Heritage and the Politics of Culture
In May 2015, the Festival on Taiwanese Romanization was held in Tainan to celebrate the 130th anniversary of ‘Tai-oan-hu-sian Kau-hoe-po’ or ‘Taiwan Prefectural City Church News,’ which was published by Rev. Thomas Barclay in Romanized Peh-oe-ji. Peh-oe-ji literally means ‘the scripts of vernacular speech,’ which was introduced into Taiwan by Western missionaries in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was also called ‘Tai-oan-ji’ or ‘the scripts of Taiwan’ nowadays. Rev. Thomas Barclay was originally from Scotland. He had served as an important missionary for 60 years (1875-1935) in Taiwan. His major contributions includes 1) founder of Tainan Theological College and Seminary, the first college in Taiwan, 2) publisher of Taiwan Prefectural City Church News, the first newspaper in Taiwan, 3) founder of Chu-tin-tong (nowadays, Taiwan Church Press), 4) Bible translations in Taiwanese, and 5) supplement to Dictionary of the Amoy Colloquial Language. The purpose of this paper aims to survey the contributions of Rev. Thomas Barclay to the Taiwan’s cultural enlightenment and written Taiwanese movement from the perspective of sociolinguistics and history.