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May God Bless Manchukuo: Manchuria and the Transformation of Vatican-China Relations

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University presents a talk by Professor Thomas DuBois on the diplomacy issues involving Manchuria, the Vatican and China.

October 19, 2017 12:30pm to 1:45pm
The relationship between China and the Vatican remains one of the global touchstones in the diplomatic personality of religion. Before the mid-twentieth century, this relationship was further mediated by national missions, resulting in a series of doctrinal and administrative struggles over the Catholic Church in Asia. This long-simmering dispute was brought to a head in 1932 by the question of who within the Church had the political authority to respond to the formation of a Japanese client state in Manchuria. The response to this crisis initiated a new era of Catholic diplomacy, and presaged the changes that would reshape global Catholicism after the Second Vatican Council. This perspective shows that recent rapprochement between China and the Vatican is not an aberration, but a return to the normal state of Catholic diplomacy.
Prof. Thomas DuBois is a historian of modern China, and author of three monographs on religion and social transformation: Sacred Village: Social Change and Religious Life in Rural North China (Hawai'i, 2005), Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia (Cambridge, 2011), and most recently Empire and the Meaning of Religion in Northeast Asia: Manchuria 1900-1945 (Cambridge, 2017). He has also written extensively on other topics of the social and legal history of the twentieth century, including charities, sovereignty and the resurgence of the NGO sector. DuBois has taught at universities in the US, Singapore and Australia, and is currently researching China's animal industries as a fellow of the History and Anthropology Project at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. 


March 27, 2018 - 4:00pm
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Please join the U.S.-China Institute and PEN America for the West Coast launch of the PEN America report on social media in China, Forbidden Feeds. We will discuss the report and Chinese social media more generally. 

April 6, 2018 - 8:00am
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"Finding Solutions" will focus on the work of individuals, companies, and NGOs to address some of China’s pressing challenges. We hope you will join this important discussion on April 6.