Ireland-China Symposium

Just before Christmas I attended a symposium on Chinese-Irish perspectives at Trinity College. The topic was, ‘Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor’ and I wondered what Chinese and Irish scholars had to say to each other on such issues. As it turned out, they had a lot to say. While no joint statement was attempted, the papers will eventually be published though it will take a good introduction to draw any conclusions.

What impressed me was the number of common concerns despite different cultural and political background: violence, the environment, materialism before people, the corrosive as well as the positive aspects of economic ‘progress’, where hope can be found and what does it mean to be human in the modern, post-truth world.

In future posts I will give a brief summary of the main talks as I heard them. We did not get the texts, nor did everyone use Powerpoint, and even though the speakers had clear English it was sometimes difficult to follow their line of thought when they read from texts.

So, in the New Year some homework for me as I go over my notes to recall what caught my attention at the time, resulting, I hope, in giving you some idea of what emerged in this China-Ireland coming-together.

Note: Some 50 people attended both the evening session on 14 December and the full-day on the 15th at Trinity College. The symposium was sponsored by the Irish School of Ecumenics in Trinity and the Columban Missionaries.