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China, Christianity, and the

Dialogue of Civilizations

28th International Conference of

the US-China Catholic Association

Co-sponsored by the Departments of Sociology, History, Political Science, and Modern Languages, and the Center for Global Engagement of Santa Clara University.

August 6-8, 2021, Santa Clara University

Conference Program

The 2021 conference is an event spanning three days, four keynote speakers, a range of pastoral reflections, academic panels, practical workshops, and many other events to foster a deeper conversation surrounding Christianity, culture, and the friendship between the Church in China and in the U.S.

This program page will include further details as we update the schedule.

Friday Evening Schedule

Opening Keynote

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Founder and Director of The Kaifa Group


“The Protestant Experience in Post Mao China”


The opening keynote of the August conference of the US-China Catholic Association will feature Myron Youngman, founding President of The Kaifa Group, a catalyst organization known for establishing and facilitating partnerships of service and faith across Asia. This presentation will provide 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 will also touch on the interaction of these churches in China with the rest of Chinese society as well as the China church’s interaction with the international Christian community. The presentation will draw heavily from our speaker’s 40 years of personal experiences in both church systems. 

Welcome Reception

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Saturday Schedule

Morning Keynote

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Ian Johnson (張彦)

Journalist, Author, Professor, 

Stephen A. Schwarzman Senior Fellow for China Studies, Council on Foreign Relations


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

China is undergoing one of the most important realignments of its religious life since the reform-and-opening period began in the late 1970s. For all religions this means more state oversight and, at time, persecution. But is it possible to thrive in this environment? And how can faiths such as the Catholic Church navigate these increasingly complex waters? Ian Johnson will draw on his 20 years of experience living and working in China to discuss the country's religious transformation under Xi Jinping and how to reconcile this with a hunger for spirituality and values.

Academic Panels

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Saturday will include a series of concurrent panels where noted scholars and experts share their insights and respond to the questions of conference participants.

Insofar as the theme of this conference is the engagement between Christianity and Chinese civilization, panels may examine this theme in light of recent developments, the larger horizon of shared values, and/or pursuit of the common good.

Afternoon Keynote

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JAMason Chen (陈建中

Clinical Professor of Photojournalism, Manager of Technology,

School of Communication, Loyola University Chicago

Chen will speak 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 in the process of being published in the United States and will be available for purchase in late 2021.

Bi-lingual Vigil Mass

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The Eucharist will be celebrated in Locatelli Hall. All are welcome.

Ricci Award Banquet

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The US-China Catholic Association gives the Matteo Ricci Award for Service of God and China to persons who exemplify Matteo Ricci’s devotion to friendship across cultures, living faith, and service to the people of China.
This year the USCCA is proud to honor Brent Fulton and Joann Pittman of ChinaSource as co-recipients of the China Association’s Matteo Ricci Award for Service of God and China.


Saturday Panel Information

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Building Bridges Between China and The West: Three Case Studies


Panelists examine the contribution and insights of Chinese and Westerners who played important roles in intercultural dialogue in the life of the Church.

Fr. Vincent Lebbe: Conceiving
the Chinese Church as Indigenous
and National


Stephanie M. Wong 黃欣慧

Assistant Professor of Theology, Valparaiso University

The Action of the French Missions Etrangères de Paris Toward Post-Maoist China

Michel Chambon 陳立邦
Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

Chinese Exodus: François Houang (1911-1990) and Catholicism in France before Vatican II (1932-1965)

Jin Lu 魯進
Professor of French, Purdue University Northwest

The Sino-Vatican Accord in Historical and Comparative Perspective


In October 2020, the Vatican and Beijing renewed an informal accord on the appointment of bishops in China. How does this compare with similar arrangements in other historical contexts?

