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Sojourners in a Strange LandJesuits and Their Scientific Missions in Late Imperial China$
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Florence C. Hsia

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226355597

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226355610.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Telling Missionary Lives

Telling Missionary Lives

(p.30) Chapter Three Telling Missionary Lives
Sojourners in a Strange Land
University of Chicago Press

Nicolas Trigault's reworking of Matteo Ricci's journal was a spectacular success. A hefty tome of nearly 700 quarto pages in its original 1615 edition, De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas suscepta ab Societate Jesu reappeared in Latin, French, German, Spanish, and Italian, and was even substantially excerpted in English—all within the space of a decade. The most telling indication of the work's influence, however, came in the form of the mission histories that followed in its wake. Produced and consumed in an era of intense saint-making activity within the Society of Jesus, the first history of the Jesuit mission to China provided ample precedent for a generic shift in Jesuits' writing concerning the Society's presence in the Middle Kingdom. Works written in its shadow continued the hagiographical saga of Jesuit masters of mixed mathematics as instruments of providential action. This chapter looks at other histories of the China mission penned respectively by Johann Adam Schall von Bell and Ferdinand Verbiest.

Keywords:   Nicolas Trigault, Matteo Ricci, Jesuits, Society of Jesus, mission histories, Jesuit mission, China, mixed mathematics, Johann Adam Schall von Bell, Ferdinand Verbiest

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