Online Event




  • Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Online Platform:

Cooperation Partner:

  • University of Saint Joseph

Video Link:

Online Registration:


  • 18:30 to 20:00


  • Free


  • English


  • Macao Foundation (澳門基金會)



Sonja Xia, Assistant professor of the Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy, USJ

Sonja Hui Xia works as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy at the University of St. Joseph, Macau. She has obtained her Ph.D. in theology from K.U.Leuven, Belgium on the light imagery in Gregory of Nyssa’s Spiritual Theology. Her present research focuses on the formation of doctrines in the early Church and cross-cultural exchange and Christianity.



Church Fathers have modelled for us Christian life in their holiness, shaped the teachings of the Church in their writings, and coined the doctrines in their relentless defence of the faith. We can never over-estimate the importance of Church Fathers to the Church. Now Covid-19 has brought new challenges to the world. At the time of crisis, we find Church Fathers again a source of inspiration. Having faced natural threats, social conflicts, political turmoils, and ecclesiastical chaos, Christians in the Early Church knew very well the normality of vicissitudes in life. Yet Church Fathers did not succumb to afflictions in their lives, but took them as a channel to deepen their spiritual relationship with God. Gregory of Nyssa, one of the Cappadocian Fathers living in the 4th century, is especially so. Gregory may not be well-known traditionally, but is undoubtedly one of the most discussed Church Fathers in theology since the 20th century. He has inspired theologians to ground theology on God’s unknowability, the great mystery, and the power of faith. Though saying nothing about pandemics, how he stood on God’s utter unknowability to formulate man’s mystical relationship with God can offer us insightful spiritual reflections on the present crisis. The upcoming lecture will lead you into Gregory’s offering of the spiritual life and read the pandemic crisis in that mystical light.