Jesuits from different parts of the world gathered in Cambodia recently to dialogue with Buddhist monks, engaging them on three levels – academic, spiritual and practical. This holistic approach to inter-religious dialogue is one that has prevailed in the regular Christian-Buddhist Workshop of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific for many years.
Landing in Siem Seap on the second leg of his first trip to Asia Pacific, Fr General Arturo Sosa quickly found himself in completely different setting. From Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country with about 350 Jesuits and many institutions and collaborators, he was now in a largely Buddhist country, with a small cohort of 26 Jesuits working with a modest number of collaborators.
In our latest annual report, we look back on a year of key milestones throughout the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, recall the Pope’s visit to the Philippines, review the history of the Arrupe International Residence, continue our dialogue with Buddhism, and learn about the impact of the Spiritual Exercises in China. Also, JCAP President Fr Mark Raper SJ reflects on the Conference’s growth and the importance of collaboration in mission.
Jesuits and Buddhist monks and nuns came together in early March to share and dialogue on ecology and religions in a workshop organised by the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific.
Organised locally by Fr Lawrence Soosai SJ of the Patna Jesuit Province, the three-day workshop was held in India, in the city of Bodhgaya where the Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment, and which is one of the holiest of Buddhist cities.
The Christian-Buddhist Workshop group of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) has produced its first book, to showcase its work over the last several years and to encourage younger people to study Buddhism. Titled The Buddha and Jesus: An anthology of articles by Jesuits engaged in Buddhist Studies and Inter-religious Dialogue, the collection of 16 essays discusses Buddhist traditions, inculturation, meditation methods, issues in Chinese Buddhism, doctrinal interpretations in early Buddhism, the spirituality of indigenous peoples and more.
Sustainability is a hot word today among scientists, economists, politicians, religious leaders, and others especially concerned with humanitarian values. It has been linked to economics, ecology, social welfare, social justice, gender equality, financial security, conserving energy, eradicating poverty, and, of course, finding meaning in life. And it is a topic of concern for the Jesuits engaged in dialogue with Buddhists.
Taiwanese Scholastic Aloysius Hsu SJ shares his experience of Vipassana Meditation and the 2015 East Asia Theological Encounter Programme (EATEP) held from July 22 to August 17 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. EATEP is a programme of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific that provides Jesuits in formation with opportunities to deepen their dialogue with other faiths, particularly Buddhism, and to enrich their perspectives on theology in Asia.
Jesuit scholastics are invited to join a four-week programme designed to guide them in examining issues of Asian theology, and understanding interreligious dialogue and the inculturation of the Catholic faith in Asia. They will do this through an intensive experience of Buddhism in the specific context of Thailand, which is predominantly Buddhist.
Now on its 10th year, the 2015 East Asia Theological Encounter Programme (EATEP) will be held from July 22 to August 17 at the Seven Fountains Spirituality Centre in Chiang Mai, Thailand.