A jesuit in the forbidden city: Matteo Ricci 1552-1610 by R. Po-chia Hsia

By R. Po-chia Hsia

Jesuitten Ricci grundlagde den katolske project i Kina og var således en pioner for kristendommens udbredelse i Kina. Samtidig forklarede han Europa om den kinesiske kultur. Ricci tilbragte 28 år i Kina og er ifølge bogen selv i dag en af de bedst kendte vesterlændinge i Kina

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The outstanding lifetime of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci, probably the most well-known missionaries of all time and the founding father of the Catholic project in China. this can be the 1st severe biography to use Read more...

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Graced by few Roman ruins, Lisbon was all medieval, white plastered walls and red roof tiles, with formidable fortresses and Gothic churches. Renaissance buildings, constructed in the particular Manueline style, named after King Manuel I, are more reminiscent of Late Gothic flamboyance than the proportional harmony of the Italian Renaissance. But perhaps the greatest difference was made by the sea, Lisbon being a port where merchandise and people flowed in from the whole world, among the latter Muslim war captives, African slaves, and a sprinkle of elite converts.

On board, the Jesuits officiated at the mass and liturgies for Easter, hearing confession and performing the sacraments ‘as if on land’. The next stretch of the voyage was the most tedious. In late March, weather at the Coast of Guinea alternated between dead calm and sudden squalls. Days could pass without a breeze. A few years back, some ships to India had languished for thirty to forty windless days: more than a thousand died and their journey was interrupted. Luckily for our party, the sailing was slow but the ships did not stall: the Sa˜o Luis, Ricci’s ship, probably passed the equator first; the Sa˜o Gregorio and Bom Jesus passed within sight of one another on 23 April, just short of a month after sailing from Lisbon.

We can reconstruct Ricci’s studies from the Ratio Studiorum, but what was life like for the Jesuit scholar? To that we turn to Roma Sancta, published in 1581, which reflected Gregory Martin’s experiences during his eighteenmonth sojourn in Rome between the end of 1576 and July 1578. His enthusiastic encomium for the fathers of the Company echoed the fond memories of Ricci, years after the latter had left his alma mater: Behold in one house (Roman College), there is a whole university of learning and lessons .

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