International conference "Religion and Western science seen from East Asian approaches"

Wednesday - 05/12/2018 21:39
On December 5th, 2018, USSH and the Institute of Missiology (MWI), Germany co-held the international conference "Religion and Western science seen from East Asian approaches" with the participation of Vietnamese scholars and international scholars from the US, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Austria, Slovakia, and India.

Prof. Dr Pham Quang Minh (USSH's Rector) delivers his opening remarks

Western science entered Vietnam and the East Asian countries in the 16th-17th centuries. During that period, Christianity was introduced into this region and increasingly spread during the colonial era. Western science brought siginicant cultural and social changes to the region too.

Prof. Tran Van Doan (Dean of Theology Institute, Chang Jung Christian University) delivers his opening remarks

Eastern Asian traditional culture combined the heritage of Chinese, Indian and native cultures. During medieval times, Islam was introduced to this region. Also during these times, Christianity was adopted in many countries, further diversifying its culture. Thus, the science-religion relationship has to be seen from different approaches such as epistemology, socio-cultural theories and ethics. Unlike the West and other regions, where monotheistic and institutionalized religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam dominated and at times held opposing views, and where science and religion at times rivaled each other, in East Asia polytheistic and non-institutionalized religions such as Confucianism, Buddhism and Daosim took the lead. As a result, the Western science-religion relationship in this region contains many peculiarities, unlike that in the West and other cultural regions, which has to be studied scientifically and objectively.

Prof. Wi vun Chiung (Director of Center for Vietnamese Studies, Chengkung University, Taiwan; Chairman of the Society of Taiwan-Vietnam Cultural Exchanges)

The conference on Western science and religion seen from East Asian approaches focused on such topics as: religion, magic and science - basic theorerical issues; Western science and monotheistic religions in different regional cultures; the features of science-religion relationship in traditional East Asian cultures; Western science and polytheistic religions in East Asia during colonial and post-colonial times: issues and prospectives.

The conference was split into 4 panels.

Panel 1: Religion, magic and science: general theoretical issues

Panel 2: Western science, Christianity and Buddhism in East Asian culture

Panel 3: Western science and polytheistic religions in East Asian culture

Panel 4: Religion and science in the particular areas of social life

Since 2007, USSH and the Institute of Missiology (Germany) have been cooperating in teaching and studying religion. USSH's Center for Contemporary Religious Studies has been tasked with this cooperation. The holding of Vietnamese and international conferences is one of the main activities of this partnership in order to promote Religious Studies.

Prof. Dr Lisa L.Stenmark - San Jose State University presents her keynote paper "Limitations of the Western model of religion-science relationship in the multi-cultural context"

Prof. Dr Pham Quang Minh gives Prof. Tran Van Doan a banquet of flowers

Author: Thanh Ha

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