Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - Academics and scholars from different countries working in the field of religious studies took part in the 2023 International Conference of the Chinese Social Sciences Forum - 2023-Religious Studies, dedicated this year to the theme "The Changing World and Religious Studies". The Conference, organized by the Institute of World Religions of CASS - Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and by the Chinese Association of Religious Studies, was held in Beijing on Saturday, 23 September.
The event brought together sixty experts and scholars of high academic level from China, the United Kingdom, Italy, India, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and other countries to share their research findings in religious studies disciplines.
This year's conference focused on the role and possible developments of religious studies in the face of the epochal changes of the present time.
The forum's lectures and debates focused on the development of relations between religions, the development of different faith communities, the status and role of religions in pluralistic societies and the new paths that legislation has taken to promote harmonious coexistence of different religious communities among themselves and with political institutions, and to prevent or resolve possible conflicts.
Among the speakers at the conference was Father Flavio Belluomini, lecturer at the Institute of Religious Studies of Tuscany (Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose della Toscana, ISSR).
Father Belluomini has also been the Archivist of the Dicastery for Evangelization for the past two years.
It is the first time that an academic working in an academic institution linked to the Holy See has been invited to speak at the Forum on Religious Studies, held under the auspices of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Chinese Association of Religious Studies.
In his lecture, Father Belluomini addressed the topic of "Global Harmony through Interreligious Dialogue", and highlighted how cooperation and fraternal coexistence between people and communities of different faiths can offer a unique and valuable contribution to the common good of the entire human family, in the globalized world of our days. The Archivist of the Dicastery for Evangelization emphazised the features that characterize the commitment of the Catholic Church in the new paths of interreligious dialogue. Father Belluomini's report sparked a lively debate among the conference participants. In particular, Professor Liu Zhiqing, in his contribution, referred to several points from the archivist's lecture, focusing on the implications of the recent agreement between the Vietnamese government and the Holy See on the Papal Representative resident in Vietnam and relations between the People's Republic of China and the Holy See.
In his speech, Professor Liu summarized the path that led to the signing of the Agreement between Vietnam and the Holy See on the status of the Permanent Papal Representative and the Permanent Representative Office in Vietnam, adding relevant considerations and analysis on the relations between China and the Holy See. Professor Liu also presented six practical proposals for a positive development of relations between the People's Republic of China and the Holy See.
Since 2011, the Chinese Social Science Forum on Religious Studies has become an important event for international academic exchange, dealing with wide-ranging issues such as the relationship between religions and civilizations, the contribution of religions to global governance, and the relationship between religions and conflicts. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 26/9/2023)