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China, Christianity, and the

Dialogue of Civilizations

28th International Conference of

the US-China Catholic Association

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Keynote Speakers

USCCA was pleased and honored to welcome the following five keynote speakers for our 28th International Conference.

The Board and Officers of the China Association very much appreciate the willingness of various keynote speakers to share their views and expertise with us.

At the same time, we make clear that the views are not our own. In fact, we deliberately invite people with a range of views to speak, so long as they speak in good faith and in a spirit of mutual respect. 

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myron youngman (杨迈
Founder and Director of The Kaifa Group

The opening keynote of the August conference of the US-China Catholic Association featured Myron Youngman, founding President of The Kaifa Group, a catalyst organization known for establishing and facilitating partnerships of service and faith across Asia. The presentation provided an overview of the experiences of unregistered (or “house”) and registered (or Three Self) Protestant churches in China over the last four decades and the changing dynamic between the two. It also touched on the interaction of these churches in China with the rest of Chinese society as well as the Chinese church’s interaction with the international Christian community. The presentation drew heavily from the speaker’s 40 years of personal experiences in both church systems. 

“The Protestant Experience in Post-Mao China”

 
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Ian Johnson (張彦

Journalist, Author, Professor
 

Ian Johnson is Stephen A. Schwarzman senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist who lived in China for more than 20 years. A regular contributor to the New York Times, he is the author of Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in Modern China (Pantheon, 2004) and The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao (Vintage, 2017), and numerous other publications.

 

Before the pandemic struck, Johnson spoke at a USCCA event in Chicago, where he explored recent developments in China’s increasingly restrictive policy on religion. In fact, he argued, whereas religion was once marginalized and all but eliminated from public life, it is now back at the center of Chinese society and politics. The country is awash with new temples, churches, and mosques—as well as cults, sects, and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends. Ironically, the extensive efforts of the party-state to tame and harness religion underscore its centrality.

"Religion in China Today: Back to the Center of State and Society" 
(October 2019)

During his presentation at the conference, Johnson drew on his contacts in China and the latest developments to comment on the place of the Catholic and Protestant communities in society, as well as the impact of government policy on the Church. What difference has Vatican policy made? Is the Chinese Communist Party looking to establish an accord with religion, or to abolish it by force?

“The State's Hand: China's New Religious Policy and the Catholic Church.”
(August 2021)

 
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jamason Chen (陈建中

Clinical Professor of Photojournalism, Manager of Technology, School of Communication, Loyola University Chicago

Chen spoke about internationally acclaimed photographer Lu Nan’s (吕楠) five-year documentary reflection (as seen in his book, On The Road 《在路上》of Catholics throughout China.

 

On The Road is now available for pre-ordering and will ship mid-October. 

Lu Nan (吕楠), unrivaled in his capacity to capture and reveal human dignity and the poignancy of the human condition, is one of the most respected photographers in China today. After working for China Pictorial (人民画报) for five years, he worked as an independent photographer to produce three series that made his international reputation. The second of these, which documents the lives of Catholics in rural China, includes pictures taken between 1992 and 1996. Many were have been featured in exhibits around the world and have been published in the volume On the Road.

“Catholics in China, On the Road, and the Vision of Lu Nan (吕楠)”

 
 
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archbishop savio hon, SDB (韓大輝
Nuncio of the Holy See to Greece

Archbishop Hon is the Nuncio of the Holy See to Greece. In February 2011, he accepted the appointment of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI , becoming Titular Archbishop of Diocese of Sila and the Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the highest position ever held by a Chinese member of the clergy, in the Vatican. Prior to his current role, he served as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 2010 to 2017. Before that he was professor of theology at the Holy Spirit Seminary of Hong Kong.

“Control Policy, Cat Principle, and Grey Pragmatism – a Drama of the
Church in China”

 
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Kin Sheung Chiaretto Yan (甄健湘

Author, International Speaker
 

Chiaretto Yan lives in Shanghai. He holds a doctorate in Missiology from the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome). His primary areas of research are interdisciplinary approaches to the religions and cultures of Asia. He is the author of numerous articles and two books relevant to this conference, Evangelization in China: Challenges and Prospects (Orbis 2014) and Season for Relationships: Youth in China and the Mission of the Church (Claretian Publications 2018). He will spoke about the concerns and challenges facing young people in Chinese society today.

“The Quest of Chinese Youth for Purpose in Life and Relationships”