The Dutch Reformed Church on Formosa: Missionary and Civic Calvinism in a Colonial Context (1626-1662)
This research focuses on the missionary, educational and social-ecclesiastical activities of the Dutch Reformed Church on Formosa. It offers a description based on both church and colonial records of how the Dutch Reformed mission established itself on Formosa under VOC dominion. It offers an analysis of how and why the Dutch Reformed Church became accepted within the civil communities of both the colonial settlement and the aboriginal population. As such it will also pay attention to indigenous motives to allow Dutch missionary activities, and forms of acceptance and resistance.
The research analysis will be done in conjunction with two important broader contexts: the characters of missionary Calvinism in Southeast Asia, and the place of overseas Civic Calvinism in its colonial contexts (with special historiographical reference to Early Modern Europe situations). Attention will be given to other colonial settlements where Calvinism was also practiced, in particular Indonesia (Maluku and Batavia), in order to develop a comparative historical perspective.
This research explores recently discovered archives of the Formosan Reformed Church in Jakarta, and intends to contribute to debates on the religious aspects of VOC expansion in Asia. Its ultimate aim is to establish better views on early modern church history in Formosa with the help of new materials.