Hosted by the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, the Initiative for the Study of Asian Catholics (ISAC) seeks to foster and better propagate social scientific research on Catholics in contemporary Asia. The official launch of the program was announced October 1, 2021.
ISAC already has a few collaborators working on mainland China cases. Their upcoming conference “Catholicism, Family and Asian Societies” will have three presenters (out of 18) speaking on cases from Shanghai, Yunnan, and Hunan. ISAC is also launching the “Global Chinese Catholicism Project” in partnership with scholars based at Hong Kong University. Additionally, one historian teaching in Hong Kong is taking a leading role in their project on "Asian Marianism".
Ultimately, ISAC intends to become a platform where researchers can exchange ideas, seek collaborations, and offer advice with the objective of enhancing the collective understanding of Asian Catholics and global Catholicism. Thus, ISAC seeks to be a resource for researchers, students, journalists, and the general public, offering up-to-date information on scholarly activities and publications relating to Asian Catholics.
One of the coordinators of ISAC is Michel Chambon, Ph.D., Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. Dr. Chambon spoke during a panel entitled, “Building Bridges Between China and The West: Three Case Studies” at the USCCA’s latest conference, "China, Christianity, and the Dialogue of Civilizations." He is a frequent contributor to Catholic periodicals dealing with the life of the Church in East Asia.