Expanding Our Global Partnerships:Union Faculty Travels to China

Earlier this summer, six Union faculty members traveled to China to visit Nanjing Union Theological Seminary and learn about China’s growing Christian population. The trip offered an opportunity for Union to strengthen our ecumenical ties and to forge new, mutually beneficial relationships. The delegation’s warm reception is a product of China’s rapidly shifting religious demography, but also reveals a significant evolution in the relationship between China and the West.
From left: Dr. Jeremy Hultin, Dr. Brigitte Kahl, Dr. Chung Hyun Kyung, Dr. Su Pak, Sensei Greg Snyder, Rev. Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes
When the Union delegation arrived in China, they were overwhelmed by the unparalleled hospitality. Everywhere they traveled, remarked Rev. Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes, Union’s faculty ambassadors were greeted with “enormous banquets.” Indeed, “any meal was easily three hours,” he laughed, adding, “When I was completely full, they said ‘now the main course is coming.’” Dr. Su Yon Pak was similarly overwhelmed, noting how at one Buddhist temple, they “were treated to over twenty-four dishes. The taste and the beauty of these dishes were truly a feast!” The delegation’s experience at the Chan Buddhist provided a fruitful opportunity to learn about Chinese interreligious engagement.” Sensei Greg Snyder says he feels that “Union students would benefit greatly from…exposure to the way China has historically cultivated a multi-religious environment.” Particularly, he says, as we strive to create a more harmonious environment of religious pluralism in the United states, “it behooves us to remember and explore other traditions that have long been comfortable with practicing many paths


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