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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A serendipitous encounter with Sun Kuang, a grand mandarin from Shaoxing, who came to Shaozhou to seek cure with the Jesuits for his depressed young son, allowed Ricci to escape from Guangdong. He travelled in the entourage of Sun Kuang to Nanjing, the southern capital of the Ming empire, but was not allowed to stay. Returning to Nanchang, Ricci quickly built up a network of friends, among them the elites of the city‐‐‐Ming feudatory princes, provincial officials, and the scholar Zhang Huang, a follower of the doctrines of Wang Yangming, the 16th century philosopher and the most important thinker of the Ming. In Nanchang Ricci gained a great reputation by publishing books in Chinese, on the art of memory, on friendship, and benefitted from his many conversations with Zhang Huang to formulate points of harmony between Confucian ethics and Christian doctrines. These would inform Ricci's major work, Tianzhu shiyi, True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, which would replace Ruggieri's outdated Chinese language doctrina.

Keywords: Sun Kuang; Wang Yangming; Zhang Huang; Tianzhu shiyi; friendship; Ming princes; academies; Nanchang; imperial civil service examination

Chapter.  12668 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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