R. Po‐chia Hsia

in A Jesuit in the Forbidden City

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199592258
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595622 | DOI:

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Although Ruggieri is remembered merely as someone who introduced Ricci to China, he played, in fact, a very important role in the early Jesuit Mission. This chapter is based on his manuscript journal, hitherto ignored, which offers a different picture of the early Catholic mission. Ruggieri was the first to learn Chinese and although his spoken language was not fluent, he did compose poems in classical Chinese. Unlike Ricci, with his scientific training, the older Ruggieri was convinced that by accommodating to Buddhism, he could persuade the Chinese of the soundness of the new Christian doctrines. This chapter examines his activities, including a long journey and sojourn in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, the native place of magistrate Wang Pang. It also analyzes a dialogue composed by Ruggieri, the Tianzhu shilu, the first Catholic work in the Chinese language. Eventually, Ruggieri was sent back to Rome, reflecting the dissatisfaction of his superior, Alessandro Valignano, and possibly, the opposition of Ricci to Ruggieri's Buddhist accommodation.

Keywords: Alessandro Valignano; Shaoxing; cultural accommodation; Ruggieri

Chapter.  8535 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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