The Introduction Of Christianity In China History Essay

This beginning provides information sing Ricci ‘s brush and survey of the Chinese people. The composing high spots that Ricci believed that the Chinese followers of Confucianism and specifically their pattern of hereditary worship was non needfully a spiritual act. In this mode, Ricci notes that this pattern has nil to make with idol worship or superstitious notion but is used to steer descendants in footings of morality.

It has been suggested that Ricci intentionally misinterpreted this usage of hereditary worship when describing back to the Catholic Church in Rome. To understand to the full this statement, it is of import to understand the context that surrounds this position as portrayed by Ricci in his Hagiographas. The footing of this misunderstanding can be uncovered in the relationship between China and the Western universe at that peculiar clip. Li ( n.d. ) suggests that during the age of find, Europe was driven by aspiration for imperium every bit good as the evangelical ardor to change over the non-Western universe to Christianity. Ricci has frequently been described as the most of import and most admired Western missionary in China, holding an impact on both Western and Chinese history ( Li, n.d. ) .

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The belief that Ricci misinterpreted the instructions of Confucius by accident has been debated against by a figure of bookmans. Uhalley & A ; Wu ( 2001 ) suggest that the position that early Jesuits misidentified Confucianism with Chinese civilization as a whole is merely false. The really nucleus of their statement in the Chinese Rites Controversy was that ascendant fear and other unequivocal cultural traits were cultural artefacts independent of spiritual beliefs. ‘Jesuits, in the thick of this complex world, were good cognizant of the complexness and diverseness of the Chinese universe ‘ ( Uhalley & A ; Wu, 2001:65 ) . This statement connotes that Ricci, in intentionally misinterpreting the actions of the Chinese refering hereditary fear, was trying to smooth the transition of understanding and make a positive relationship between the Chinese and the Western universe. This action was both for selfish and wider empirical grounds.

Ancestral-worship had long been an recognized pattern in Confucian civilization. To ease the easiness of his sermon, Ricci intentionally misinterpreted this action in his studies to Rome saying it was non spiritual. It is of import to set up that this was a major ground for the deliberate misunderstanding. Ricci was fascinated by Chinese civilization, going an expert in classical Chinese and the Chinese linguistic communication, shacking in China until his decease ( Zhang, 2005 ) . Therefore, to ease the development of relationships between the Western universe and the Chinese, it may hold seemed far easier to emphasize the positive links between the Chinese and Rome, instead than foreground the differences.

Furthermore, the position posited that the development of the positive relationship between the West and China could be expedited through peaceful means merely. Huilin & A ; Yeung ( 2006 ) province that from their experiences in China at the terminal of the Ming Dynasty, the missionaries came to see that military forces could non assist in their domesticating of China. Alternatively, they could accomplish their religious runing merely by instilling Christian philosophies in a peaceable mode. This would look to supply a valid ground for the calculated misunderstanding of ascendant worship as provided by Ricci in his Hagiographas.

During this period, it appears as though Ricci understands that a positive relationship built on harmoniousness and trust could move as a accelerator in footings of acquisition for both the Western universe and the Chinese. His determination to misinterpret the truth enabled the turning away of a possible cultural clang that could jeopardize the possible benefits to be gained from a harmonious relationship. Zhang ( 2005 ) notes that Matteo Ricci believed that ascendant worship and worship to Confucius were ‘not spiritual activities but of import traditions in Chinese civilization. The Chinese people could belong to this school of Confucius while going a Christian ‘ ( Zhang, 2005:65 ) . Therefore, it would non go against any basic regulations of Catholicism in rule and this comprehension laid a foundation for Catholicism to develop in Chinese bookmans.

This position is strengthened by Huilin & A ; Yeung ( 2006 ) who argue that the relationship between China and the West introduced Confucius to Europe, opened up a new universe and revealed a new people. Besides the benefits that the Chinese derived from the duologue could non be over-stressed. The bookmans highlight that one of the major factors for the beginnings of these benefits was the policy of nearing Confucianism adopted by missionaries like Ricci.

The debut of Confucian thoughts to Europe through peaceful agencies besides acted as a springboard for ‘expounding the Confucian thoughts of self-education from the Catholic position ‘ ( Chung, 2009:113 ) . This system of dual-benefit, achieved by both the Chinese and Europe through the deliberate misunderstanding by Ricci of ascendant worship hence helped to put the foundations for a common positive relationship that possibly may non hold occurred if the differences between Confucianism and Catholicism had been highlighted instead than the similarities through Hagiographas such as those by Ricci.

In decision, the beginning high spots that Ricci intentionally misinterpreted the study of Chinese ascendant worship in his Hagiographas to Rome. The missional stressed the similarities between Confucianism and Catholicism and noted that the ascendant fear was in no manner a spiritual act when in fact it had been an recognized signifier of worship for many old ages. This misunderstanding was deliberate because Ricci realised that to accomplish any benefit from a relationship with the Chinese, the foundations could non be built on negativeness and differences between the two civilizations. To ease his work, Ricci intentionally misinformed Rome due to the belief that both civilizations could profit each other during the Age of Exploration, but that this had to happen through peaceable agencies and non one of military invasion. Through the apprehension and instruction that Ricci received during his clip in China, he realised that the complex nature of Chinese society would non possibly be to the full understood in Europe and hence he decided to misinterpret the Chinese act of ascendant worship for the interest of the more of import development ; that of positive and peaceable Sino-Christian relationship.



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