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A Jesuit in the Forbidden CityMatteo Ricci 1552-1610$
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R. Po-chia Hsia

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199592258

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592258.001.0001

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Laying the Foundations

Laying the Foundations

(p.245) 11 Laying the Foundations
A Jesuit in the Forbidden City

R. Po‐chia Hsia

Oxford University Press

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

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