SEPT 5, 2021: The late Cardinal Cornelius Sim was a visionary and in the later part of his life he saw the need to create a community of people to talk about issues that are affecting the Christian community and find workable solutions. He was the Vicar Apostolic of Brunei Darussalam but his heart went beyond the borders of his country.
Which was why he unreservedly supported the setting up of the Christian Institute for Theological Engagement (CHRISTE) on August 28, 2020, in which His Eminence was the inaugural Ecclesiastical Patron. This is where Catholic and Protestant scholars and experts in both religious and secular worlds can discuss issues like interfaith dialogue, women and children in society, ecology, culture, morality, and history, among others.
With his passing on May 29 this year and to continue building on the work that he supported, CHRISTE has set up The Cornelius Cardinal Sim Professorial Chair in Theology and Dialogue. The scholar who is appointed to this professorship will be responsible for researching, publishing and teaching on issues that are close to the late Cardinal’s heart. This announcement is made on Sept 5 to mark the 100th day of his passing.
“A group of benefactors established and endowed this chair to CHRISTE. The inauguration and installation of the Professorial Chair will take place on Sept 16, the day that would have been the late Cardinal’s 70th birthday,” said Jocelyn Yeo, Chairperson of the Board of Governors for CHRISTE, in an official statement.
With the establishment of this Professorial Chair, the Board has appointed the Rev. Deacon Dr Sherman Kuek OFS as the Cornelius Cardinal Sim Professor of Theology and Dialogue. He will be installed into this position on the same day that the Professorial Chair will be launched.
Besides researching, publishing and teaching work, the appointed professor will also be responsible for awarding research grants to various academic scholars annually in the name of this Professorial Chair. These research grants will be awarded based on research proposals that are submitted and duly evaluated by the professor with the assistance of a panel of consultors.
CHRISTE is a gathering of Christian scholars and specialised practitioners seeking to engage in ecumenical Christian thought with special focus on cross-disciplinary studies relevant to contextual issues impacting contemporary society.
This research institute also promotes the study of Christian Theology and Interfaith Dialogue among the Christian populace in order to facilitate a germination of Christian theological Reflection.
CHRISTE is a global academic initiative that comes under the intergovernmental charter of the United Nations Treaty Series 49006/49007 (comprising twelve governments spread out over four continents). This places the research institute under the legal jurisdiction of international law.