Call for Papers: 'Understanding and Misunderstanding between the Far East and the West: Conference on East Asian studies in Remembrance of 210th Anniversary of Dr. Rev. Robert Morrison's Arrival at China''

October 13, 2017 - October 14, 2017
Theology and Religious Studies, University of Glasgow

4 the Square, University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ
United Kingdom

View the Call For Papers

Selected speakers:

Kevin Cawley
University College Cork
Alexander Chow
University of Edinburgh
James H Grayson
University of Sheffield
Andy J Hamilton
Durham University


Andrew Ka Pok Tam
University of Glasgow

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Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary to China and the Far East, had contribution not only to the evangelisation, but also the study of East Asian studies and even the modernisation of Far East. When Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox missionaries had freer entrance to China (from 1842 to 1949), Japan and Korea, transcultural communication was strengthened, which resulted in not only understanding but also misunderstanding. How do such understanding and misunderstanding affect the West and the Far East in 19th and 20th century? This inter-disciplinary conference aims to explore the question in different aspects so to acknowledge and recognise the academic contributions by the Christian missionaries in the Far East in the 210th anniversary of Dr. Rev. Robert Morrison's arrival at China.

Guest speakers include (in alphabetical order):

Dr. Alexander Chow (University of Edinburgh): Christianity as a Chinese Religion: A Theological Reflection

Prof Andy Hamilton (Durham University): Transcultural Issues in Philosophical Aesthetics: East and West (TBC)

Prof James H Grayson (University of Sheffield): Ch'udo yebae: Protestant Accommodation to Korean Confucian Ritual Life

Dr. Kevin Cawley (University College Cork): (Mis)Understanding each Other: Matteo Ricci and Korean Neo-Confucians

Paper which discussed the transcultural dialogue between the Far East and the West related to following subject areas and/or topics are particularly welcomed. Presentation may include but are not limited to the following ideas:

  • Philosophy, Theology and Liturgy

    • Liturgical Indigenisation in Great China Region, Korea and Japan

    • Philosophical and Theological dialogue between Confucianism and Christianity

    • East Asian Philosophers' Reception of Christianity

    • Missionaries' and/or Western Christian's Reception of East Asian philosophies and religions (Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Shinto and Korean Shamanism)

  • Visual Art and Aesthetics

    • East Asian aesthetics

    • case studies of Christian historical heritages in East Asia

    • East Asian style art and architecture in the church

    • Western religious art and aesthetics in East Asia

  • Music, Literature and Translation

    • translation of East Asian classics to Western languages

    • translation of Christian and Western classics to East Asian languages

    • the impact of Hanzi/Hanja/Kanji in transcultural understanding

    • Hymn Composition and Lyrics translation

    • Reception of Christianity in East Asian literature

Topics regarding transcultural dialogue between the Far East and the West in 19th and 20th century that are not mentioned above is also welcomed, as long as they are either related to Christianity or missionaries in general.

While postgraduate students and post-doctoral have priority to present in the conference, established scholars are also welcome if they wish to present.

If you wish to present, please send your abstract and self-introduction (each no more than 200 words) to Andrew Ka Pok Tam at in doc format with “Presenter Application for the Understanding and Misunderstanding Conference” in the subject line by 11th June, 2017.

If you are interested in volunteering in or sponsoring the conference, please send an email to (we need volunteers)

Registration details to follow, including conference fee

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