Call for Applications for an International Workshop on the History of Christianity in East Asia at Sophia University, Japan

Xiaoxin Wu's picture
September 26, 2019 to October 5, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Chinese History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, Japanese History / Studies, Korean History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

Call for Applications for an International Workshop
on the History of Christianity in East Asia at Sophia University, Japan

The Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History at the University of San Francisco in collaboration with the Kirishitan Bunko at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan will hold a 9-day international workshop in Japan, from September 27 through October 5, 2019.

This workshop consists of two components:

  1. a three-day program of visits and study of historical sites in Nagasaki, Japan (details to be announced) from Friday, September 27 to Monday, September 30, 2019; and
  2. a five-day workshop in Tokyo, Japan from Tuesday, October 1 to Saturday, October 5, 2019.  

Please note that all participants will be expected to arrive by Thursday, September 26 in Nagasaki, and depart on Sunday, October 6, 2019 from Tokyo. 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. For more information about the various initiatives that are part of the project, please visit: For information about the previous workshops at the University of Oxford (2017) and at the University of Minnesota (2018), please visit the above website as well as:

The workshop has four primary components. First, through a series of lectures and seminars by senior scholars from the Sophia University and from other institutions, 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 interactions with librarians and curators of the Kirishitan Bunko library and archives at Sophia University—one of the premier world collections of pre-modern as well as 19th-century materials on Christianity in Japan and China.

Secondly, participants will have the opportunity to discuss the entire editorial and publication process of an academic monograph in this field with a senior Acquisitions Editor from Brill Academic Publishers in Leiden in the Netherlands.

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.

Fourthly, participants will attend a one-day international symposium at Sophia University on historical studies of Christianity in East Asia co-organized by the University and the Ricci Institute.

The working language at the workshop is English. Recipients of a previous Luce Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Ricci Institute are not eligible to apply.

Qualifications. Applicants must have completed their dissertation defense and have been awarded the doctoral degree in order to be eligible to participate in the workshop. Post-doctoral candidates must have completed their doctoral degrees within the past five years (any exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis) 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. an 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.

Expenses. 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.

  1. Note: car rentals and taxi services from the airport to the hotel are not covered.
  2. 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 pre-arranged 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 Sophia University will be able to issue successful applicants with an official invitation to participate in the workshop. For more information see:

Deadline. All required documents should be in English and submitted via email no later than April 19, 2019 to with the subject line: “2019 Tokyo Workshop Application”. Letters from the recommenders must be sent directly to the above email address by the same deadline.

The preferred formats for the letter attachments are PDF or MS-WORD.

Application results will be announced by the last week of May, 2019.

For more information about the Ricci Institute at the University of San Francisco, please visit:, the Luce Grant website, or our Facebook page at:

Contact Info: 

Xiaoxin Wu, Ed.D., Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080

Contact Email: