Who's the Boss When East Meets West in the Church?
Yang, Wayne D.
University of Kansas
This item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.
MetadataShow full item record
After twenty-five years of democratic church governance, the Hmong church is resorting to what some Hmong leaders are calling "the Hmong way" of being authoritative. This new definition has caused an upheaval within the church--locally as well as nationally. With the backdrop of emphasis on unity and solidarity to demonstrate its authenticity, divisions are breaking up churches in multiple folds and even within the Hmong District of the denomination itself due to this change. My hypothesis is that this authoritative definition is only a reinvention of "tradition," and "the Hmong way" of governance is to govern by consensus rather than utilizing an authoritative or even democratic style. To ascertain whether this claim is true, I am utilizing the concept of "the invention of tradition" to understand and analyze the tradition or definition of power and authority in the Hmong church throughout its existence. In order to obtain this data, I follow the Hmong church as it has evolved and the different influences in defining power and authority in the church. This involves looking at leadership practices in traditional, indigenous Hmong social systems as well as religious life, and how these practices have been integrated into indigenous churches in Laos. Then, I follow the various definitions of power and authority in the Hmong church, mainly the Hmong District of the C&MA, which also happens to be the largest Hmong Christian denomination, as it encounters various Western and Southeast Asian social and political influences, including its transplantation into the United States. Finally, I compare those with current practices today, and ascertain what factors contribute to the current definition of governance within the Hmong church in America.
- Anthropology Dissertations and Theses 
- Theses 
Items in KU ScholarWorks are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
We want to hear from you! Please share your stories about how Open Access to this item benefits YOU.