The Holy See's Accord with Vietnam and China in the Appointment of Bishops


Peter Phan

Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Georgetown University

A Religion-State Relationship in China: The Emergence of Daoism at the End of the Han Dynasty


Shimin Lu 陸世敏

Assistant Professor, GETS Theological Seminary (創欣神學院)

The Role of Successive Popes in the Process of Unification of the Church in China


Magdaléna Rychetská

Seminar of Chinese Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Sinicization of Religion: Meaning and Application

In recent decades, missiologists have emphasized the importance of enculturation and indigenization. Meanwhile, in the past five years, Chinese regulations on the sinicization of religion – the necessity that it adapts to the Chinese context – have been promulgated. What is the upshot and impact of these new norms?

Catholicism from Chinese Government’s Viewpoint


Francesco Sisci

Senior Researcher, People’s University, Beijing, China

The Relevance of State Policy for Chinese Catholic Community


Richard Madsen

Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, San Diego

Bishop Jin Luxian's Policy of Indigenization


Paul Mariani

Professor, Department of History, Santa Clara University

China and Environmental Stewardship: The Contribution of The Churches


China is pursuing innovative solutions to climate change and environmental degradation. What role have China's Christians played in supporting sustainability? In light of Laudato si', do environmental issues constitute a possible area of collaboration between Chinese leadership and the Churches?

Collaboration Between California and China on Environment and Climate Change


Robert Jones

President,  Ecolinx Foundation

The Nature’s Voice: Chinese Christian Artists’ Contribution to the Protection of Environment

Sun Jili
Associate Professor, Northwestern University, Chicago

Integral Ecology of Pope Francis at the Beijing Expo 2019 on Horticulture


Chiaretto Yan (甄健湘)

Visiting Professor at the University of Saint Joseph, Macau

Urbanization and Its Far-Reaching Implications

China’s rapid urbanization has important consequences for every aspect of people’s social life, and this includes their spiritual life. How has rapid urbanization affected the faith, practice, and communal life of Chinese Christians?

Moderator of the Panel


Richard Madsen

Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, San Diego

Place, Space, and Face: Urbanization and the Emergence of New Protestant Communities in China


Brent Fulton

President, ChinaSource

How Catholics Adapt to Changes in China: A Missiological Perspective


Chiaretto Yan. (甄健湘)

Visiting Professor at the University of Saint Joseph, Macau

Sino-Christian Theology: Chinese Intellectuals Engage Christian Tradition


In recent decades, scholars throughout China have studied the Bible and Christian theology. Some have written on Christian theology from a Chinese academic perspective. What have they had to say? What is the significance of this intellectual movement?

Antiphonal Comparative Cultural Readings of the Analects《论语》and the Chinese Union Bible《和合本圣经》: Reflective Appreciations of Shi Hengtan’s 石衡潭 Masterpiece of 2018


Lauren F. Pfister 費樂仁

Professor Emeritus, Hong Kong Baptist University

Sino-Christian Theology: A Personal Review and Reminisce after 25 years


Stephen T. Chan

Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies, Seattle University

Christian Reception of the Roman Virtue Pietas (also Filial Piety) in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages


Rev. John Chen Yongli 陈勇利

Catholic priest of Xinjiang diocese,

Doctoral Student,

St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada

Chinese Wisdom and Catholic spirituality

Christian mission is often imagined to be a unidirectional enterprise. In fact, Christianity also has learned from and been enriched by each culture it has encountered, from Syria and the Greco-Roman world to the far reaches of Asia. How have Chinese culture and philosophy proffered fresh perspectives to Western Christians? How have Chinese spiritual traditions enriched Christianity?

Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism as My Teachers: A Pre-Vatican II Chinese Comparative Theology in John C. H. Wu’s Autobiography Beyond East and West (1951)


Zhixi Wang 王志希

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Shantou University

A Chinese Tunic for Christ: An Introduction to John C. H. Wu's Classical Chinese Bible Translation


John A. Lindblom

University of Notre Dame

Thomas Merton’s Encounter with Chinese Wisdom in His Quest for Authenticity


Kathy (Huili) Stout

Doctoral Student, Department of Religious Studies, University of Dayton

Civic Controversy in Hong Kong and Christian Community


Recent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have divided the island’s community. How have these protests affected Hong Kong’s Christian churches? And how have they responded to these developments?

