Sr. Marianne Farina, CSC was one of the presenters for The Centre for Catholic Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, conference on “Teaching Catholic Social Ethics and Civic Education.” The conference was held at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from March 17-18, 2017.
The need for this program arose from the belief that Catholic Social Teaching helps to sustain the 1997 arrangement of “one country, two systems,” that guaranteed civil liberties and autonomy in Hong Kong. Given the social and political situation in Hong Kong, the goals of this conference were twofold:
1) to discuss the research results of the experimental teaching of Catholic social ethics in Catholic schools and civic/national education in Hong Kong;
2) to exchange viewpoints and share experiences of teaching Catholic social ethics and civic or citizenship education at various levels in different countries.
There were 15 presenters at the conference and over 60 teachers and students from local Catholic Hong Kong universities, schools, and organizations. Topics ranged from research and analysis about the Catholic Center’s school project, CARITAS reports on religious and moral education in Hong Kong, and cultural identity studies of teachers in Catholic schools of Hong Kong; to topics such as professional ethics training, Real-Life Dilemma (RLD) models for teaching ethics, and intercultural education for global citizenship.
Sr. Marianne’s paper was entitled, “The Encyclical Tradition as a Dynamism for Teaching Catholic Social Justice.” The paper addressed how engaging the papal encyclicals can become a “reading of the signs of the times,” which helps us focus on the moral import of concerns surrounding education in Hong Kong and on the particular calls to justice they evince. The goal is to encounter the encyclicals in order to give shape to our understanding of justice and not to see them as simply historical records. Approaching the documents in this way provides academic and pastoral resource for the formation of an active citizenship in society.
The Center for Catholic Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong will publish the papers in a book due to be released in fall 2017.