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Mission in Asia

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Published Date : 2020-02-05
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Interreligious Dialogue in Asia: A look at the past to understand the future


By: Benoit Vermander, SJ

Over the last decades interreligious dialogue in Asia has faced some tough challenges. Even though many religious leaders, organizations and thinkers have been working constructively and efficaciously, at the popular level religions often limit themselves to coexisting rather than engaging in dialogue and collaboration. Besides, tensions and conflicts, both short- and long-term, continue to be all too frequent. Two reasons explain the difficulties that are faced in this field. First, conflicts are very rarely “simply” religious: they are generally mixed with... Read More

Aggiornamento of the Chinese Catholic Church


By: Thierry Meynard, SJ

China has accomplished much in recent decades with huge social, economic and political transformations. However, the challenges faced by the local Catholic Church are not vanishing. All kinds of difficulties continue to constrain the growth of the Chinese Catholic Church, forcing it to adapt its own framework and to produce new responses. In the midst of this moving and tormented context, many voices from the Church and beyond constantly arise to offer analyses, to suggest practical guidelines or even to... Read More

Fan Shouyi: The first Chinese person to tell of the West 


By: Thierry Meynard, SJ

Many people are familiar with European missionaries like Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) who served as cultural bridges between China and the West. Not only did they bring Western knowledge and Christianity to China, translating with Chinese literati important works of philosophy, theology and science. They also brought knowledge of China to the West, through letters, reports, books about China, and notably through their Latin translation of the Confucian books in the “Confucius Sinarum Philosophus” (1687). In the last 30 years, scholarship... Read More

Mission in Secularized Japan


By: Shun'ichi Takayanagi, SJ

Analyzing the Japanese words used to indicate the concept of “mission” may help to better facilitate understanding of what mission should be, the perception of which has become even more acute over the last 50 years. In fact, every definition entails a model or a paradigm of how to carry out a missionary activity. Vatican Council II introduced a change in the paradigm of mission and how to carry it out. Our aim here is to offer a contribution on... Read More

Silence: Interview with Martin Scorsese


By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

It was March 3 when I rang the doorbell at the Scorsese home in New York. It was a cold day but bright. It was 1 p.m. I was welcomed into the kitchen, like in a family. I was asked if I wanted a good cup of coffee. \"Italiano,\" is added. I accept. I was cold. I arrived at the Scorsese home a bit early and had preferred to wait circling the block. The idea of a warm cup of... Read More

Catholicism in 21st Century China


By: You Guo Jiang, SJ

Christianity first came to China over one thousand years ago but it did not last long. Alopen, a Syrian monk, introduced Nestorian Christianity in the Tang Dynasty and founded several monasteries and churches. Nestorian Christianity reemerged in the Mongol era in the early 14th century. Nestorian Christianity declined in China substantially in the mid-14th century. Roman Catholicism in China grew at the expense of the Nestorians during the late Yuan dynasty. Franciscan Bishop John of Montecorvino began his evangelization mission... Read More

The Mission in 17th-Century China


By: Nicolas Standaert, SJ

Republished on 05 Aug 2019 The mission in China in the 17th century still draws the attention of many scholars, such as historians of science, theologians and missiologists today. This mission, which in the first hundred years was predominantly led by the Jesuits, was noteworthy in several regards: the Jesuit missionaries adopted a policy of accommodation to Chinese culture: they evangelized, they propagated indirectly by using European science and technology, and adopted an attitude of toleration toward Confucian values and rites.... Read More

Important Figures of the Early Church in China: The Role of Christian Communities


By: Nicolas Standaert, SJ

About 50 years ago George H. Dunne, SJ wrote a successful book on the story of the Jesuits in China in the early seventeenth century, which he entitled Generation of Giants. Like many mission histories he focused on well-known missionaries, such as Matteo Ricci, and showed how they influenced the development of Christianity in China. But who are the giants in mission history and what influence did they exercise? In this article I will focus on a neglected aspect of... Read More