March 5, 2010
Natch Ohno, S.J., assistant to the vice president of student development, presented a paper, “Cultural Conversion: Understanding Japanese Religiosity,” at a symposium titled “Sowing the Field of Christian Missions in China and Japan.” The gathering was hosted by Gonzaga and Whitworth Universities.
The symposium, which was part of the Matteo Ricci Lecture Series, commemorated the 400th anniversary of the early Jesuit’s death. Matteo Ricci, for whom SU's Matteo Ricci College is named, was a Jesuit cartographer, mathematician and scientist. “He situated himself into Chinese culture by accommodating himself into the Peking court thereby engaging in dialogue about Western secular and Christian thought,” writes Fr. Ohno. “He is the first foreigner given permission to be buried in Peking. The accommodation methods of Ricci were instrumental in the spread of Christianity in China and Japan.”
The event featured other prominent scholars and Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, who concluded the symposium with a Mass in honor of St. Francis Xavier.
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