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August 23, 2018

China Forum Seminar on Humanities Education for a Global Era

Showing the Humanities Education for a Global Era Video

On August 23-24, 2018, the China Forum for Civilizational Dialogue held its first seminar with scholars from China and North America.

The seminar, hosted by the Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History at the University of San Francisco, addressed the changing role of humanities education in a global context. In an era of global dislocation, the humanities remain a critical resource for the education of self-reflective, ethical, and responsible citizens and leaders. China and the West are home to different philosophical, religious, and cultural traditions that affirm, in different ways, the dignity of the human person and the value of the common good.

The discussion centered on three major questions:

  • What are similarities and differences between the dominant approaches to the humanities and humanities education in China and the West? How have they evolved over time?
  • Can engagement with core texts and ideas drawn from different traditions imbue students with a global mindset and foster mutual deeper understanding?
  • Might the humanities offer moral and spiritual guidance in the face of global challenges including climate change and the rise of artificial intelligence?


  • Thomas Banchoff, vice president for global engagement, Georgetown University 
  • Christopher Celenza, dean of Georgetown College, Georgetown University 
  • Cindy Chu, professor of history at Hong Kong Baptist University 
  • Mary Crane, director of the Institute for the Liberal Arts, Boston College 
  • Yang Huilin, professor of comparative literature, Renmin University 
  • Fan Lizhu, professor of sociology, Fudan University
  • Chen Na, research fellow, Fudan University
  • Stephan Rothlin, S.J., director, Macau Ricci Institute 
  • Leung Yuen Sang, professor of history, Chinese University of Hong Kong 
  • Meghan Sullivan, professor of philosophy, University of Notre Dame
  • Li Tiangang, professor of intellectual history, Fudan University
  • M. Antoni J. Ucerler, S.J., director, Ricci Institute, University of San Francisco
  • Wu Xiaoxin, administrative director, Ricci Institute, University of San Francisco