Bridging Cultures, Connecting Histories

on the History of Christianity in East Asia at Sophia University
and a study tour of historical Nagasaki

The Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History at the University of San Francisco in collaboration with the Kirishitan Bunko Library at Sophia University will hold a three-day international workshop and one-day conference in Tokyo from October 2-5, 2019. Preceding the activities at Sophia University, the Ricci Institute will also organize a three-day historical study tour in the city of Nagasaki from 
September 27-30, 2019. 

Please note that all successful candidates will be expected to arrive no later than  Tuesday, September 26 in Nagasaki and no later than October 1, 2019 in Tokyo—the day preceding the beginning of each respective program. They will also be required to depart no earlier than Sunday, October 6, 2019.
They are required to attend all workshop-related activities and sessions.

We are inviting post-doctoral level scholars and junior faculty members with their research focus on Christianity in East Asia who are currently preparing a book manuscript for publication to apply. This workshop is part of a four-year project supported by the Henry Luce Foundation in New York City. The project is entitled,
Historical Legacies of Christianity in East Asia: Bridging a New Generation of Scholars and Scholarship and is administered by the Ricci Institute.

Study Tour (September 27-30, 2019)

This year the workshop will be preceded by a unique opportunity to visit the city of Nagasaki—an important historical hub for Christianity in Japan, with its cultural links to Korea and China. It was the most important place of encounter with Europe in the sixteenth century and maintained trade relations as well as religious exchange with the city of Macau. The tour will be guided by experts and will give participants the opportunity to familiarize themselves with a unique city that reflects the history that is the object of this grant project.

Workshop & Conference (October 2-5, 2019)

The workshop has three primary components.

First, through a series of lectures and seminars by senior scholars at the University of Oxford, participants will have the opportunity to confer with specialists from around the world with regard to the interpretation of complex primary source materials, including manuscripts and early printed books from different historical periods composed in a variety of East Asian and Western languages (e.g. classical Chinese, classical Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, etc... ).

Another primary focus will be reflecting on research methodologies and historiographies, as they developed and were expressed through different scholarly rhetorical traditions. The training will be further enhanced by discussions with librarians and curators of the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean special collections at the Bodleian Library.

Secondly, participants will have the opportunity to interact with a Senior Acquisitions Editor from Brill Academic Publishers in Leiden and with other scholars with regard to the entire editorial and publication process.

Thirdly, participants will be mentored by invited senior scholars who are well known internationally for their contributions to the study of Christianity in East Asia. These scholars will critique and discuss the participants' draft manuscripts in view of their preparation for publication. This will take place in an open forum together with fellow participants.

At the end of the workshop, there will be a one-day conference, at which senior scholars and some participants will be invited to speak about their research in the field of the history of Christianity in East Asia.


Applicants for the workshop must have been awarded their doctoral degrees by September 1, 2019. Post-doctoral candidates must have completed their doctoral degrees within the past five years and have been involved actively in teaching and/or research (as a post-doctoral fellow, an independent scholar, or a junior faculty member).


(1) a most recent Curriculum Vitae;

(2) a 8~10 page double-spaced statement in English that summarizes the manuscript. the candidate is currently preparing to submit for publication. The theme of the manuscript should be related to some aspect of the history of Christianity in East Asia, including China, Japan,Korea, and Vietnam. This statement should include a synopsis of the manuscript, a detailed description of the research methodology employed, plans for additional research and writing to complete the project (if any), and a proposed timeline for the submission of the manuscript to a publisher;

(3) two up-to-date letters of recommendation.


The Ricci Institute will cover the following expenses for all successful applicants:

(1) Transportation: return economy airfare from your city/country of residence to Japan;and within Japan local transportation to Nagasaki and Tokyo. More detailed information will be communicated to fellowship recipients, with whom we will work to ensure the most efficient travel plans depending on each participant's country/city of residence and arrival/departure.

(2) Note: car rentals are not covered.

(3) Lodging: in Nagasaki from September 26 until the morning of September 30,
2019, and in Tokyo from October 1 until the morning of October 6, 2019, including
most meals during the workshop (Note: lodging during the above periods will be prearranged by the workshop organizers).

Please note that the place of lodging & expense for the night of September 30, 2019
will be the responsibility of the participants.

All authorized expenses will be paid as a reimbursement on presentation of official receipts, in compliance with the travel policies of the University of San Francisco and the terms stipulated by the Henry Luce Foundation. 

Incidental expenses of a personal nature (e.g. travel insurance, phone/data purchase, etc.) are not reimbursable.

Medical Insurance

Please note that all participants are responsible to arrange their own valid medical insurance for the duration of their stay in Japan.


If you are required to apply for a visa to enter Japan, please contact the
local Japanese Consulate for more information on the documentation you will be expected to provide. To support your visa application, the Ricci Institute and Sophia University will be able to issue successful applicants with an official invitation to participate in the workshop. Please note that it may take at least several weeks to process a visa, if you are required to obtain one in order to enter Japan.
For more information see


All required documents should be in English, and submitted by email no later than
April 19, 2019 
to [email protected] with the subject line:
2019 Tokyo Workshop Application.

Letters of recommendation must be received by the same deadline directly from the recommenders electronically to the above email address. The preferred formats for the letters are PDF or MS-WORD.

Application results will be announced by May, 2019.

For more information about the Ricci Institute at the University of San Francisco, please visit:
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