Why We Exist
The University of Hong Kong, as a leading institution of higher education, should be a place where faith is freely discussed and understood. This is now an urgent issue given the re-emergence of religion as a potent social and political force in recent years across the world. With its academic freedom and its strategic location in a region witnessing a rapid growth of Christianity and other faiths, the University of Hong Kong is uniquely positioned to address these issues. The FAITH AND GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE at HKU ("Faith Initiative" in short;「宗教信仰與全球參與」倡議計劃) aims to be a leading voice in the region, contributing to the conversation of faith in the world.
Who We Are
The FAITH INITIATIVE is a self-funded multi-disciplinary initiative for research and teaching, providing a platform for experts to discuss the role of faith in the public, professional and cultural life of the region and beyond. It focuses on the contribution of the Christian scholarly tradition, in conversation with other world-views, to the understanding and shaping of contemporary society.
What We Do
The mission of the FAITH INITIATIVE is to foster a better society by informing and inspiring leaders to understand the vital role that faith plays in modern life. It will achieve its aims by
- promoting scholarly reflection on how faith intersects with society
- encouraging intelligent discussion in the public sphere, and
- nurturing an openness to faith-based values in public life.
How We Think
Hospitality and integrity are the core values of the FAITH INITIATIVE. We aim to be open and real, pursuing scholarly excellence through an integration of knowledge with social responsibility.
Open –The FAITH INITIATIVE is open to everyone regardless of their beliefs, religious or secular. The purpose is not to foster religious practices or to propagate particular beliefs but to encourage purposeful engagement with current issues pertaining to faith in an open and constructive manner.
Real – To initiate an authentic and meaningful space for engagement, the FAITH INITIATIVE will host discussions from a Christian scholarly viewpoint, welcoming those who inhabit other traditions to share ideas in an environment of mutual respect. We believe that relevant and meaningful discussions best occur when participants relate to each other from particular world-views, recognizing each other differences in a spirit of hospitality.
Integrated – The FAITH INITIATIVE aims to integrate faith and scholarship with social responsibility, in the interests of a wisdom that can engage the world in relevant, reflective and practical ways.
Excellence – The FAITH INITIATIVE aims to enhance the reputation of the University through the excellence of its research and teaching, the world-class standing of its visiting experts, and the quality of its network with partner institutions.
Where We Are Going
Faith is deeply interwoven in the fabric of Asian society and is developing rapidly in China. This will fuel what is already a global issue as this region comes into greater prominence on the world stage. The FAITH INITIATIVE is strategically placed to have a significant impact on Hong Kong, China and the rest of the world at this critical time, as it provides current and future leaders with a theologically informed and responsible understanding of religion and how its engagement with the world can transform the social and political landscape. Through its public events, forums and courses the FAITH INITIATIVE hopes to change the change-makers, encouraging a ripple effect that would prosper the cultural, public and professional life of our society.