The Functions of Chinese Ancestral Shrines and Ministry Implications for the Contemporary Chinese Community Surrounding Fairview Park Alliance Church
Doctor of Missiology
Brewster, Elizabeth S.
This is a missiological research done in Yuen Long, Hong Kong. The study is on two groups of people residing in the Fairview Park area and its surrounding villages. The first group is the indigenous villagers that carry with them the Chinese Ancestral Shrine culture. The second group is the community of Fairview Park Alliance Church.
The study seeks to answer three research questions covering the cultural significance of the Chinese Ancestral Shrine, the reasons why Fairview Park Alliance Church grows, and the functions and values of the Chinese Ancestral Shrine that are relevant to the ministry of the Fairview Park Alliance Church.
The study has employed multiple research methods, including participant observation, interviews, focus groups, and questionnaire.
The study concludes that the foundational base for the ancestral shrine culture is the extended kinship structure. However, the importance of the kinship relationship among the indigenous villagers has decreased sharply among the younger generation. The nuclear family replaced the extended village family as the most important kinship relationship. The main application of the research is to build the Fairview Park Alliance Church into the household of God in the eyes of her people, relevant in religious, social and cultural senses. The Christian faith must be the common uniting factor for the members. The church, together with a community center, can become the center of the Fairview Park and thus fulfill some of the functions of the ancestor shrine in a traditional village.
Mentor: Elizabeth S. Brewster
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