Changing China: Towards A Mutually Enriching DialogueVol. 11 (2023)
The Online Journal of Moral Leadership,Social Innovation and Comparative Spirituality
Crisis and Spiritual TransformationVol. 10 (2022)
Crises bear a great potential for risks and opportunities. The ongoing pandemic and the eruption of wars indicate first of all the risk that all that we cherish may perish and swiftly disap-pear in a few moments. On the other hand, crises afford us a great chance to wake up and embark on a spiritual journey. During the so-called Igna-tian Year which stretched from May 2021 through July 2022 Jesuits and their partners in mission tried to explore how the gun loving Basque gen-tleman named Inigo got transformed into a Saint whose name referred to an early Christian mar-tyr—“Ignatius”--who, according to his own testi-mony, longed to be devoured by wild beasts in his burning desire to become united with the Cruci-fied Jesus Christ. How is it possible that a narcis-sistic ego may gradually be turned into an obla-tion poured out for the salvation of the world?
China and Rumours of War in The WestVol. 9 (2022)
“China has become of central importance not only for East Asia but for the whole of humanity. We want to continue our respectful dialogue with its people, aware that China is an important key for a peaceful world and has great potential for enriching our faith tradition, as many of its people long for a spiritual encounter with God in Christ.” (The Documents of General Congregation 35 of the Society of Jesus, Decree 3, 2008, p.65)
Changing and Economic Paradigm: Making Change HappenVol. 8 (2021)
The pandemic of COVID-19, as painful and disastrous as it has been, may offer a wake-up call for many to become finally aware that the gap between the rich and the poor keeps opening: while on the one hand some of the richer countries are able to vaccinate several times their population, on the other hand, some countries only know for sure that a countless number of people will die because they did not even get the basic protection or were victims of irresponsible political decisions.
Triggering a Change of the Economic ParadigmVol. 7 (2020)
Changing an economic paradigm seems an impossible Herculean task. The focus of the dominant economic model on profit maximization and cost cutting, while favouring a one-sided economic development without any serious regard for the environment, is so entrenched that any move to change it seems so far doomed to fail. In order to adequately address the complex issues related to changing any economic models, the 2020 Symposium of the Macau Ricci Institute at the University of Saint Joseph proceeded as a spiritual conversation: to enhance the ability to listen to each other’s different perspectives each participant was required to pick three major points in the papers of the other participants.
Contemplation-Mission-MartyrdomVol. 6 (2020)
The pandemic of COVID-19 has provoked massive economic crises and left many people wondering how they may manage to survive. In the midst of such a situation of profound uncertainty we may recognise a unique opportunity to reconnect to key issues of life and death which all too often risk being dismissed as a pure waste of time by people obsessed with money and power. As we experience a massive collapse of economic growth we need to welcome this moment as a wake-up call for reflection on what really counts in our lives. Present experiences of stress and loneliness, as well as unprecedented outbursts of racist abuse and killings, have exposed a deep permafrost of social malaise, missed legal reforms and a pervasive loss of the spiritual dimension of life, even among believers who stick to a certain creed. The insights of the participants of the Symposium 2019 which marked the 20th anniversary of the Macau Ricci Institute form an excellent road map for a much needed spiritual journey that each one of us may undertake as the coronavirus puts an end to the easy escape of tourist travel. The Zen tradition describes the inner journey as an “ox path” as it does not hide the pains of a dreadful and bumpy road that leads to inner freedom. Coping with the pandemic may open a decisive new opportunity for each of us to wake up to our own unique “ox path” marked out by Contemplation, Mission and Martyrdom.
Journeys Toward Moral LeadershipVol. 5 (2019)
Moral leadership begins with moral education. But moral education often is reduced to compliance and legalist approaches. This tendency to equate morality with a duty to follow the rules—judging from what we see around us nowadays—is highly ineffective, if not counter-productive. The whip of indoctrination coercing support for ideological creeds just seems to provoke greater and better organized resistance. When official textbooks for schools aim to infuse “patriotic values” following a similar logic, the predictable failure seems programmed in advance as most students are likely to resist such intrusions into their conscience.
The Belt and Road Initiative: Between Pitfalls and Promises a Path Toward a New HumanismVol. 4 (2019)
When we look at the sheer size and multiple dimensions of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its related projects we may often wonder how it is possible to come to grips with such a complex beast: Six new land corridors of the “Road” and the Maritime “Belt” throughout the seas, with new spaces around the globe getting more and more connected with each other. Beyond the vast expanses, what could turn out truly as innovative when the BRI was launched in 2013 is the call for reciprocity, peace and cooperation, mutual learning and mutual benefit within it.
Education for the Common GoodVol. 3 (2018)
Education constantly opens the mind to new insights, skills, values and beliefs. However, the entrance to education seems to be more and more restricted to privileged clubs to which large segments of society are unable to have access. The third issue of the Macau Ricci Institute Journal therefore explores a few perspectives on how education could be more oriented towards the benefit of the larger society rather than perpetuating a hermit kingdom where only status, power and money count. For example, the ratings and rankings of international universities and colleges seem to refer to a host of parameters, emphasising quality of teaching, financial resources and research strength. However, a key driver may be the all-too-common perception that an institution only gives access to an exclusive club mostly defined by networks of power and money. With their aspirations narrowed to power and money, students become focused above all on the initial salary they may anticipate after their graduation.
Transforming Homo EconomicusVol. 2 (2018)
The gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening. A very small group has privileged access to vital resources while a growing number of people find themselves totally left behind. If we refer to the “wealthgap” between top and bottom of the economic “pyramid” we usually focus on the disparity in access to financial resources. Those who seem locked in a vicious circle of poverty, violence and
denial of rights quite often do not have proper access to education and adequate professional training. Hong Kong’s wealth gap, for example, has widened to a historic high, with the richest households now earning about 44 times what the poorest families scrape together, in spite of government efforts to alleviate poverty.
The Macau Ricci Institute Journal: Connecting Social Innovation, Moral Leadership and Comparative SpiritualityVol. 1 (2017)
The logo of the Macau Ricci Institute in Macau, as it is shared with its founding institution the Taipei Ricci Institute is a provocative one, a symbol with deep and multiple resonances in traditional Chinese culture. It shows a man standing on the back of a tiger, trying to ride the tiger, which is moving forward, apparently in the direction indicated by the rider. While we may be concerned about the folly of trying to ride a tiger, the website of the Ricci Institute has this to say about its meaning: “The image taken from a flat wine vessel in bronze dating from the time of the Han Dynasty, is of a Taoist Immortal riding a tiger. The Tiger, prince of the wild beasts of the mountain, is the animal in which resides the ‘Yin,’ the vital principle of Earth. The Tiger signifies the ‘Yin’ that calls forth the action of the ‘Yang.’” If the tiger symbolises
“Yin” then the rider symbolises “Yang” (MRI, 2017). Riding the tiger, according to the MRI website, symbolises mastering the forces of the earth.