The Forgotten Christians of Hangzhou

Front Cover
University of Hawaii Press, 1994 - History - 248 pages
Based on manuscripts from the once inaccessible former Jesuit library of Zikawei in Shanghai, this book breaks new ground in focusing on the generation that followed Matteo Ricci and other luminaries of the early China mission. Unusual in its coverage of both Jesuits and their Chinese literati converts, The Forgotten Christians of Hangzhou traces the development of the Christian presence in seventeenth century Hangzhou through the work of Jesuit fathers Martino Martini and Prospero Intorcetta, and Confucian scholar Zhang Xingyao, whose struggle to demonstrate the compatibility of Neo-Confucianism with the "Lord of Heaven Teaching from the Far West" forms the focus of D. E. Mungello's penetrating study.
Zhang and his fellow literati converts were in almost all respects highly orthodox Confucians who nevertheless regarded Christianity as complementary to, and in some respects transcending, Confucianism. Their search for an intellectual blending of the two religions shows that, contrary to important recent studies, Christianity was inculturated into seventeenth-century China far more than has been realized. Prior to their dissolution at the hands of a hostile imperial government a century later, the Hangzhou Christians had built one of the most beautiful churches in East Asia, a seminary for training young Chinese priests, a library and printing center, and a Jesuit cemetery.
The church and cemetery have since been reopened and the works of Hangzhou Christians are preserved in libraries in Shanghai, Beijing, and Paris. These architectural and literary monuments help reconstruct the features of one of China's most colorful and historical cities and the experiences of some of her most remarkable inhabitants. The Forgotten Christians of Hangzhou not only tells us their story but adds a new dimension to our knowledge of the assimilation of Christianity by Chinese culture - a process that is still under way today.

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very good book on chinese christianity!


In the Beginning
The Elixir of Immortality from the Far West Cinnabar from Rome
Through a Glass Darkly
The Negligence of Todays Literati
Loving the Lord of Heaven and Hating the Buddha
In the Eastern Sea and in the Western Sea Sages Arise Who Are Identical in Thinking
At the End

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About the author (1994)

D. E. Mungello teaches at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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