Press Releases 2016

Confucius Day celebrations strengthen multi-cultural connection in Lampeter

05.10.2016

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the Chin Kung Multi-Cultural Educational Foundation have joined forces in a series of events to celebrate the international Confucius Day at its Lampeter campus.  

chin kung

Following the official launch of the Academy of Sinology last July, a joint initiative between the University and the Chin Kung Multi-Cultural Educational Foundation, a special ceremony was held on the Lampeter Campus to mark Confucius Day. The celebrations included a multi-faith service officiated by the Venerable Randolph Thomas, Chair of Governors and Venerable Master Wu Dao, of the Chin Kung Foundation.

An Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) was also conferred upon the Venerable Master Wu Dao in recognition of his contribution on a world stage to the promotion of global harmony and peace. In his address to the congregation Dr Jeremy Smith, Dean of Humanities and Performing Arts said, “Master Wu Dao has been a close and esteemed friend to the University. We have gained much from his profound wisdom and integrity”. 

Venerable Master Wu Dao was born in 1951 in Taiwan. In 1966, at the age of 15, his elder brother introduced Buddhism to him, and he started to become diligent in his studies.  He took refuge in the Triple Gem, and became a devoted Buddhist lay person. In 1984, he joined the order of Sangha and a few years later began to follow the Venerable Master Chin Kung. In 1985 he became a fully ordained Buddhist monk as well as taking up a position at Hwa Dzan Buddhist Library in Taipei, where he was in charge of promoting Buddhism.

From 1990s, encouraged by Venerable Master Chin Kung and the director of the Library, he stated to learn and give Dharma talks in Taiwan, and around the world.

He currently holds several directorships of several Buddhist organisations, including the Corporate Body of Hwa Dzan Pure Land Teachings Propagation Foundation, Pure Land Learning College Association, Changhwa Pureland Learning Center, as well as other organizations in Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Seattle, New York, Spain, Australia.

In October 2015, Venerable Master Wu Dao established Hwa Dzan Pure Land Association, UK in preparation for the establishment of the Academy of Sinology at UWTSD.  In June 2016, he conducted the first Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony in Europe at the University’s Lampeter campus.

During the day, the University and the Chin Kung Multi-Cultural Educational Foundation also signed a number of service level agreements detailing the working relationship between both organisations in relation to the establishment of the Academy of Sinology. 

During his address the Venerable Randolph Thomas said “Today is an historic day and is an opportunity for us to come together to mark the birth of Confucius and to celebrate his role as a teacher. Today, our two cultures come together in celebration – our Christian tradition and Buddhism – in a multi-faith services to celebrate wisdom, love and harmony across the world. We are also witnessing the historic agreement between our two organisations which will see the development of the Academy of Sinology on the Lampeter campus”.

The Venerable Master Chin Kung said that in ancient times religions had developed across the world independently of each other; but now the world was a global village and we have come to realise the commonality across all our religions. He said “The Academy of Sinology will teach the ancient Chinese wisdom, allowing us to connect directly to Confucius and his teachings. We want to promote stability and harmony in the world and learn from each other to solve the problems of the world.  

“Traditional Chinese culture belongs to the whole world.  This is the reason why we are establishing the Academy of Sinology here. Today, is officially the start of our co-operation.”

The Academy of Sinology will deliver four new masters’ programmes – Buddhism, Confucianism, Daosim and Sinology – and a new Graduate Diploma in Sinology. The Foundation will offer up to 50 postgraduate scholarships per year to help students. The programmes will be bi-lingual (Chinese and English) and will be open to all students including those associated with the Foundation.  It will be a centre for the academic study of ancient China, primarily through the investigation of ancient Chinese religions, texts, language and culture.  The Academy will significantly enhance UWTSD Lampeter’s reputation as a centre for multi-faith and multi-cultural studies as well as the study of ancient civilisations. Lampeter already delivers programmes in Chinese Studies and was home to Wales’s first Confucius Institute.