|About books, maps, songs and steles : the wording and teaching of the Christian faith in China / edited by Dirk van Overmeire, Pieter Ackerman.|
Includes bibliographical references.
Matteo Nicolini-Zani. The Late-Ming Jesuit Stele of 1644 and its Tang Ancestor of 781: Parallels between two Christian Steles found in Xi’an, pp. 9-33.
Minika Miazek-Męczyńska. The Chinese Christians Fighting for the Ming Dynasty, pp. 34-50
Nick Pierce. Mapping the World: a Copy of Verbiest’s Kunyu Quantu in Glasgow, pp. 51-78
Davor Antonucci. Antoine Thomas’ de Bello Cam Hi Imperatoris Tartaro: Sinici contra Tartaros Erutanos. Feliciter Confecto anno 1597: its historical meaning”, pp. 79-100
Paul Rule. Antoine Thomas and the Chinese Rites Controversy: The Conciliator becomes a Victim, pp. 101-113
Noël Golvers. “Jesuit Missionaries in China and their Western Books (1650–1770): Evidence of Spiritual and Devotional Books, pp. 114-149
Pan Feng-Chuan. ’The turn to relation – the Dialogue on the Ethical Issues between the Jesuits and the late Ming Literati, pp. 150-177
Claudia von Collani. Miracles, Death and Devil: Natural and Supernatural Events between the Worlds as described in der Neue Welt-Bott, pp. 200-227
Robert Entenmann. Joachim Enjobert de Martiliat in China, 1732-1746, pp. 228-248.
Françoise Aubin. Defending God in the Turmoil of New China: about the Chajiao Guanjian 差教關鍵 (keys for the examination of religion), 1914/1923, by the Catholic priest Jacobus Zhang (1856-1935), pp.249-280.
Ng Ka Chai. Neumes and Chinese Liturgy: How Liturgical Renewal was Brought to China by Vincent Lebbe, pp.281-295.
In 2007 the 9th Verbiest Symposium took place at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Of the 27 presentations, 12 are published here. These contributions represent both the “ancient mission” (17th-18th centuries) and the mission of “modern times”, since the late 19th century. One of the commitments of the F. Verbiest Institute, indeed, is, not only to stimulate the historical research of the China mission, in all its aspects, but also to focus – if possible – on the forms of continuity between both, in every respect.
Another tradition of the Symposia is to focus, not only on the “common” themes, but in addition to this, to select one individual personality in mission history: this time, it was the “Namurois” Antoine Thomas (1644-1709), secretary and (temporary) successor of F. Verbiest, and an important (but underestimated) figure in the history of science (as mathematician, astronomer, cartographer, etc.), and as such a highly interesting “transition” figure between the 17th century missionaries (up to F. Verbiest) and their 18th century successors. The 12 texts, which we are publishing in this volume, do cover a rather broad specter of Chinese mission history:
In “The Late-Ming Jesuit Stele of 1644 and its Tang Ancestor of 781: Parallels between two Christian stones found in Xi’an”, Matteo Nicolini-Zani describes two crucial epigraphical testimonies of ancient Chinese Christianity, in the perspective of continuity, demonstrated from some unmistakable linguistic affinities in certain words and sentences in both texts, which strongly suggest that the 1644 stele, erected 20 years after the discovery of the 781 monument, intentionally referred to this first Christian monument from China. The Boym embassy to Rome (in the 1650s) and especially the role of the Great Chancellor Pang Achilleus Tianshou is discussed by Monika Miazek-Męczyńska in “The Chinese Christians fighting for the Ming Dynasty, the Story of an Embassy”, which also publishes a transcription of two Latin letters of Achilleus. N. Pearce presents a study of the copy of F. Verbiest’s Kunyu Quantu in the former T.S. Bayer collection, part of the Hunterian Papers, since 200 years now in the Glasgow University’s Collection.
Of the contributions on Antoine Thomas, two are published in this volume. The study of Antoine Thomas’ manuscript “de Bello Erutano”, a unique observation by the Belgian Jesuit, eyewitness of the wars between Kangxi and some of the Western Mongols (1696-1697), is a first presentation of the results of a recent doctoral dissertation at the La Sapienza University (Rome), pursued with much sense of philological meticulousness, and based on a large knowledge of the native Sino-Mongol sources. P. Rule offers, on the basis of a broad knowledge of the original sources, a global overview on the personality and the work of A. Thomas, with special attention for his place in the Chinese Rites Controversies.
N. Golvers tries to define the impact which (Western) books about spirituality, and other meditative and devotional publications did have in the mission; he describes so in the context of his current project on “Circulation of Western Books in the Jesuit Mission in the 17th – 18th centuries”. The dialogue on the ethical issues between the Jesuits and the Late Ming literati is discussed by Pan Feng-Chuan. The “ordinary” Chinese convert is represented by Liu Ning (1625?-1715), from Jiangxi province, and his apologetic Jue Si Lu, analyzed by Li Zhen. In her article on “Miracles, Death and Devil. Natural and Supernatural Events between the Worlds”, C. von Collani continues her exploration of the very rich, but largely unexplored materials of the Neue Welt-Bott (18th century); in her conclusion, she arrives at a fair assessment of this source as a mirror of Europe’s view on China. In his paper on Joachim Enjobert de Martiliat (1732-1746), R. Entenmann offers a sympathetic portrait of this French missionary during his stay in Huguang and Sichuan provinces, and of his relation with Johannes Müllener; in the last part, the author also refers to Martiliat’s revision of Basset’s translation of the New Testament. An in-depth discussion on the highly interesting 3 volumes Chajiao Guanjian or “keys for the examination of religion” by the Catholic priest Jacobus Zhang (1856-1935) is presented by Françoise Aubin. This historical panorama is closed by Ng Ka Chai, with a paper on Vincent Lebbe and his annotation of the Gregorian “neumes”, and his place in the liturgical Renewal.--Preface.