Chapter

Laying the Foundations

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592258.003.0011
Laying the Foundations

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This chapter examines in the first part the success of Ricci in Beijing and those of other Jesuit missions in China. Through Ricci's Chinese writings and prestigious western books, such as the Plantin Bible, the Jesuits made a strong impression on many Chinese elites, including Li Zhizao and Xu Guangqi, who converted to Christianity. Li was attracted by western science, while Xu saw in Christian ethics, discipline, and doctrines, a solution to his own personal spiritual quest and to China's problem in an age of corruption and crisis. Both collaborated with Ricci in translating western works into Chinese. Ricci encountered the descendants of Jews, while suffering the loss of personal friends: Valignano and the Chinese Jesuit Francisco Martins, who was martyred in a persecution in Guangzhou, as a result of recent conflicts in Macau and of the 1603 Spanish massacre of Chinese immigrants in the Philippines.

Keywords: Xu Guangqi; Li Zhizao; martyrdom; Manila massacre 1603; Plantin Bible; printing; translations; stoicism; Ershiwu yan

Chapter.  10307 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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