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News from the USCCA and the church in China

Speaker Series: Dr. José Casanova, June 10, 2024

On June 10, 2024, the USCCA was pleased to collaborate with ChinaSource and the China Academic Consortium in hosting the latest Speaker Series, featuring Dr. José Casanova.

Dr. Casanova lectured on the topic of "The Three Phases of the Globalization of Catholicism in Asia, with special focus on developments in China." Drawing from his extensive knowledge of the history of Catholic encounters in Asia, Dr. Casanova outlined three phases of globalization, each marked by its own particular challenges and controversies within the Church and adjacent communities:

  1. The first phase of globalization, including the "golden age" of global Catholic missions, started in the 1500s and endured through the 1770s

  2. The second phase, characterized by Western global hegemony, started in 1780s and extended to the 1960s

  3. The third phase started with Vatican II in the 1960s, and is marked by increasing recognition of the need for collaboration and cooperation between peoples

Recalling a Jesuit missiology of "accommodation and enculturation," Dr. Casanova revealed how the history of Catholicism's globalization can inform efforts to build bridges of friendship across national and continental boundaries. Ultimately, he illustrated how Catholicism can continue to act as a force of global fraternity and as an advocate for those who are most negatively impacted by processes of globalization.

After the lecture, Dr. Casanova answered questions submitted by attendees. This question-and-answer session was facilitated by Dr. Richard Madsen, USCCA Board Member and Distinguished Professor of Sociology at University of California San Diego. Dr. Casanova answered questions on topics including the scandal of Christ's resurrection, the crucial role of dialogue and accompaniment for intercultural encounters, and the Catholic response to secularization.

Dr. Casanova's latest book, Asian Pacific Catholicism and Globalization, was published in December 2023 through Georgetown University Press. For additional opportunities to learn about the history, theology, and the Church in China, be sure to register as an attendee at the 29th USCCA International Conference, to be held in Chicago on August 2 – 4, 2024! Even if you are unable to attend the conference, you can still help us build bridges of understanding by volunteering or by donating to the USCCA.


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