Center for the Study of Christian Thought
The Center for the Study of Christian Thought (CSCT) studies and researches Christian thought, a main body of Christian Studies, focusing on the Protestant tradition beginning with the Reformation and emphasizing the Reformed theology.
The origin of Reformed theology is the theology of John Calvin (1509-1564) which was formed during the Swiss Reformation at Geneva, and was named after the characteristic of being reformed according to the Word of God. John Calvin’s theology is not only an original model for doing theology, but also the best and most abundant historical source for researchers in the history of Christian thought.
For instance, almost all major modern German speaking theologians are Reformed; these include the greatest theologian F.D.E. Schleiermacher (1768-1834) of the 19th century, Karl Barth (1886-1968), the great theologian of the 20th century and his opponent Emil Brunner (1889-1966), and the most well-known contemporary theologian Jürgen Moltmann (1926-). In America, was the preeminent pre-Revolutionary theologian Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758); in the 20th century, Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) and H. Richard Niebuhr (1894-1962) were significant Reformed theologians who cannot be neglected in any study of Christian thought.
In our opinion a crucial challenge in Reformed theology has been to maintain the focus on a historically-informed commitment to reform that is dynamic and creative without becoming conservative, static, or resistant to change. Therefore, the theology we are pursuing is a theology being continuously reformed, a “theology of reform.” And Calvin’s theology remains a good model for reform, especially as it has been augmented or revised by others.
Moreover, the formation of any thought must have been produced in its social conditions and historical background. Apart from this, there must be a sequential development and inner logic of its own. In correspondence to inner cohesion, there is a need for two directions of historical research: one, in the direction of intellectual history and the other, in the direction of social history.
Contemporary historical study often focuses on social history, but a comprehensive research direction should include the collaboration of the two approaches.
Taking Calvin Studies as an example, intellectual history may learn from social history research: one, how to interpret Calvin’s theology with reference to real life, thus guarding against dogmatization and hagiography, and two, how to observe the Reformation from the perspective of the social movements in the 16th century, which were in turn connected to the Renaissance of the 15th century and the Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries. Together, these related movements formed a process of awakening that development around ideas of humanism, religious conscience and reason, paving the road for Locke’s idea of human rights, hence opening the door for the democratization of modern societies.
Dimensions of the Study
Our research focuses primarily on three dimensions of Christian thought.
1. Thought dimension- stresses on the thought dimension explored in the history of thought, advocating broad exploration of the core propositions and peripheral ideas, substantial connotation and cultural forms, and mainstream values and related views in Christian thought.
2. Social dimension- considers the importance of the social dimension in a concrete historical context of Christian thought, emphasizing the social influence on and of thought.
3. Contextual dimension- emphasizes the study of Christian thought that is undertaken in the context, reception of influence in the context, continues dialogues with the context, and their application to the context.
The Center for the Study of Contextual Theology
The Center for the Study of Christian Ethics
The Center for Theological Inquiry of Urban Aborigines
The Center for the Study of John Calvin’s Theology
The Center for the Study of Homiletics
The Center for Empirical Science and Theology
- Coordination and integration of directions and resources for academic research
- Networking for academic cooperation
- Sponsorship of academic conferences
- Promotion of study plans
- Publication of academic periodicals
- Setting up plans for academic exchanges for Mackay Scholars
Lin, Hong-hsin（Tübingen, Dr. theol.; Nottingham, Ph.D.）
Cheng, Yang-en（Princeton, Ph.D.）
Tsan, Tsong-sheng（Humboldt, Dr.theol.）
Chen, Shang-jen（Princeton, Ph.D.）
Wang, Jung-chang（Lancaster, Ph.D.）
Wu, Chung-che（Knox College, Th.D.）
Hsu, Wan-lin（Sheffield, Ph.D.）
Tsai, Tzu-lun（Drew, Ph.D.）
Seitz, Jonathan Andrew (Princeton, Ph.D.)
Tsai, Wei-min (Fu-Jen, Ph.D.)
Chiu, Kai-li（Princeton, Ph.D.）
Lai, Hung-chuan（Union, Richmond, Ph.D.）
Goh, Meng-hun（Vanderbilt, Ph.D.）
Sun, Po-ling（SBTS, Ph.D.）
Chang, Chi-wei（North-West, Ph.D.）
Correspondent in America
Lin, Shi-yang（Pittsburgh, S.T.M.）
Correspondent in Canada
CSCT is a non-profit Christian organization which welcomes contributions from churches and individuals. We sincerely invite you- the body in Christ – to pray for our ministry and to give us financial support as individuals, churches, or groups.
Address: No. 20, Lane 2, Sec. 2, Yangde Blvd., Shilin District, Taipei City 111, Taiwan