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 and what they may require for a radical rethinking of the mission in support of God’s people. As the infections and death statistics indicate from day to day, the enormity of the catastrophe becomes more evident. 

The 2021 Symposium will take place during the Ignatian Jubilee Year which remembers the conversion Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) the founder of the Society of Jesus experienced when he was wounded by a cannon’s explosion in Pamplona 500 years ago as well as the 400th anniversary of the canonization of Ignatius of Loyola with his friend Francis Xavier (1506-1552). This fact makes it especially appropriate that we rethink the key terms of “metanoia”, a profound spiritual transformation, as well as holiness and the mission of “helping souls”. The exceptional witness of faith of the Jesuit saints will be explored in light of both collective successes and failures of mission particularly in Asia. 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 mutual respect in Asia. We recognize the truth of Pope Francis’ insights spelled out in his letters Laudato Si’ (2015) and Fratelli Tutti (2020) putting the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church such as Solidarity, Subsidiarity and orientation towards the Common Good within the context of the modern world. Moreover, the Symposium aims to challenge its participants to explore a journey of faith and justice which involves a spiritual transformation, based on interreligious dialogue and collaboration, efforts at mutual understanding, and an appreciation of all the world’s wisdom traditions. We hope to honour the Ignatian Jubilee Year by exploring the following questions:

  • What do the terms “solidarity”, “subsidiarity” and “Common Good” mean in the context of Asian contemporary societies and cultures?
  • How has the pandemic impacted Ignatian spirituality or impacted the practices based in this spirituality?
  • How can the pandemic become an opportunity to reconnect to spiritual transformation and holiness?
  • 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 and holiness developed in different wisdom traditions?
  • Which are the new accountability structures needed to avoid predatory abuse of power?
  • 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 China’s “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 can examples of Asian leadership become a driver of spiritual transformation and holiness? 

We hope that this invitation will stimulate your own thinking and galvanize your own willingness to join us for the Symposium in October 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 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 on 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 January 2022.


Submission Dates

Please submit papers or an abstract including three key points of about 700-900 words for consideration to Mr. Brian Chao, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by 31 July 2021. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by 31 August 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 30 September 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

Stephan Rothlin

Thierry Meynard