Coming Symposium

Symposium 2018:

Exploring The Silk Road Economic Belt And The 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road: The Challenge Of Cross-Cultural Exchange And Communication

Symposium

Main Themes

  • China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (B&R), announced in 2013, has clearly become a major focus for the country’s efforts to sustain and further develop cooperative relationships with its neighbours near and far, and to work out mutually beneficial policies of economic development for Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Date:

  • 22-23 November 2018

Location:

  • University of Saint Joseph, Macau (Ilha Verde Campus)
  • Road Map

Languages:

  • English & Chinese

Abstracts:

TDM interviews of this Symposium

Introduction

China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (B&R), announced in 2013, has clearly become a major focus for the country’s efforts to sustain and further develop cooperative relationships with its neighbours near and far, and to work out mutually beneficial policies of economic development for Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Most of the public discussion so far has focused on infrastructure development, that is, construction projects particularly aimed at facilitating communications, travel, and international trade. Yet the “B&R” also intends to promote greater appreciation of China’s own cultural and religious diversity, respect for its neighbours’ cultural achievements, and a realization of cultural values that we share through our common humanity. The “B&R”, quite properly, appeals to the historic legacy of the Silk Road, which for millennia provided opportunities for the exchange, not only of goods and services, but also of ideas as well as spiritual and religious practices, and engagement with the peoples who cherished them. Indeed, save for Daoism, China’s indigenous wisdom tradition, all its other spiritual and religious communities—Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism—first found a home in China along the Silk Road.

Quite appropriately, the Macau Ricci Institute’s (MRI) hopes to make a significant contribution to the “B&R”. The work of Fr. Ricci and his companions itself is a significant part of the Silk Road legacy, and the friendship that Matteo Ricci enjoyed with China’s scholars and officials is extended even today through MRI’s mission. MRI therefore is dedicating its third annual November Conference, in 2018, to exploring the cultural aspects of the Silk Road legacy.

Each of the three dimensions of the MRI mission provides an opportunity for such exploration:

• The comparative appreciation of spirituality will enable Conference participants to present and analyse the history of the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities in China, and the way these have formed bridges of understanding internationally.

• An understanding of how social innovation occurred as a result of the Silk Road can shed a welcome light on the challenges and opportunities that today’s innovators may face, encouraged by the remembrance of China’s deep history of engagement with its neighbours.

• The exercise of moral leadership within the “B&R” offers many challenges both theoretical and practical. The development of effective teaching and learning programs in international business ethics, a special concern of the MRI and its partners, is indispensable if the goals of the “B&R”, even at the level of economic development, are to be realized.

We would encourage submissions for the Conference that promote further discussion and insight of topics related to each of these. For example:

• Studies interpreting the Silk Road’s great religious and cultural artefacts, such as, the Buddhist caves at Dunhuang, the history of Nestorian Christianity, as well as the 16th century Jesuit impact in Beijing, dramatized in the architecture of the Old Summer Palace, “Yuanmingyuan”, as well as the Great Mosque of Xi’an, and Chinese Judaism in Kaifeng. We hope to learn more about how the Silk Road contributed to the development of China’s indigenous spiritual and moral traditions, and vice-versa.

• Analyses of how social innovation occurs through commercial—and thus inevitably cultural—interactions. The history of the Silk Road’s traders and emissaries will help us to understand not only the spread of technological advances, from East to West and vice-versa, but also changes in diet, agricultural practices, finance and local governance, and related areas of interest. The study of social innovation, of course, must be forward looking as well as informed by a realistic understanding of past failures and successes. Therefore, the Conference might also feature discussions of contemporary challenges highlighted by the B&R, for example, the development of intellectual property rights and protocols, the expansion of digital technologies through the internet, the dissemination of promising strategies for mitigating climate change, as well as models of universal health care for rich and poor alike.

• With the prospects for increased economic integration advanced by the “B&R”, the Conference participants might explore the opportunities for mutual learning implicit in pursuing our aspirations for moral leadership. The question of universality or convergence in moral values and ethics, the recognition of a common commitment to the rule of law, the perennial challenge of learning and teaching moral virtues cross-culturally—each of these will surely help to support the exercise of moral leadership in a world transformed by the “B&R”.

