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Hong Kong Baptist University Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology Lecture series of Early Encounters between Europe and Asia

Hong Kong Baptist University Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology
Lecture series of Early Encounters between Europe and Asia


       The Hong Kong Baptist University Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology will put on three lectures between 2–17 November 2023 in the series ‘Early Encounters between Europe and Asia’. The speakers are, respectively: Mr Yoji Sato, Chairman of the Eurasia Foundation (from Asia); Professor Chung Joon-kun, Senior Researcher, the Eurasia Foundation; and Professor Yoo Il Ho of Yonsei University and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance of South Korea. The three speakers are eminent figures in government and business, possessing wide experience in society and outstanding scholarly accomplishments, and the opportunity to hear them here is extremely precious. At the events themselves, they will be using several different languages in a flexible manner to serve us a multi-layered scholarly feast rich in humanity and a philosophical spirit of enquiry that is grounded in a consciousness of solid evidence and historical awareness, taking us on an intoxicating journey that spans both Europe and Asia and the ancient and the modern, and listeners are likely to reap an abundant intellectual harvest.

       These three lectures that are put on by the Academy are characterised by their interdisciplinary and international nature that links different fields of human endeavour as well as time and space. This makes them especially relevant to students and specialists majoring in literature, history, and philosophy, while at the same time opening intellectual doors to others, for example, those with backgrounds in the disciplines of business studies, politics, and economics, as well as others interested in European and Asian civilizations.

       At 4pm on 2 November 2023, Mr Yoji Sato will present to us his lecture titled ‘Absolute Eternal Truth’. Through razor-sharp philosophical enquiry and taking reflections on new technology as his starting point, he will present a most eloquent exposition on the philosophical concepts of truth, the self, life, and religion, in addition, expounding the formulation of his ideas ‘transmission between Europe and Asia’ and ‘a united world’.

       Taking place on the morning of 16 November, the second lecture is by Professor Chung Joon-kun and titled ‘Beyond the Nation State’. Through incisive consideration of the relationship between contemporary trends towards globalization and East Asian society, Professor Chung will explore new notions of societal unification (for example, ‘the pan-Asian community’) that transcend the traditional model of the nation state based on ethnicity, how these can be imagined, and the potential pathway of their development.

       On the afternoon of 17 November, titled ‘East and West after the Third Century BC’, Professor Yoo Il Ho will focus principally on Europe and Asia, particularly current problems facing East Asian society. He will open his discourse by taking the economic and governmental policies of the Han dynasty empire (founded at the end of the third century BC) and the Roman Empire as his research material, while at the same time merging this with discussion of the strategies of governance of the last seven years in South Korea, thereby allowing the mirror of history to act as a precedent to illuminate the political gains and losses of ancient and modern times.

       Rich in philosophical discourse, the discussion and intention of these three speakers is imbued with a profound sense of care for present-day reality, and the details of this discussion are not only concerned with historical and theoretical retrospection, but still more, they add impetus that focuses closely on the contemporary situation and future fate of the whole community of mankind. From the ancient to the modern, from the surface to the depths, they present to the audience an excellent opportunity for profound investigation of oneself and a cause for reflection on reality.

       Activities of the Eurasia Foundation are grounded in the three principles of no limits being placed on ethnicity and nationality, no limits placed on patterns of thought and religion, and no connection to politics. Within the framework of the search for truth and knowledge, and through the support of lectures given at universities, the aim is to promote student understanding and knowledge exchange in fields that include world history, culture, religion, politics, and economics. Since the Foundation was established, it has put on more than seven hundred lectures around the world and could thus be regarded as having achieved an award of ‘outstanding and meritorious services’ in the realms of culture and education. Let us all earnestly await this series of three lectures put on jointly by the Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology and generously supported by the Eurasia Foundation. Under the guidance of the three speakers, as well as imbibing from the sweet fount of knowledge, let us welcome the new cultural perspectives and angles for contemplation to observe reality that will be opened.