Three Years On, The Umbrella Movement’s Religious Tones

Hong Kong activists, from left to right, Nathan Law, Joshua Wong and Alex Chow chant slogans outside the high court before a ruling on a prosecution request for stiffer sentences in Hong Kong, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017.
Hong Kong's "Umbrella Movement" activists, from left to right, Nathan Law, Joshua Wong and Alex Chow chant slogans outside the high court before a ruling on a prosecution request for stiffer sentences in Hong Kong, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Vincent Yu / AP Photo
Hong Kong activists, from left to right, Nathan Law, Joshua Wong and Alex Chow chant slogans outside the high court before a ruling on a prosecution request for stiffer sentences in Hong Kong, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017.
Hong Kong's "Umbrella Movement" activists, from left to right, Nathan Law, Joshua Wong and Alex Chow chant slogans outside the high court before a ruling on a prosecution request for stiffer sentences in Hong Kong, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Vincent Yu / AP Photo

Three Years On, The Umbrella Movement’s Religious Tones

Three years after the participants of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement demanded more democracy from mainland China, the government is cracking down hard on the activists.

Three of the original protesters were jailed in August. But Justin Tse, a professor of Asian American Studies at Northwestern, says Hong Kong civil society is not ready to move on. Tse says that the activists’ ideology is underpinned by an almost religious reckoning. He says that the country’s Western, colonial past, including religious thought, has come in handy for protesters resisting a Chinese colonial present.

Tse, who is the co-author and editor of Theological Reflections on the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement, joins Worldview to discuss the role of religion in shaping democratic ideals among Hong Kong civil society. He will be presenting his work at a free public lecture at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies on Friday, October 13, 2017.