Conference in Macerata “Inculturation of the Christian Faith and Today’s Chinese Society”

Katharina Wenzel-Teuber

The Conference took place from 19–23 October 2022 in Macerata, the birthplace of the Jesuit China missionary Matteo Ricci (Li Madou 利玛窦, 1552–1610) in the Marche region of Italy. One of the main purposes of the conference was to provide an exchange platform for young Chinese Catholic scholars, especially those theologians and philosophers who are currently researching or working in Europe. For there is still comparatively little research on the Catholic Church in China, especially on contemporary issues. The conference was organised by the Macerata-based Li Madou Study Centre, which is directed by Chinese theologians, and the China-Zentrum in Sankt Augustin; it was financially supported by Aid to the Church in Need and the Institute of Missiology of missio e.V. This was already the 15th symposium of this kind for the Li Madou Study Centre. Among the participants were approx. 50 scholars from Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Germany and the Vatican, most of them Chinese, but also some Europeans and one Congolese. The lectures were given in Chinese or English.

Bishop Nazzareno Marconi of Macerata attended the Conference opening, together with representatives of the city government – a sign that the legacy of their son Matteo Ricci, namely dialogue with China, is important to both the spiritual and secular circles of the city. In his address Bishop Marconi asked the fundamental question, whether the Christian faith is just a faith that can therefore enter into all cultures or whether it is a culture in itself? Both approaches were taken very early in the history of the Church and, according to Marconi, found some equilibrium in Augustine’s work The City of God.
More words of greeting were delivered by Martin Welling SVD of the China-Zentrum and by the Cardinal Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, Angelo De Donatis.

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