Erenlai - Jerry Martinson (丁松筠)
Jerry Martinson (丁松筠)

Jerry Martinson (丁松筠)

Jerry Martinson is "Uncle Jerry" for Taiwan and China's TV watchers who remember him as their belobved virtual English teacher... \nVice President of Kuangchi Program Service, member of the editorial committee of Renlai monthly, he also helps grassroot faith-based communities to learn new communication skills all around East Asia.

週四, 04 三月 2010 00:00

Experiences of a pilgrim in dialogue

Twenty years ago in 1991 Jerry filmed and conducted a documentary Pilgrims in Dialogue, on interfaith dialogue in three separate places in Asia – Sri Lanka, Philippines and Japan. Since then he has worked in TV in Taiwan making many programs which promote religious exchange and understanding. Here he recounts some of his experiences from his years in dialogue.

週五, 05 三月 2010 11:46

The dynamics of dialogue

Here Jerry tells us how the discourse has changed in interfaith dialogue since he first got involved and how the discourse is adapting to changes in technology.

For readers in mainland China:

週五, 05 三月 2010 11:41

A Jesuit can reach Zen

Jerry feels that the best way to understand other's religions is to make friends and wherever possible experience other religions' ways of doing things...whether it's a Catholic priest in white tie congregating with Orthodox Jews at a Synagogue or meditating with his spiritual sister at a Buddhist monastery.

For readers in mainland China:

 

週二, 30 九月 2008 01:26

What is JESCOMEAO?

{rokbox}media/articles/Jerry_jescomeao.jpg{/rokbox}JESCOMEAO is a Secretariat of the JCEAO (Jesuit Conference of East Asia and Oceania). It is a network of Jesuits and Jesuit colleagues involved in various fields of Church communications throughout East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania.

Concretely, the JESCOMEAO Secretariat facilitates audio/video co-productions and publications on topics of Jesuit concern. It organizes training courses, internships, and regencies for Jesuits and their colleagues interested in media literacy, video production, and program marketing. It promotes the use of communications for ministry work in Asia.
Visit JESCOMEAO website


週一, 23 四月 2007 06:51

教外勞上網的Mhike老師

 
【丁松筠 作】 【陳敬旻 翻譯】

對於外勞朋友而言,網路不僅能使他們稍解思鄉之苦,
也給予他們更好的技能,豐富他們的生活。
從看見、行動到分享,我們的世界需要更多像Mhike一樣的人!

「麥克」(Mhike)──無論熟稔生疏的朋友都習慣這麼叫他。他是在菲律賓出生的華人,於十四年前來到台灣,已婚並育有二子。現在的Mhike,將工作以外的大部分時間都給了他的外勞朋友──教他們使用電腦上網。

看見 他們的渴望與思念

每到週日,Mhike和家人一起參加彌撒,教會緊鄰著「希望職工中心」,那是一所專為外籍勞工提供庇護、教育、維護外勞權益的服務機構。在那所教會裡,時常可以見到許多外勞朋友——多為菲律賓人——他們在台灣的工廠做工、擔任看護或家庭幫傭。
有一天,Mhike在希望職工中心看見一位外勞正在摸索著電腦,懇求Mhike教他如何透過網路與菲律賓的妻子與家人聯繫。他切切思念著家人,亟需見到他們,和他們說話。可惜的是,那台電腦沒有視訊或網路。
在歐洲求學時期的Mhike也曾與家人分離,他深深明白長期與家人分離的殘酷與挫折,以及電腦網路能提供何等的幫助。與家人分隔兩地是加諸於外勞最嚴酷的犧牲之一,也時常造成家庭破裂,於是他決定為此盡一分心力。

