Creating Peacemaking Practices for the Churches of the Macau Christian Union: A Doctoral Dissertation

2014, 194 pp
Within the Chinese culture there is an emphasis on needing to establish harmony. This can be harmony with oneself, within the body, with nature, and in one’s personal relationships with others. The Bible, especially in the Old Testament, speaks of God’s Kingdom shalom, in which there is peace and wholeness on different levels of relationships and aspects of life. The concept of peace is also often spoken of in Chinese culture. Although the Chinese idea of harmony and peace is not identical to the Biblical shalom, there is some overlap. Despite the Chinese desire for harmony and peace, there is often conflict in the culture—conflict at all levels of relationships—as well as in the Chinese church. Given the importance of “saving face” and maintaining good relationships, the Chinese church must find a way to be sensitive to the culture as well as to the truths in Scripture as it seeks to resolve conflict and develop peacemaking practices, especially in the church.

This research seeks to address the issue of peace and peacemaking in the Protestant churches of the Macau Christian Union of Macau, China. After giving an introduction and outlining what is to be researched in chapter 1, chapter 2 deals with how peace, conflict and peacemaking is understood in the Chinese Culture, the Bible, the Church more generally, and the Chinese church in particular. Chapter 3 looks at the pre and post-colonial contexts of Macau and the Protestant church there. Chapter 4 describes the research methods used. Chapter 5 outlines the findings of the research. Finally, along with developing a theological framework from which to begin thinking more about reconciliation and relationships, Chapter 6 gives recommendations for the Macau Christian Union as to how its member churches might begin to develop peacemaking practices that help resolve conflict as well as create a culture of peace in the church.

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