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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


The 2021 conference is an event spanning three days, five 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.

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Opening Keynote

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Lu Nan (吕楠) 

One of the most respected photographers in China – featured in the prestigious international photographic cooperative Magnum Photos.

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Morning Keynote

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Ian Johnson

Pultizer-prize winning New York Times journalist, and author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao.

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Vigil Mass

Wah Yan College choir a SCU Mission Chur

The Eucharist will be celebrated in the Santa Clara Mission Church. All are welcome.

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Award Banquet


In honor of Brent Fulton and Joann Pittman of ChinaSource

(may be booked separately from conference, more information...)

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Academic Panels

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.

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.

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?

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?

China and Environmental Stewardship: The Contribution of The Churches


China, which boasts the world's fastest growing economy, also has a fast growing list of environmental problems.  For this reason, China is also 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?

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?

The Coronavirus, the Global Community, and the Church


How has the coronavirus pandemic affected the Church in China? How did Christians respond to the pandemic? What lessons do we draw from this experience?

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?

Chinese Christian 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?

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?

Young People in Contemporary China


What are the challenges and concerns of young people in China? What do most young Chinese typically learn about religious faith? Why do some embrace Christianity?

Women and Faith Communities in China Today


Panelists reflect on the role that women play in the life of their faith community and the contributions that those communities make to the larger society in China. 

Download the Call for Papers for Saturday’s academic panels.


Decisions of abstracts submitted will be published on November 20, and thereafter, within 10 days of submission.

Once the conference dates have been confirmed, the full list of presenters and the topics they will address will be available here.

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Invited Session Expert

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Chiaretto YAN Kin Sheung (甄健湘)

Youth expert, visiting professor at Saint Joseph University, Macau, and research fellow at Sophia University, Italy.

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Morning Keynote

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Rachel Zhu (朱晓红)

Professor of Religious Studies at Fudan University and a noted author and public intellectual.

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Workshops and Pastoral Sessions

Conference 28 will host Workshops and Pastoral Sessions in the following four tracks.  Themes and panelists will be finalized in January and February 2021.

The Church in China


Sessions on the training of ministers, the life of the Church, and challenges and opportunities in China today.


Chinese parishes in the u.s.


Workshops on the challenges of living as Chinese Christians in a multicultural society, including workshops on cultural heritage, youth, reaching out to new immigrants.


Chinese International Students on U.S. College Campuses


What are the challenges that Chinese international students face when attending university in the United States? How can host institutions better welcome them and prepare them for service in society.

Chinese International Students at U.S. High Schools


What are the challenges that Chinese international students face when attending high school in the United States? During these formative years, how can host institutions better foster their integral human development?

If you would like to suggest a workshop or a speaker, please visit the Proposals page.

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