行動 募集電腦並開辦訓練

於是,Mhike開始募集二手電腦,並接受他人捐贈相關設備。他把電腦設備放在辦公室,於空閒時修繕更新。接著,他在希望職工中心申請了一間教室,讓他裝設這些電腦供外勞使用。光啟社提供了技術支援。最後,這些電腦都能運作、上網、也安裝必備的軟體後,他便開始提供一系列的週日訓練課程。
起初的回應相當冷清,但當這種訓練的益處獲得口碑時,學員人數便快速激增。如今,申請的人數遠比十八台電腦的數量更多。Mhike也邀請過學生、工程師與其他外勞擔任「志工」協助課程。完成訓練課程的畢業生可獲頒結業證書,有些學生畢業後更成為講師。課程酌收一小筆費用,以協助課程繼續運作,該課程至今已證明已可自給自足。
這門課的畢業生,如今皆能透過視訊和網路與心愛的人溝通聯絡。一名學員還為家人製作了一卷很美的「情書錄影帶」,並上傳至YouTube網站與大家分享。

分享 世界需要更多主動的善行

這項由Mhike構思發想,並號召親友協助實踐的主動善行,顯然以外勞實際生活中至為關鍵的問題為訴求——即保存溫暖與健康的家庭關係。因此,Mhike的行動足堪作為其他外勞中心的典範。
再者,為離鄉背井的外勞提供寶貴的資訊科技訓練,不僅能豐富他們的生活,也給予他們更好的技能,使他們可能得到更好的職位。在這數位時代,Mhike確實為「彌補數位落差」提供了最佳的行動詮釋!我們的世界需要更多這樣主動的善行,也需要更多像Mhike一樣的人!

週三, 07 一月 2009 22:47

Bob Ronald has left us.

Robert J. Ronald, S.J. died January 2, 2009 at Cardinal Tien Medical Center in Taipei, at the age of 76. He was a Jesuit for 58 years and a priest for 43 years. The readers of eRenlai who have been reading his fables and essays knew him as "Bob."

Fr. Bob was born in Martinez, Calif., on October 1, 1932. He attended the Jesuit school, Bellarmine College Prep, in San Jose, California graduating in 1950. Influenced by one of his freshmen teachers, Mr. Albert Klaeser, S.J., soon to be assigned to China. Bob applied to the Jesuits and was accepted into the novitiate on August 14, 1950. He had a strong desire to do missionary work and petitioned the Provincial to be sent on several occasions: “Even before I went to Bellarmine I felt attracted to the missions and that desire has remained with me in varying degrees since then.” His wish was granted and at the completion of his philosophy course at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington in 1957, he followed in the footsteps of his former teacher to Asia. Fr. Klaeser was later to become Bob’s Jesuit Superior in Taiwan.

While studying Mandarin in Hsinchu, Taiwan, Bob was stricken with polio in September 1958. He received a further setback when, while being prepped for orthopedic surgery in the U.S., he suffered cardiac arrest and had to be cut open for doctors to resuscitate his heart. He made a slow and painful recovery, receiving therapy at Warm Springs, Georgia. After two periods of strenuous therapy, he made a remarkable recovery and was assigned to Bellarmine Prep to teach public speaking and debate for a semester. All remarked on his constant good cheer and indomitable spirit. His attitude was reflected in his statement: “I am healthy. More healthy than before polio even, just limited in local motion, that’s all.” He was determined to go back to China and was able to resume his languages studies in Taiwan in 1961. He studied Theology in Baguio City, Philippines, 1962-66, and was ordained a priest on May 9, 1965.

Fr. Bob returned to the States in 1968 and worked on a M.S. degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Arizona. He interned at hospitals in Phoenix and was able to get around in a van specially equipped with hand controls and a lift gate. He returned to Taiwan in December 1971 and took up a post as a consultant at the Veteran’s Hospital in Taipei, a position he held until he retired in January 2002. At the same time, he organized and led his own organization, Operation De-Handicap, to provide follow-up vocational counseling and referral services for the disabled. In addition to working with individuals, Bob produced manuals for those working with the handicapped and their families, taught classes and workshops, and gave presentations at international conferences on rehabilitation throughout the world. The organization’s philosophy stressed helping persons to help themselves and assume the ultimate responsibility for their own rehabilitation. The role of the family in the rehabilitation program was also stressed.

