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Taiwan Catholic Consciousness: Postcolonial Effects on Catholics’ Perceived Identities and Perceptions of Chinese-Language Media Bias
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In late 2018, the Vatican chose to formally recognize China, which allowed China more control of the Catholic Church in China. This decision strained already tenuous relations between China and Taiwan, because previously the Vatican only recognized Taiwan. Taiwan Catholics felt divided over the issue, which is not surprising given Taiwan’s history of colonizations. This mixed method, interdisciplinary study seeks to redress a bias in Western scholarship that tends to perpetuate Eurocentrism, by emphasizing Asia-based histories and ideas. Method: I traveled to Taiwan to perform qualitative, Mandarin Chinese-language fieldwork with local collaborators from Fu Jen Catholic University and the Catholic Archdiocese of Taipei. I used a quantitative survey in traditional Mandarin Chinese to measure to what extent Taiwan Catholics’ personal identities as Taiwanese and Catholics correlate with attitudes toward the Beijing-Vatican deal. Finally, with consideration for how religious and postcolonial biases may influence people’s perceptions of media, this study provides empirical insight on theoretical arguments of postcolonialism. By examining attitudes of Taiwanese Catholics towards media, this study explores how religious development requires context of culture.