THE MISSION OF THE JESUITS IN CHINA: THE FIRST DIALOGUE OF CHRISTIAN AND CONFUCIAN CIVILIZATIONS (SECOND HALF OF THE 16TH CENTURY-EARLY 17TH CENTURY)

YU. G. Smertin / Ю. Г. Смертин

Abstract


The article is devoted to the activities of members of the Jesuit Order in the Christianization of China in the second half of XVI – the first decades of the XVII century. It was a time when Europe was engulfed in the desire for expansion and proselytism, and the Roman Catholic Church sought ways and methods to convert the population of non-European countries in the True Faith. Special attention is paid to the activities of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci, who created a new method of evangelism based on a deep immersion in the culture of the natives, the search for similarities in the religious and ethical systems of European and Chinese civilizations. His translations of the Confucian classics introduced Europeans with the original philosophical system, which had defined the modus operandi of the Chinese for two millennia. In turn, the Jesuits brought to China European scientific and technical knowledge that contributed to the further progress of Chinese society. The author concludes that the activities of Jesuits during the period under review was an important part of the history of contacts between West and East and promoted cultural exchange between the Christian and Confucian civilizations.


Keywords


China; Ricci; Christianity; Jesuits; missionaries; evangelism; acculturation; Confucianism; proselytism

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TRANSLIT

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Baigrie B.S. Picturing Knowledge: Historical and Philosophical Problems Concerning the Use of Art in Science. Toronto, 1996.

Dunne G.H. Generation of Giants. The Story of the Jesuits in China in the Last Decades of the Ming Dinasty. London, 1962.

Heyndrickx J. The Man Who Brought China to Europe. Nettetal, 1990.

Jackson P. The Mongols and the West: 1221–1410. London, 2005.

Jensen L.M. Manufacturing Confucianism: Chinese Traditions & Universal Civilization. Durham, 1997.

The Jesuits: Cultures, Sciences, and Arts. 1540–1773. Ed. by J.W. Malley et al. Toronto, 1999.

Laven M. Mission to China: Matteo Ricci and the Jesuit Encounter with the East. London, 2011.

Nouveaux mémoires sur l’état présent de la China. Tome 2. Paris, 1696 // www.archive.org/details/gri_0001331125010712483.

Reading Christian Scriptures in China. Ed. by Ch. Starr. London, 2008.


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