Symposium to explore Catholicism in Asia

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

The Church in Asia

The University of Notre Dame will host “The Church in Asia: Part II,” a symposium to explore the past, present and future of Catholicism in Asia, April 9 and 10 (Friday and Saturday) in the University’s Hesburgh Center for International Studies.

The symposium, the second in a series of three, will feature presentations by scholars who will focus on the Church in south and southeast Asia. The event is free and open to the public.

“As Asia assumes increasing importance in this supercharged century, the intersection of religion and society demands our attention,” said Howard Goldblatt, director of Notre Dame’s Center for Asian Studies.

“The Catholic Church will face new challenges everywhere, especially in the developing world. This week, our spotlight will be trained on three countries that comprise an emerging economic and geopolitical force in the world—India, Indonesia and the Phillipines.”

On Friday, three distinguished scholars will give presentations on their areas of expertise:

  • Michael Amaladoss, S.J., professor of theology at Vidyajyoti College of Theology in Delhi, India, will speak on the Catholic Church in India.
  • Albertus Bagus Laksana, S.J., a doctoral candidate in comparative theology at Boston College, will talk about the Church in his native country of Indonesia.
  • Takefumi Terada, director of the Institute of Asian Cultures and professor of cultural anthropology at Sophia University in Tokyo, will discuss the Church in the Philippines.

On Saturday, a morning session will be devoted to interactive discussion of Friday’s presentations. Discussants will include Mun’im A. Sirry, an Indonesian Muslim scholar at the University of Chicago; Peter Moody, professor of political science at Notre Dame; and Bradley Malkovsky, associate professor of comparative theology at Notre Dame. Particularly oriented toward faculty and graduate students in the Department of Theology, the session is free and open to the public.

Last year’s symposium focused on East Asia. The series will conclude next year with a conference in Asia.

A detailed schedule of the symposium’s events is available here.

“The Church in Asia, Part II” is co-sponsored by Notre Dame’s Center for Asian Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Henkels Lecture Series, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, and the Department of Theology.

Contact: Howard Goldblatt, director, Center for Asian Studies,; Therese Hanlon, events coordinator, Kellogg Institute, 574-631-4150,