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[Beijing Forum 2013] Siu Tong Kwok: a Confucian scholar with Christian background

Peking University, Nov.2, 2013: A dialogue, Rethinking the Human in the Post-Secular Age, was held at The Tan Siu Lin Centre for International Studies, Peking University. Siu Tong Kwok, a professor of History Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong shared his analysis on this issue.


Dialogue between different religions


Professor S. T. Kwok shared his personal experience with us. In the past couple of years, he has been practicing to be a contemporary Confucian scholar with the background and thinkings of Christian, as well as Daoism and Buddhism.


Professor Kwok mentioned a meeting held in Singapore, showing how different religion may have a dialogue in practice. “Respect the values and the honorable elements of other religions and cultures.” he responded to this question. “This can be divided into two dimensions: in practice and in concept”.


Individual & Collective


This is the issue that China is facing now--the public religion and the private religion. The interaction between individuals and collective is essential. Our goal is that private life can be organized properly in public.


During the last two centuries, after the French Revolution, there are lots of movements in religions. In the post-secular age, globalization is a trend as well as localization. Individuals, families, organizations in society are encouraged to practice religion concepts in real life publicly and privately.


“This is a time for us to think of basic values in different cultures and different religions, then look at how individuals may manage our lives and how organizations may manage themselves better so the society as a whole could benefit.” Professor Kwok gave us a way to realize this goal.


“Professor Kwok offered us a very complex picture of being Christian,” Professor Tu Weiming, the moderator of this dialogue commented. He also mentioned that many distinguished professors held multiple memberships, like Christian-Confucian.


The role of science and technology


When asked the role of science and technology, Professor Kwok emphasized their important roles in education. “In post-secular age, education has a vital role to play. Science and technology could have their influence on education.”


As for how to build a society in a economical world, Professor Kwok held the view that “culture industry could be developed and play an important role. Science and technology can also be integrated in culture industry.” .


Reported by: Meng Yiran

Edited by: Zhang Jiang