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Our Hope
is in Christ

The 29th International Conference of

the US-China Catholic Association

August 2-4, 2024

DePaul University, Chicago, IL


Center for World Catholicism

USCCA logo - gold, clear bgd, with text

Keynote Speakers

The USCCA is pleased and honored to welcome the following keynote speakers for our 29th 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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Anthony E. Clark, Ph.D., FRHistS, FRAS
Whitworth University

 Anthony E. Clark 柯學斌 is the Edward B. Lindaman Endowed Chair at Whitworth University, the Distinguished Combe Trust Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and an elected Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Asiatic Society. He is regarded as one of the most influential scholars of China’s Catholic culture and history, and he has published dozens of books, articles, and reviews related to China’s long exchange with Christianity.

“Keeping the Hill Green: China’s Hopeful Catholic Future”

Sunday, August 4, 2024

Beginning with the hallowed Chinese adage, “Keeping the hill green, one need not worry about running out of firewood,” 留得青山在,不怕沒柴燒 this talk shall address the hopeful dialogue between China and the Holy See. From Matteo Ricci 利瑪竇 (1552-1610) until Pope Francis in our own time, the ideals of exchange and dialogue have defined China’s long history of faith and friendship. In his 2018 letter to China, Pope Francis wrote: “encounter can be authentic and fruitful only if it occurs through the practice of dialogue.” In Clark’s closing remarks, he shall consider both the trials and triumphs that mark China’s long Christian history.
Bishop Paul Junmin Pei
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Liaoning, China

From 1985 to 1990, Bishop Paul Junmin Pei studied at Shenyang Catholic Theological Seminary (St. Thomas Seminary). In May 1992, he was ordained to the priesthood. From July 1993 to May 1996, he studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, USA. In May 2006, he was ordained as the coadjutor bishop of the Liaoning Diocese. In June 2008, he took over as the ordinary bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Liaoning. He is currently Vice President of the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China, Director of the Overseas Exchange Committee, and Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Liaoning.

“Challenges and Opportunities of the Catholic Church in China”

Sunday, August 4, 2024

Bishop Pei will begin with an overview of Catholicism in Liaoning. He will share his observation and analysis of issues encountered by the Catholic Church in China. These problems include the ongoing formation of clergy and those practicing consecrated life, shortage of vocations for clergy and consecrated persons, conversation and inheritance of faith among Catholic families, and pastoral care of urban churches under the wave of migration out of rural towns. He will further discuss the idea of “Christianization” in the absence of “Catholic tradition”. Finally, he will reflect on the cooperation and exchanges between Catholic churches in China and the United States.
Naomi Thurston, Ph.D. 

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Naomi Thurston teaches and researches the history of Christianity in China and contemporary Chinese Christianities at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her recent research traces the theological reception of the German Reformed theologian Jürgen Moltmann in Chinese scholarship. She has translated the writings of contemporary Chinese scholars and introduced the emerging discourse of “Sino- Christian studies” in Chinese academic discourse today. She is the sole author of the book Studying Christianity in China: Constructions of an Emerging Discourse (Brill, 2018) and co-editor with Jason Lam a recent book on Moltmann and China: Theological Encounters from Hong Kong to Beijing (Brill, 2023). Dr. Thurston received her PhD from University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

“Echoes of Hope: Chinese-Christian Debates in Republican and Post-Reform-Era China”

Friday, August 2, 2024

Over the past hundred years, Christian communities in China have been forging their identities through challenging but ultimately fruitful negotiations with language, governance, culture, and the prevailing ideologies of the day. Republican China in particular saw intense debates regarding the place of Christianity in Chinese society. Many of the themes of national soul searching are echoed in Chinese academic scholarship and theology today. This talk traces theological continuities between Republican-era and contemporary Chinese thinkers whose ideas articulate a Christian hope in the contexts of Chinese intellectual architectures and lived Christianities.
Fr. Augustine Tsang, S.J. (曾慶導神父)

Fu Jen Faculty of Theology of Saint Robert Bellarmine, Taiwan

Father Augustine Tsang (曾慶導神父) was born in Guangzhou, China. After graduating from high school in Hong Kong, he immigrated to the U.S. and received his higher education there. He holds a master’s degree in biology and a Doctoral Degree in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Boston. He joined the Society of Jesus in Los Angeles and was ordained in the Cathedral of San Francisco on June 11, 1994. He has been teaching at Fu Jen Faculty of Theology of Saint Robert Bellarmine in Taiwan since 2001, a member of the International Association of Jesuit Universities, Asia-Pacific region. 

“Hope in the Present: Pastoral Work in and for Chinese Christians in Recent Years”

Saturday, August 3, 2024

Father Augustine will present his views on the Hope of the Church in China, based on his own experiences and readings, as well as conversations and interactions with others, especially with the mainland Chinese (young priests, religious sisters, and lay people) who are studying at Fu Jen Faculty of Theology, and who have expressed great concerns and hopes for the Church of China that they love.
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