This little boat that belongs to you and us

by on Friday, 26 October 2012 Comments

This issue of Renlai includes the second focus of a series of three dedicated to Taiwan and the Pacific. The October issue gave a voice to young Taiwanese scholars working on different islands, while the December issue will gather the best contributions from the Pacific conference that the Taipei Ricci Institute and Renlai organized this month in association with the Taiwan Association of Pacific Studies.

This way of proceeding is part of a shift that our readers have noted and of which they have generally approved: Renlai is now trying to explore in depth topics of general concern by approaching them from different perspectives over a period of three months. This editorial change - along with one that lends a much stronger voice to the 20-35 generation – is inspired by our desire to weigh in even more on Taiwan’s cultural debate: in a social environment where speed and superficiality dominate the media, we hope to help everyone to slow down, to consider our world in a more reflective state of mind, and to incorporate emotion, aesthetics and reasoning in offering a multilayered perspective of the challenges that determine our future; not an easy task in the contemporary world, and one for which the help and support of our readers is absolutely necessary. 

Furthermore, paying special attention to the Pacific world is a strategic direction that Renlai embarked upon four to five years ago, and is progressively developing. It is a way to honour the aboriginal heritage of Taiwan, which enriches its whole culture and is part of its identity. It is a way to recalibrate the “Western” and “Eastern” geographical dimensions of Taiwan. It is also a way to discover a world that lies to the East, a world that offers values and mores very different from the ones by which we live - values and ways of life that can change our outlook on our own existence and our priorities. Finally, the Pacific is a continent of its own, and its future =will determine the future of the global community: maritime resources, pollution, climate change, territorial conflicts, cultural and natural diversity… these concerns are experienced more acutely in the Pacific, and their resolution in this oceanic environment will decide whether or not they can be tackled in the rest of the world.

As our readers know well, enabling a monthly magazine like Renlai continue to fulfill its mission is a continuous challenge. At the same time, we find much joy and trepidation in making this magazine grow in quality and influence, and we are more and more convinced that we do have something special to offer - something that we are now presenting in different formats, hard copy and digital. Thanks to all of you for your faith in us. Thanks also for helping to widen our readership by spreading word of Renlai to more and more people. Renlai is just a little boat, but, traveling together in this little boat, we can continue to cross the limitless ocean with you on board…



Benoit Vermander (魏明德)

Benoit Vermander lives in Shanghai. He teaches philosophy and religious anthropology at the University of Fudan.

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