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Tien Educational Center during Cold War Taiwan: An Oasis of Intellectual Freedom under Authoritarian Regime

At the intersection of Roosevelt and Hsinhai roads of Taipei city, lies a large four story grey concrete building from the early 1960s: the Jesuit-run Tien Educational Center 「耕莘文教院」or TEC……

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ISBN:978-957-29848-6-4


At the intersection of Roosevelt and Hsinhai roads of Taipei city, lies a large four story grey concrete building from the early 1960s: the Jesuit-run Tien Educational Center 「耕莘文教院」or TEC. Few students from the nearby National Taiwan University (NTU) and National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) today are aware that between 1963 and the late 1980s, TEC was one of the few cultural institutions in the Republic of China's (ROC) "capital in exile", which was not fully submitted to the then strict ideological control of the KMT authoritarian regime.

This study is divided into five parts: 1) Taiwan's political and cultural context between 1963 and 1992; 2) the reasons why the Jesuits decided to open TEC in Taipei; 3) the various activities held at TEC during the Cold War and why those activities attracted hundreds of Christian and non-Christian students; 4) the factors which gave the Jesuits running the TEC relative freedom despite the authoritarian regime of the KMT; 5) a report on the involvement of TEC in the movement of transitional justice that followed the end of Taiwan's martial law in 1987 and slowly led to the democratization of Taiwan's political regime.

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