Launching international conference "Religion and Western science seen from East Asian approaches"

Wednesday - 05/12/2018 21:23
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 this region.

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

The traditional regional East Asian culture combined the heritage of Chinese, Indian and native cultures. During medieval times, Islam was introduced to this region. During the early-modern period, Christianity was introduced to several countries in this region, 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 worldviews, and where science and religion both complemented and rivaled each other, in East Asia polytheistic and non-institutionalized religions such as Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism took the lead. Thus, the relationship between Western science and East Asian religion has many particularities, unlike that in the West and other cultural areas, which should be studied scientifically and objectively.

Prof. Wi vun Chiung (Director of Center for Vietnamese studies, Cheng Gong University, Taiwan; Chairman of the Taiwan-Vietnam Cultural Exchanges) speaks at the conference

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

The conference was split into 4 panels with 30 papers.

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

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

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

Panel 4: Religion and science in particular aspects 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 is tasked with this cooperation. The holding of domestic and international seminars and conferences is one of the main activities of this partnership to promote Religious Studies.

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