Christian Spiritual Sovereignty and Faith-Based Activism in Modern China


Joseph Tse-Hei Lee

Pace University, New York

Ethical Response at a Time of Impasse

Mary Mee-Yin Yuen
Professor of Social Ethics, Holy Spirit Seminary College of Theology and Philosophy, Hong Kong

A Critical Review of Christian Activism during the Anti-Extradition Bill Protests

Tsz-Him Lai
Doctoral Student, Theological School of Drew University, New Jersey

Sunday Schedule

Morning Keynotes

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archbishop savio hon, SDB (韓大輝)

Nuncio of the Holy See to Greece

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

Kin Sheung Chiaretto Yan (甄健湘)

Author, International Speaker

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

Chiaretto Yan will speak about the concerns and challenges facing young people in Chinese society today.


Pastoral & Practical Sessions

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Chinese International Students in American Universities I   

International Students in the U.S.: From Recruitment, to Support, to Retention

Andrea Zhou

Doctoral student in Higher Education Admin at Saint Louis University (SLU), Assistant Director of Student Experience at INTO SLU

Bridging Catholicism and Confucianism: a Comparative Theological Perspective in Theo 101

Xueying Wang

Theology Department, Loyola University Chicago

Encountering Religion as a Chinese International Student

Jordan Qiao 
Recent Graduate of The College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, Minnesota

Serving Society in China                                      

The Work of the Dui Hua Foundation

John Kamm 
Executive Director, The Dui Hua Foundation 

A New Way to Serve the Chinese Disadvantaged People

Deacon Patrick So
Board Director, Christian Service Community North America Charity Corps

Serving Society in China

Fr. Joseph Rongpin Li, Director, Jinde Charities Foundation

Chinese Students at American Catholic High Schools

Making Connections - Accommodating the Academic and Social Needs of Chinese Students


Gary Meegan, Ph.D.
Theology Department Chair, Junípero Serra High School, San Mateo, California


Developing Curriculum for Teaching Theology to Chinese Students


Rev. Jonathan Mitchican
Chaplain, Saint John XXIII College Preparatory, Katy, Texas


Better Prepared for Life

Rev. John Shujie Chen 陈书杰 
Pastor, St. Eulalia Church, Winchester, Massachusetts and former Vice-Rector, Chinese National Seminary, Beijing 

Chinese International Students in American Universities II   

Chinese Students Success at Jesuit University

Andrea Zhou

Doctoral student in Higher Education Admin at Saint Louis University (SLU), Assistant Director of Student Experience at INTO SLU

Mission Practicals: Living in the Present Moment

Nicholas Sun 
Missionary on college campuses, Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Catholic Universities: Sharing a Human Vision with Chinese International Students

Michael Agliardo, SJ
Director, US-China Catholic Association

Preparing for Ministry in China          

Mission with Education in China

Rev. Zhuyuan Shao 邵珠远
Priest of the Diocese of Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province


Why Did I Choose Liturgy as My Major?

Rev. Yuebing Zhang 张跃兵
Priest of the Diocese of Jilin, Jilin Province


The Changing Face of Beijing National Seminary

Rev. John Shujie Chen 陈书杰 
Pastor, St. Eulalia Church, Winchester, Massachusetts and former Vice-Rector, Chinese National Seminary, Beijing 

Closing Plenary Discussion

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Conference goers are invited to a plenary discussion led by Fr. Michael Agliardo (Executive Director of the USCCA), Tom McGuire (Chair of the Board of the USCCA), and USCCA Board Members. The discussion will include reflections on the conference proceedings, sharing of various ministries, and exploring possibilities for collaboration in the future.