Obraz Chin w De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas suscepta, czyli jezuickie widzenie Państwa Środka w XVII wieku
The image of China in De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas suscepta, that is Jesuit vision of the Middle Kingdom in the seventeenth century.
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The first trustworthy and reliable image of the Far East was presented to the European readers by the missionaries who have been working in India, Japan, China and other Oriental countries in 16th–18th centuries. In the case of the Middle Kingdom it was the Society of Jesus that was sending there the most qualified and educated monks. They were using their mathematical or astronomical knowledge as a key to better understand and accept Chinese intellectual elite. This special interaction between a science and the Christian faith became a symbol of the Jesuits’ way of acting in China. As a result, the Jesuit missionaries presented the European science to Chinese and at the same time gained many important information about the Middle Kingdom. Their observations were presented to the European readers in their letters, relations and, above all, in the academic treatises presenting all the facts and miracles (“mirabilia”) of the Oriental world. Between them the most influential description of China during the first half of the 17th century was De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas suscepta (first edition in Latin – Augsburg 1615), written by Nicolas Trigault SI as a translation or augmented version of the Matteo Ricci’s journal. This picturesque description of the Middle Kingdom and the Jesuit mission to China provided European readers with more, better organized and more accurate information about China than has been ever available. It also presented the Jesuit mission in a favorable light, creating an image of the Society of Jesus as the most effective order in the Far East
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