MRI Forum 2

Official Launching of

The quarterly journal of the Macau Ricci Institute

Chinese Cross Currents is a new bi-lingual (Chinese-English) publication, where contemporary currents of thought in the various fields of today's Chinese society and culture express themselves and are presented, in the Chinese world and abroad, to a wide readership.

The launching has been followed by an MRI Forum on

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004, at 6:00 PM

Topic: "Chinese Religious Traditions in Contemporary China"

Speaker: Professor Michael Saso, California State University

Language: English  
Transcript: to view

Summary of the Presentation

The special dossier offered to its readers by the inaugural issue of Chinese Cross Currents , is entitled "Culture and Religion." It is made of several articles, where the authors reflect on the importance of spiritual quest in the modernisation process of China.

Professor Saso, based on his extensive studies, academic research and field work on the various religious traditions of China (mainly liturgical and monastic Taoism, plus Buddhist meditation schools) will present his observations and reflections to the interested audience.

In contemporary China, how are these precious spiritual and religious traditions preserved and developed? Do they differ or are there any points of similarity with non-Chinese spiritual quests?

Profile of the Speaker

Prof. Michael Saso, Ph.D., born in Oregon, USA, is a Catholic priest. He received his education mainly in California where he did postgraduate studies in Philosophy and Anthropology. As early as 1955, he engaged himself in Chinese Studies, first in Taiwan, studies joined with research in Theology and Anthropology, and later in the Ateneo de Manila and Yale University in the USA. He did Doctoral Research in Classical Chinese at Kyoto University, and in 1971 obtained a Doctorate from London University, School of Oriental Studies with a dissertation on Taoism and Chinese Religion, published in 1972. He has held various teaching positions, particularly at the University of Hawaii, where up to the present he is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Religious Studies. He has also been Visiting Professor in the Religion Department of Yale University (1978), Japan Foundation Scholar (1986-1988), and Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in Beijing (1990-1995). From 1992 to the present, he has been the director of various Chinese language and culture programs, in Beijing and China.



Director, Institute of Asian Studies, Beijing;


The Beijing Center for Language & Culture;


Director, Advanced Asian Language and Research Institute, Monterey, Beijing, Lhasa, Kyoto (see )

Research in Tibet, 1992-2004 (up to the present).

His books are:


Taoism and the Rite of Cosmic Renewal, Pullman, 1972.


Chuanglin Hsu Taotsang (25 volume supplement to the Taoist Canon), Taipei, 1975.


Buddhist and Taoist Studies, I, Honolulu, 1976.


The Teachings of Taoist Master Chuang, New haven, Yale Univ. press, 1978.


Dokyo Hiketsu Shusei (A Manual of Taoist Esoterica), Tokyo, 1979.


Video production (NBC): Taoist Ritual (1980); Tantric Buddhist Ritual (1981).


Video production (NBC): Korean Shaman (1983); Chinese New Year in Hawaii (1984).


Penguin Handbook of Living Religions, China chapters, J., Hinnells, edit. 1984/92.


Blue Dragon White Tiger (Chinese Rites of Passage), Honolulu, UH Press, 1990.


Tantric Art and Meditation, Honolulu, UH press, 1990.


The Agni Hottri Fire Rite, Delhi, Pratitya Press (Lokesh Chandra), 1991.


A Taoist Cookbook, Boston, Tuttle Press, 1995.


Gold Pavilion (Taoist Meditation), Boston, Tuttle Press, 1996.


Velvet Bonds (The Chinese Family) Honolulu, UH Press, 1999.


Zen is for Everybody (Zhi Yi's Xiaozhiguan text), Honolulu, UH Press, 2000.


Life and Death in the Sky. Sacred People, Places, and Art of Tibet (in press).


Mystic, Shaman, Oracle, Priest. A Study on Comparative Mysticism (in press).