Spaces in the Jesuits’ Reinterpretation of Chinese Classics
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AbstractIn the history of Christianity in China and in the history of exchanges between the East and the West, the Jesuit missionaries played a pivotal role, not only as translators of Western knowledge and technology, but also as agents, choosing passages in Chinese classics which they claimed compatible with Christianity and disseminating back to the West. Their accommodation approach continued in the early Qing and High Qing dynasty when the Jesuit Figurists came and won the attention from the Kangxi emperor, with their reinterpretation of the Yijing. Not following the footsteps of the previous Jesuits, the Jesuit Figurists not only centered on the figures, symbols, numbers in their typological exegesis of the Yijing but also transformed the spaces/locations they studied from ancient classics, including The Zhuangzi 莊子 (Book of Master Zhuang), Huainanzi 淮南子 (Master(s) from Huainan), Liezi 列子 (Book of Master Lie), Shan Hai Jing 山海經 (The Classic of Mountains and Seas), which are linked with Chinese mythology and histories. This paper aims to examine the spaces the Figurists borrowed from the above classics and records of mythic geography: they aimed to create a new space to fit the histories and mythologies on both sides, such as the Garden of Eden and the astronomical signs in the sky. The new space they introduced in Chinese classics amazed the European readers and the travel of their manuscripts also manifests the inception of French Sinology.
All Author(s) ListSophie Ling-chia Wei
Name of ConferenceAAS IN ASIA 2020
Start Date of Conference31/08/2020
End Date of Conference04/09/2020
Place of ConferenceVirtual
Country/Region of ConferenceJapan
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsSpace, Jesuits, Shan Hai Jing

Last updated on 2021-28-09 at 17:17