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3144 Edition
May 28-June 3, 2012
General Assembly News

WCC publishes first biography based on Taiwanese theologian Shoki Coe

Reported by Chiou Kuo-rong

Written by Lydia Ma

The World Council of Churches (WCC) recently published its first biographical work and it chose to tell the life story of the first President of Tainan Theological College and Seminary, Rev. Shoki Coe. This biography was written by Rev. Jonah Chang and translated by Rev.Hsiao Cheng-fen, both had been students of Shoki Coe himself.

This is the first time the WCC has endeavored to publish a biography. The fact that it should select Shoki Coe as the recipient of its first biography demonstrates the influence and legacy of Shoki Coe in theological education, and the ecumenical world’s appreciation of this man.

The PCT is one of the distributors of this book and a book launch meeting was held at PCT headquarter office on May 25, 2012. Pastors invited to this meeting noted that Shoki Coe’s “un-resigned theology” was instrumental in shaping PCT’s outreach ministries, especially its involvement in politics and its prophetic role in political issues.

PCT General Assembly Moderator and Yushan Theological College and Seminary’s President Rev. Pusin Tali described Shoki Coe as a pastor with “deep sensibilities”, especially with regards to being a Taiwanese and being a Christian. Because of his sensibility in these two areas, he had a prophetic gift. “I would like to empathize that he wasn’t a mere theologian, he was more like an educator whose expertise was theology.”

Pusin Tali added that one of the ways in which Shoki Coe acted on what he believed was his resistance against the autocratic government of Taiwan, which he saw constantly oppressing Taiwanese people. His bravery left a lasting impression on the PCT and encouraged this church to become a voice of opposition during the martial law era.

Shoki Coe underscored that theology should not be frozen in history or stuck in the past, instead, it should always be evolving and relevant to the times and cultures we live in. His famous “un-resigned theology” was key in making Tainan Theological College and Seminary one of the leading academic institutions of Southeast Asia.

Tainan Seminary President Wang Chong-yao said that in order for the gospel to take root in Taiwan, it must always be in conversation with Taiwanese society. “We can see a bit of Shoki Coe’s spirit in every PCT public statement,” he said, adding that these statements illustrated what it means to take sides with the marginalized people in society.

 

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