Looking Back on Fifty Years in Sankt Augustin

Fifty years ago, the Monumenta Serica Institute moved from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to its current site in Sankt Augustin. This has been the third relocation of our Institute over the course of almost 90 years. After thirteen years in Beijing (1935–1948), and about eight years each in Japan (1954–1962) and the USA (1963–1971), the Institute settled on the SVD campus in Sankt Augustin in 1972, joining two other academic institutions of the Divine Word Missionaries, the Anthropos Institute and the Steyler Missionswissenschaftliches Institut (SVD Institute for Missiology).

To commemorate this anniversary, we have conducted several interviews (in German) with two contemporary witnesses from 12 to 14 July, 2022: Fr. Wilhelm Kuno Müller, an SVD member of our Institute and former editor-in-chief, and Mrs. Haruko Kuijlaars, a now retired staff member of the first hour in Sankt Augustin. Fr. Müller joined the Monumenta Serica Institute in 1962, when pursuing his Ph.D. with a thesis on Japanese Shingon-Buddhism at the UCLA. He also supervised the move of the Institute’s extensive library to Sankt Augustin. Mrs. Kuijlaars worked in the Monumenta Serica editorial office and the library for twenty years, having joined the team right after the move.

The film presents excerpts of these interviews and sheds more light on this recent phase of our Institute’s history.

If you would like to know more about the history and current projects of the Institute kindly refer to three contributions in German published in the SVD magazine Steyler aktuell no. 59 (1 December 2022).