Peking University, Faith, and Globalization
Peking University, Aug. 1, 2010: Peking University has become the first Chinese University and the seventh in the world to partner with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s Faith and Globalization Initiative.
On July 29, Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister and patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, visited PKU and signed a memorandum of understanding for the cooperation in the initiative of "faith and globalization."
At the signing ceremony, Prof. Lin Jianhua, Executive Vice President of PKU, introduced future fields of cooperation including the establishment of relevant courses and inauguration of exchange programs of teachers and of students.
"It will certainly help the younger generation in better understanding the significance of faith and globalization," said Lin.
The Initiative is a global network of leading research universities committed to exploring the complex interrelationship of faith and globalization. It seeks to provide current and future leaders with the tools and analysis to understand the important role faith plays in the modern world.
The course at Peking University will offer students the opportunity to take part in a global discussion critically examining the role of faith, secularism, and interfaith engagement in today’s world.
According to Prof. Lin, PKU Department of Philosophy will take the lead in providing courses that will be open to the whole university.
Tony Blair has articulated his excitement at the unique contribution Peking University can bring to this initiative.
"I very much welcome the fresh outlook Peking University will offer with their world-class teaching and research facilities and unique cultural perspective. In a country that is experiencing massive internal migrations and increasingly religious adherence, I welcome Peking University’s groundbreaking efforts to address these issues by directly focusing on interfaith relations.
"This marks an important moment for Peking University as they demonstrate their eagerness to open up their University and forge links with their international counterparts. It is another example of China adapting to their place in a globalized world and a significant step forward for those trying to promote religious and cultural understanding in future leaders and policy makers."
Also present at the ceremony were Yan Jun, Secretary-General of Beijing Forum, Zheng Ruqing, Deputy Director of PKU Office of International Relations, and professors Zhao Dunhua, Zhang Zhigang, and Wu Fei of the Department of Philosophy.
The upcoming-semester course "Inter-faith relation in globelization" is due on each Wednesday, 18:40-20:30, in Room 425 of PKU Classroom Building No. 2.
The course means that Peking University will establish teaching links with leading research universities spanning several continents. A quarter of the course will be taught alongside partner Universities including the National University of Singapore, Durham University in the UK, Yale University in the US, Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico, McGill University in Canada, and the University of Western Australia.
Peking University will very quickly be taking the themes of the course beyond the university when alongside the Tony Blair Faith Foundation they will bring together policy makers, academics, and business leaders for a co-sponsored discussion forum at the Beijing Forum 2010, under the general theme of “The Harmony of Civilizations and Prosperity for all – commitments and responsibilities for a better world.”
Edited by: Jacques