Dialogue on Chinese philosophy and social harmony

Sunday, April 20, 2008
Issue 319, Page 2
Word count: 549
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The first forum on the Chinese philosophy of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism was staged at the University of Macau yesterday which saw the theatre packed with 700 students, academics and religious followers.

The event, titled “The First Forum of Civilised Dialogue”, saw three practitioners of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism from mainland China and Taiwan talk about the relationship between Chinese culture and social harmony.

Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah attended the opening ceremony at the university’s Cultural Centre in the morning.

Mr Ho said in his speech that harmony was “the embodiment of integration, the symbol of unity, the core of tolerance”, and it did not only apply in families but also organisations and society.

“It [harmony] is the foundation and condition for a community’s improvement, as well as the prerequisite and motive for a nation’s growth,” he added.

The Chief Executive said the activity would contribute to a harmonious society and its cultural development would be facilitated over the long-term.

Former vice-chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, Professor Xu Jialu, was invited to moderate the forum.

Professor Xu said people in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau all had “a common pursuit of harmony, which is their desire as well as the nature of the world”.

“Starting dialogues of civilisation in different regions can help enhance the exchange between the two straits and SARs and push for harmony in society,” he said, adding the Chinese nation was also a significant platform in facilitating this kind of conversation and maintaining harmony of the world.

Professor Lin Anwu, who at the forum represented Confucianism, an ancient Chinese ethical and philosophical system which focuses on human morality and good deeds, works at the National Taiwan Normal University’s Chinese Department and its research institute, as well as at the Taiwan Hsuan Chuang University’s Religious Department.

He said it was an era of diversification and civilisation, but it was also important to maintain a balance during the convergence of different religions and beliefs.

Master Xuecheng was the Buddhist speaker from mainland China. He is also member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Standing Committee and vice president and secretary-general for the Buddhist Association of China.

He pointed out that every human being was equal and “from infancy to getting old, suffering from illnesses and eventually dying, which is a natural life cycle that nobody can deny”.

Taoism, a variety of Chinese philosophical and religious traditions and concepts that emphasises the link between people and nature, was represented yesterday by Master Zhang Jiyu who is also the vice-president of the Taoist Association of China and member of the NPC Standing Committee.

The Master said humans should seek “a form of naivet√©” and not be influenced by materials such as fame, power and fortune, otherwise they will be moving “further and further away from Taoism”.

The cultural event was organised by Ye Shengtao Research Association (Beijing), China Religious Culture Communication Association (Beijing), The Association for Yan Huang Culture (Beijing) and the Chinese Cultural Exchange Association in Macau, in collaboration with the University of Macau.

Also present the opening ceremony were director of the Chinese Government’s Liaison Office in Macau, Bai Zhijian; vice-director of the Chinese State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Wang Fuqing; and president of Macao Foundation, Vitor Ng.


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