Catholic religious education and Confucianism: Some implications for interreligious education in Hong Kong

Imelda Pui Hing Lam, Fordham University


With the migration of people of various ethnicities, the post-modern world is breaking down the barriers between different traditions, cultures, and interreligious communities. People are becoming more aware that neglecting other faiths can bring misunderstandings which can lead to hostility, eventually ending up in war and destruction. To maintain peace and harmony in a community, many people acknowledge that initiating dialogue between different faiths can be the best way to prevent confrontation resulting from blindness to others. This dissertation advocates for interreligious education which fosters a quest for a wider understanding of God in Christianity and in other faiths. Christianity has had enormous influence in the West. However, many theologians suggest that in the pluralistic society of this postmodern era, the development of religion is not bounded in church institutions; instead, it exists in various dimensions. For example, David Tracy emphasizes the need to reshape traditional Christian theology, to deepen the understanding of "self-transcendence" and to articulate it within the pluralistic context of the contemporary situation. Confucianism has influenced the East as Christianity did in the West. Evolving from the ancient times throughout ages, Confucianism has aroused the interest of scholars in the West, and has become one of the significant subjects of interfaith research. Scholars argue that the integrity of interfaith dialogue in the West and the East is promoting global peace in this contemporary era. With examination of some pertinent foundational beliefs in Christianity and Confucianism, and the virtues that each promotes, this dissertation highlights the importance of interreligious learning from the perspective of contemporary Catholic Education and Confucianism. It critiques the implementation of a new curriculum of religious education in Hong Kong as a viable option for interreligious education in Catholic schools. This complementary approach is aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of the dispositions of the West and East for Chinese youth growing up in Hong Kong so as to enable them to live out a harmonious life amidst a diversity of beliefs. This dissertation also affirms the need for interreligious education so as to foster better understanding of, and appreciation for, the current intermingling of eastern and western cultures in Hong Kong, and in similar settings in the world.

Subject Area

Religious education

Recommended Citation

Lam, Imelda Pui Hing, "Catholic religious education and Confucianism: Some implications for interreligious education in Hong Kong" (2015). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10014275.