Institute for Religion, Politics & Society

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Asia-Pacific Catholicism and Globalization: Public Event

The project, following the successful model of the Jesuits and Globalization project, gathers a group of experts on different regional and thematic aspects of Asian Catholicism in order to examine jointly and comparatively three sets of questions:

a) A comparative historical reconstruction of the development of Asian Catholicism in major Asian countries and Oceania (Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, Philippines and South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, East Timor and other former Portuguese colonies, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands) during the three phases of globalization. The aim of this historical reconstruction would be to examine the different competing models of “global” Catholicism in its relation to different processes of globalization and the diverse ways in which Catholicism became inculturated (and uprooted) in various Asian countries from the 16th century to the present.

b) A comparative examination of the role of Catholicism as a “public religion” in the various Asian countries depending upon its condition as a “majority” or “minority” religion in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Among the issues to be explored are the changing patterns of relations of the Catholic Church (in the Vatican II’s sense of the entire “People of God”) with the state, the nation and civil society and the changing patterns of interreligious conflict, competition and dialogue with other religions and religious communities throughout the region.

c) An analysis of the signposts and dynamics in the incipient formation of Pan-Asian Catholic institutions, networks, theologies, and identities from Vatican II to the present and their relations with the global center of Catholicism in Rome and with other regions of global Catholicism, as well as with regional processes of globalization throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Among the topics deserving attention would be: the Asian reception of Papal and Vatican documents from Vatican II to the recent Synod on the Family; the impact of Papal visits to the region; the role of the two Federations of Bishops’ Conferences (FABC and FCBCO) in the development of regional teachings, identities, and common pastoral strategies; the organization of World Youth Day and Asian Youth Day celebrations in various Asian countries; trans-regional flows and dynamics of male and female religious orders; the increasing role of transnational migrations (particularly of Filipino Catholics) in the transformation of Asian Catholicism and in the formation, for instance, of a Pan-Asian Australian Catholic Church; the interrelation between secular and religious dynamics of globalization throughout the region from the Vietnam War to the economic and geopolitical rise of China and India.

The project is to be organized as a research collaboration of the Institute for Religion, Politics and Society at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, under the direction of Professor José Casanova.

There will be a public presentation of the project on Friday May 6th starting 5.00 pm in the Christ Lecture Theatre, 115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, VIC. If you would like to attend this session please fill out this registration form.

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