in Notice
21. 02. 09
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The Macau Ricci Institute’s Symposium for 2021 aims at drawing philosophers, theologians, business people, scholars and key opinion leaders with a strong interest in Asian cultures together to discuss the impact of the multiple interrelated crises of the past year and what they may require for a radical rethinking of the mission in support of God’s people. As the infections and death statistics increase from day to day, the enormity of the catastrophe becomes more evident. The world and all its peoples are facing multiple interrelated crises, and not just in health care, the likes of which have not been seen since the influenza pandemic of a century ago, and similar disasters.  It is hoped that by October 2021, we can reunite to survey the damage, comfort the grieving, and plot a path forward for renewing our mission.


The 2021 Symposium will take place during the Ignatian Jubilee focused on the memory of the deep conversion Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) the founder of the Society of Jesus experienced when he was wounded by a cannon explosion in Pamplona 500 years ago as well as the 400th anniversary of the canonization of Ignatius Loyola with his friend Francis Xavier (1506-1552). This fact makes it especially appropriate that we rethink the key term of “metanoia”, a profound spiritual transformation, holiness and the mission of “helping souls” in the larger history of the world over these centuries. We can no longer honour Ignatius Loyola and his companions simply by celebrating the successes of Jesuits and their friends in Asia and the Americas surveying the field once known as “foreign missions.”  But their exceptional witness should also be explored in light of both collective successes and failures of mission.

The work of the Macau Ricci Institute has sought to honour the memory of Matteo Ricci and his successors by exploring the constant search for dialogue and respect with China. We recognize the truth of Pope Francis’ observations, clearly spelled out in Laudato Si’ (2015) and Fratelli Tutti (2020) that the paradigm shift in working toward the goals outlined in Catholic Social Teaching and embedded in a journey of faith and justice cannot be faced effectively apart from a deep spiritual transformation, based on interreligious dialogue and collaboration, sincere efforts at mutual understanding, and a critical appreciation of all the world’s wisdom traditions. We hope to honour the Ignatian Jubilee by exploring possible contributions to interreligious dialogue and collaboration. Specifically, we hope to explore the following questions:


  • What do the terms “solidarity” and “subsidiarity” mean in the context of Asian contemporary societies and cultures?
  • How are we to define the term “mission” within a context of dialogue with other wisdom traditions particularly in the context of Asia?
  • How is the concept of spiritual transformation developed in different wisdom traditions?
  • Which are the new accountability structures needed to achieve a realistic level of solidarity through subsidiarity?
  • How can education be transformed from a privilege for the few to a service toward the common good?
  • How can contemplation as a way to God become more mission and dialogue oriented?
  • How can the “Belt & Road Initiative” foster a sense of dialogue and mutual appreciation in the midst of trade frictions and increasing distrust among nations?
  • How should the paradigm shift in economics from profit maximization towards an orientation to the common good be implemented in practical and comprehensive strategies for reconstructing the global system of social interrelationships? How could Asia become a driver of such a paradigm shift?


We hope that this invitation will stimulate your own thinking and galvanize your own willingness to join us for this important MRI Symposium in 2021.


Brief for Submissions

With this call for papers we invite submissions that bring together theory and practice, research studies and case-based papers that could advance the discussion of how, in all honesty, we are to rethink our mission in light of what each of us has learned from the COVID-19 crisis. We welcome empirical studies that explore communities and practices grounded in alternative economic models, as well as conceptual papers of interreligious—as well as interdisciplinary—dialogues that may help bring a new approach to fulfilling the vision of the Common Good, and to the world’s growing demands for social and economic justice, especially among those who feel they have been left behind.


Empirical studies should be supported by rigorous qualitative or quantitative data analysis. Conceptual work should be clearly grounded in the existing literature. Practitioner papers are welcomed to contribute to our understanding of effective teaching and learning, through research, reports and case studies that address any of the questions suggested here, or others that they believe should be addressed.


Submitted papers should have the potential to make a significant contribution both to action oriented educational and academic literature and provide specific recommendations for practical actions by governments, NGOs and companies.


Accepted papers for the Symposium will be considered for publication in the Macau Ricci Institute Journal issue number 9 which should be ready by 31 July 2021.


Submission Dates

Please submit papers or an abstract including three key points of about 600-800 words for consideration to Mr. Brian Chao, at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by 31 March 2021. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by 27 April 2021, and at that time will be given a “Style Sheet” with instructions, on the length of the paper of 1800 - 2000 English words, formatting, the use of APA guidelines, and other technical details. The deadline for final papers is 31 July 2021. The Symposium will welcome participants at the Ilha Verde Campus of the University of Saint Joseph while also encouraging participants across the globe to join our Symposium through ZOOM.


Academic Committee

Jaroslaw Duraj

Alvaro Barbosa

Jenny Lao-Philips

Franz Gassner

Dennis McCann

Roderick O’Brien

Mike Thompson

Zhou Shoujin

Yang Hengda

Stephan Rothlin

Thierry Meynard