This is a preliminary list of topics that might be explored in MRI’s 2018 annual November Conference. The list is by no means exclusive but is meant to suggest a range of concerns that participants might hope to share within the general theme of our Conference.

Organising Institutions

  • The Macau Ricci Institute
  • University of Saint Joseph Macau

Sponsor

  • Macao Foundation (澳門基金會)

22-23 November 2018

Thursday, November 22

Time Subject Location
8:00am - 9:00am REGISTRATION
9:00am - 9:30am

OPENING STATEMENTS

Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang, Diocese of Macau

Rev. Peter Stilwell, Rector, University of St. Joseph

Stephan Rothlin SJ, Director, Macau Ricci Institute

Don Bosco Auditorium
9:30am - 10:30am

KEYNOTE SPEECH

Keynote Speaker: Mike Thompson, Good Brand Company, London, CEO & Visiting Professor of Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria: The Belt and Road Initiative: Opportunities and Challenges

Don Bosco Auditorium
10:30am - 11:00am Coffee/Tea and Group Picture
11:00am - 12:30pm

FIRST PLENARY SESSION: Comments on the Various Dimensions of the Belt & Road Initiative

Moderator: Stephen Morgan, Dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies, University of Saint Joseph

Jenny Elmaco, Silliman University: Filipina Entrepreneurs Navigating the B&R

Roderick O’Brien, University of South Australia: Attributes of Moral Leadership

Jaroslaw Duraj SJ, Macau Ricci Institute: Rethinking Chinese Ecumene in the Global Age

Don Bosco Auditorium
12:30pm - 2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm - 3:30pm

SECOND PLENARY SESSION: Cultural and Historical Dimensions

Moderator: Dennis McCann, Rothlin Ltd., Dumaguete

Pingzhen Hu, United Nations Development Program, Beijing: Leaving from Macau: Coolie Migration and the Fate of a Trading Port

Cristina Osswald, University of Porto/ Macau Ricci Institute: Jesuit Painting in China under the Ming

Michelle Anderson, Seattle University, Painting Spiritual Friendship: Castiglione and the Kangxi Emperor

Don Bosco Auditorium
3:30pm – 4:15pm Coffee/Tea Kent Wong Exhibition Gallery
4:15pm - 6:00pm

THIRD PLENARY SESSION: Religious Dimensions

Moderator: Dominique Tyl SJ, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Saint Joseph

Yang Hengda, Renmin University of China: The Spiritual Principles Indispensable for B&R Construction

Stephan Rothlin SJ, Macau Ricci Institute: The Function of Catholic Social Teaching for the B&R Initiative

Don Bosco Auditorium

Friday, November 23

Time Subject Location
8:30am - 9:45am

FOURTH PLENARY SESSION: Making the Belt & Road Initiative Work

Moderator: Dominique Tyl SJ, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Saint Joseph

Stephan Rothlin SJ, Macau Ricci Institute: The Function of Catholic Social Teaching for the B&R Initiative

Yang Hengda, Renmin University of China: The Spiritual Principles Indispensable for B&R Construction

Jesse Sargent, New University Lisbon: Old Travellers along the B&R: Christian and Daoist Impressions

Don Bosco Auditorium
9:45am - 10:15am Coffee/Tea
10:15am - 11:30pm

FIFTH PLENARY SESSION: The Global Reach of the B&R Initiative

Moderator: Mike Thompson, Good Brand Company, London

Francis Nwachukwu, University of St. Joseph: Sustainability of the B&R Initiative in Africa

Wah K. Cheng, University of St. Joseph: Belt, Road and Bridges: Liberal Arts Education in the New World Order

Don Bosco Auditorium
11:30pm - 12:15pm

SIXTH PLENARY SESSION ON THE MRI JOURNAL for editors and contributors and concluding remarks

Editorial Team (Stephan Rothlin SJ, Dennis McCann, Mike Thompson, and Mark Pufpaff) will present the recently published issues of the MRI Journal, the processes of its creation, and inform prospective contributors about what to expect in the editorial and peer review processes leading to publication. The session will also provide an opportunity for feedback and constructive criticism on the first issue of the MRI Journal.

Don Bosco Auditorium
12:30pm - 2:00pm Lunch Kent Wong Exhibition Gallery