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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After the departure of Ruggieri for Europe, the Jesuits were expelled from Zhaoqing by a new mandarin, who coveted their house. This represented the low point in the career of Ricci. The missionaries relocated to Shaozhou, a small prefectural town in northern Guangdong. Ricci refused the offer to move into the famous Nanhua monastery, signalling his subsequent break with Buddhist accommodation. Meanwhile, new reinforcements came from Macau, but two European Jesuits died of illness, while two Macau born Chinese Jesuit brothers were more acclimatized to serve as Ricci's helpers. An important development is Ricci's friendship with Qu Rukui, a Confucian scholar and the son of a famous mandarin from Suzhou in the Jiangnan area, the richest and culturally most advanced region of China. Qu's advice convinced Ricci to forsake Buddhist robes and adopt the dress and demeanour of Confucian scholars, which represented a major turn in the policy of cultural accommodation.

Keywords: Shaozhou; Qu Rukui; Buddhist monasticism; cultural accommodation

Chapter.  10610 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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