|Xiantian Yiyi 先天易義. [Jap-Sin I, 34/37, 3/1–3/3]|
|Author||Zhang Geng 張賡, juren 1597|
|Pub. Location||Fujian 福建||Publisher||---|
|Date||n.d.||Phys. Desc.||3 v. ; 25 x 14 cm.|
|Location||ARSI||Call Number||NOT HELD. FOR DESCRIPTION ONLY|
|JapSin I, 34/37, 3/1–3/3|
Xiantian Yiyi 先天易義.
By Zhang Geng 張賡.
Three juan in three volumes. Chinese bamboo paper. 25 x 14 cm. The volumes have been restored and are in good condition.
The Latin inscription on the cover gives Zhang Geng as “licenciato” in the province of Fujian. The Latin inscription on folio 3 of juan 2 states that Cham Kem was Kiu gin [舉人] in Fujian.The title page is missing. There is an introduction by Zhang Geng himself in the first juan. At the head of each juan there is the following inscription: 晉江夏詹明皋甫演 (explained by Zhang Geng, [zi] Xiazhan, [hao] Minggao, of Jinjiang). There are eight columns in each half folio with twenty characters to each column of the main text and nineteen characters to each column of the explanation. The upper centre of each folio bears the title Yiyi 易義. At the beginning of the book Zhang Geng gives a general summary of the Zhouyi 周易.
In the introduction Zhang Geng tells that he owed a great deal to his father in his study of the Yijing (Book of Changes). After he embraced the Catholic faith he somehow felt enlightment from God on things natural and supernatural. Under those circumstances he was able to finish the commentary on the Shangxia jing 上下經 which is part of the Book of Changes; furthermore, he finished an explanation of the Xici 繫辭 and other chapters within a few days.
Throughout the book Zhang Geng often quotes the commentary of his father and occasionally he also gives the opinion of Yang Qiyuan 楊淇園 (Yang Tingyun). Not infrequently he brings in Catholic interpretations. He does not hide his feelings about the great Song philosopher Zhu Xi 朱熹, whose interpretations do not always seem orthodox in the eyes of a Christian.
Zhang Geng (who in some prefaces he wrote called himself 昭事生, i.e., a Christian) was a native of Jinjiang 晉江 (Fujian). He got his juren degree in 1597 (Wanli 25), see Jinjiang Xian zhi 晉江縣志, ch. 11, f. 55b. In 1621 (Tianji 1) he heard of the Catholic Church for the first time. In his preface to João Monteiro’s (Meng Ruwang 孟儒望, 1603–1648) book Tianxue lüeyi 天學略義 (published in 1642) he tells us that he had been wholly devoted to the Catholic Church for twenty years.
Cf. FR 2:354–355, JWC 1:259–267.
Source: Albert Chan, SJ, Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 33-34.