《神州交流》Chinese Cross Currents
Established in 1999 at the time of the Macau handover to direct Chinese administration, the Macau Ricci Institute, faithful to the purpose of its foundation, has decided to start the publication of a bilingual Chinese-English quarterly: Chinese Cross Currents ( Shenzhou Jiaoliu ).
The crossing of cultural currents between China and the West originated in Macau at the time of the European Renaissance. Yet, these contacts and exchanges between various European countries and China have faced many and well-known impediments. The language barrier, although overcome by some brilliant personalities early on, was not the only one. Different worldviews and understandings of the meaning of human life were at stake, which to all appearances made mutual comprehension and, above all, appreciation all the more difficult.
In the twentieth century, the end of Imperial China was followed by an unstable Republican era, and ultimately the chaos of civil war and World War II. Overshadowed by the Cold War power game, the revolutionary birth of contemporary China did not put an end to confrontation in domestic and world affairs. With the policies and principles of reform and opening to the outside world advocated by Deng Xiaoping, things have been changing gradually for the past 25 years, mostly for the better and at a more rapid pace at the turn of the century. The accession of China to the World Trade Organization bears witness to the intensification of exchanges between China and the rest of the world. But exchanges are not exclusively commercial, and more often than not lack the communicational dimension that information per se is unable to foster. Chinese Cross Currents wishes to contribute to these exchanges and to offer a new platform 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.
When one speaks of culture, one thinks first of such domains as literature, visual arts, music, poetry, dance, theatre, cinema, dress codes, social customs or religious traditions. Yet all of these are only manifestations of culture. What matters in culture is foremost the human perception of and response to our experience of living as these many facets of culture try to express it. Are we able to receive and to correctly interpret their message?
As such, through its Chinese and foreign contributors, Chinese Cross Currents intends to help its readers in discerning and critically evaluating important issues in China's contemporary culture and in its interaction with the world, where different societies are facing similar issues and challenges. It is a matter of fact: many have already observed that our present day world appears to be in a living contradiction. The recent development of new technologies has led it to enter, with many economical and political difficulties, into a new degree of globalisation. Yet, at the same time, the search for cultural roots and the stress on cultural specificity become all the more intense. That is why cross-cultural exchanges are becoming, nowadays, all the more difficult, yet meaningful and important.
In other words, Chinese Cross Currents will present to its readers, in China and abroad, how different currents of thought express themselves in Chinese society. It will also try to observe how foreign perceptions of contemporary world culture interact with Chinese society and its currents of thought.
To achieve its aims, this new publication will partly be the fruit of research and activities done by the Institute, its members and friends. Its pages are open to original contributions and to translations into Chinese or English as a place where various currents of thought and ideals in China and abroad continue to cross and critically stimulate each other towards a broader understanding of our time.
Chinese Cross Currents, thanks to its Editorial Board, intends to be at the same time inter-disciplinary and thematic, scholarly and yet concerned with the needs of society, serious in content and attractive in its layout.
We are confident that Chinese Cross Currents will be a valuable platform for all.