampling that there were as many non-Christians in the city Madras as Christian in denominational churches. We are not sure how far they are following Jesus but these are the “churchless Christians”."


reasonable said...

Perhaps the speaker, in his reply to Prof Simon Chan, could have cited Gandhi as one example - of people who love, agree with and seek to follow Jesus' teachings and may even adore Jesus as their supreme model and may even worship Jesus to some extent but who are disappointed with the institutional churches and do not wish to be part of the latter.

Or he could rely on Karl Rahner's "anonymous Christian" as anotehr type of churchless Christians.

To an extent, this is just a different way of usage of language. In a sense, all who follows Christ are Christians, whether or not they belong to any institutional churches.

This means that there could be non-Christians within the institutional churches. Christian in label but not Christian in spirit.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi reasonable,

Good point there.

You did mentioned a lot of "Hindus" but I can't remember their name because never heard of them. After the session, one of my classmates approached him to follow up some questions. Hedlund mentioned Gandhi then.