From Maximum Illud 1919 to the First National Synod Primum Concilium Sinensis 1924 in Shanghai

Historical & Theological Perspectives

  • Franz Gassner University of Saint Joseph

Abstract

A Synod is as old as the Church itself. The concept originates from Greek σύνοδος, literally, “coming together,” “joint way”, “assembly”, “concourse”. Following the inspiration by the Holy Spirit, it is the proper answer to address major challenges, e.g., the admission of gentiles (Jerusalem 50 A.D.), the nature of Jesus Christ (Nicaea 325 AD), or the role of Mother Mary in the history of Salvation (Ephesus 431 AD). For the whole of China, as late as 1924 a First National Synod has been convened to deliberate and decide about major issues of inculturation of faith and sinification of the universal Church. Convened by the Apostolic Delegate Celso Costantini in Shanghai 1924, it responded to Pope Benedicts XV’s urgent mission directive Maximum Illud (1919) during a time of dramatic and historical transitions in China.1

Keywords: China, colonialism, Celso Costantini, Maximum Illud, Mission and Politics, Synod of Shanghai, inculturation, sinification.

I express gratitude to Prof. Leo Leeb for his inspiration and encouragement to write this article and for his permission to use his English translations from Latin of selected Articles of the Synod of Shanghai 1924.

Published
Apr 25, 2022
How to Cite
Gassner, .... (2022). From Maximum Illud 1919 to the First National Synod Primum Concilium Sinensis 1924 in Shanghai. Orientis Aura: Macau Perspectives In Religious Studies, 0(5). Retrieved from
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