From the Publisher
Henry Rowold in "Missiology": "Already in 1957, the German missiologist Georg Vicedom called the story of the Christian church among the original inhabitants of Taiwan one of the amazing facts of our times.... This book gives an in-depth and comprehensive look at those amazing factsthe best this reviewer is aware of.
Consistent with Covell's other writings, this book is characterized by a rigorous sifting of a wide range of sources, balanced judgment and a very inviting presentation. Beyond that, this book also incorporates and reflects much of the author's life work and ministry (some twenty years of itineration and translation among the tribal groups of which he writes), which appears both in rich anecdotal background and also in his feeling of partnership with those tribal peoples.
Covell uses the sweep of history to organize the bewildering variety of data from pre-history to the seventeenth-century Dutch settlement, the Ming and Qing immigrations from the Chinese mainland, Japanese occupation and the earlier and present contexts of the Republic of China. Interspersed in that framework are introductions to the various tribal groups, their cultural traditions and their interaction (active or passive) with succeeding dominant groups (Chinese and Japanese). The primary story, however, is the explosive growth of the Christian church among those peoples. Covell's personal involvement in the movement and his knowledge of many of its leaders allow him to tell the story of the church itself, with missionaries as supporting rather than dominating players....
This is a masterful book. As a capstone of Covell's life-long ministry among those tribal peoples, it radiates integrity and conviction. As a context for the challenges still facing those Christians, especially the intensifying pressures for them to assimilate into the dominant Han culture of Taiwan, this book provides helpful guidance. As a reflection on underlying missiological issues, it is an insightful rewarding resource for all living and working among people groups, reached or unreached."
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Foreword by Dr. Arthur F. Glasser, Dean Emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Mission: "The many rich details woven into this story come from firsthand observations and faithful archival research, portraying a mission work which could be held up as a representative model of missionary service in the second half of the 20th century. There are many educational possibilities latent in this book. Missions professors or missions directors in a local church could use it as foundational to a course examining what missionary work is about for this record contains the basic components of the typical missionary situation. History and politics, cultural diversity, cooperation and fragmentation between church agencies all constitute the context in which the gospel challenges the spiritual realities of restless peoples around the world."
What People are saying about this
From the Publisher
Dr. Jean-Paul Wiest, Center for Mission Research, Maryknoll Society: "Most existing studies on Protestant Christianity in Taiwan pay little attention to its original inhabitants or, when they do, focus in a narrow way on one particular group. The most remarkable contribution of this book is to draw our attention to all the non-Han Chinese people of Taiwan. It is a beautiful tapestry, presenting their traditional religious beliefs, customs, practices and cosmology as it traces the origin and development of Protestant Christianity among them."
Dr. David C.M. Lai, General Secretary, Bible Society, Taiwan: "Dr. Covell is the most suitable scholar to write this mission history for he worked many years as a missionary in Taiwan where he devoted himself to aboriginal ministry and gained rich experience and knowledge. Even more than this he has returned to Taiwan every summer to continue to help in Taroku Bible translation."