In 1974, Bob suffered major injuries in a head-on collision and remained in critical condition for some time. He was able to resume his work, but a year later, an infection set in and his left leg was amputated above the knee. Still, Bob remained undaunted, continued his work and was able to visit foundations and benefactors to support his organization, including a 13,000 mile van trip around the U.S. lecturing and raising money. He continued his writing, counseling, and teaching. His books went through many revisions and printings and were distributed gratis. Over the years the focus of Operation De-Handicap has shifted from those recovering from polio to those coping with other disabilities, especially muscular dystrophy. Bob also devised a computerized pictorial vocational interest inventory test for use with the retarded and those with limited literacy.

Over the years Bob has been recognized as a national authority on rehabilitation in Taiwan and has received government and private awards for his work. His work has been instrumental in bringing those with handicaps into the mainstream of society throughout Asia and will continue to do so in the future through the capable hands of Bob’s associates. He was well aware of the apostolic dimensions of his work. “Though I seldom have the occasion…to explicitly introduce God or the Church, my identity as a priest and as a Jesuit is nearly universally known and my motives respected.”

After retiring from more than 30 years of service at Taiwan’s Veterans’ Hospital, Fr. Bob volunteered to work at Jesuit-run Kuangchi Program Service in Taipei. There, he wrote and corrected English scripts for KPS productions. During his final years, he became a prolific writer of editorials, poems, and fables for the Jesuit monthly Renlai. Many of his writings can be found on the publication’s electronic website www.erenlai.com. Renlai plans to collect, edit and publish Fr. Bob’s writings in book form.

Fr. Bob will be remembered for his deep spirituality and persistence in adversity; he saw his physical setbacks as opportunities for service to others. He often amazed people by claiming that the two greatest gifts he had received from God were his polio affliction and his car accident, because these sufferings taught him so much and enabled him to help so many people with similar afflictions.

Fr. Bob’s kind and joyful disposition, his positive outlook, and deeply human spirituality made him an excellent spiritual director for Jesuits and lay people alike. Bob’s care provider of the last seven years claims that Fr. Bob changed his life through his kindness and patient companionship, always reaffirming and encouraging, never scolding, criticizing or complaining.

Although Fr. Bob has now left this world and his beloved Taiwan, his love of life, his strong and determined spirit, and his compassionate heart will continue to inspire and give hope to all who knew him for years to come. May he rest in peace.
週一, 09 十月 2006 00:00

Confucius meets Euclid

Some say, that without a Xu Guangqi, there would be no Matteo Ricci. What follows is the script and video of part 2 of a DVD produced conjointly by Kuangchi Program Studios and Jiangsu TV. The present excerpt deals with an important episode in the spiritual history of China: the encounter between the Confucean Minister Xu Guangqi and the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci...To purchase the full version of the DVD  《Paul Xu Guangqi, China's man for all seasons》 contact Email住址會使用灌水程式保護機制。你需要啟動Javascript才能觀看它 or visit the Kuangchi Program Service of Taipei. Also available are educational documentaries on Matteo Ricci, Fr. Adam Schall vo Bell and Fr. Francis Xavier.
 
 

It is a clear morning in Macerata—a small hillside town in Eastern Italy.

In Europe, one sees many villages like this, ancient and peaceful.

Being in Macerata seems like living in another age.

An exhibition is taking place in one of the oldest buildings of the village. The topic is The History of Discovery and Science in the 15th and 16th Centuries.

On this world map, dated 1508, the outlines of the eastern world are still quite vague. 500 years ago, the maker of this map referred to the far-off and mysterious land of China as “Cathay.”

Marco Polo’s discoveries had caused a sensation in Europe. But in order to clarify this still very fuzzy picture of the world, more Marco Polos would be required.

This burial tablet, located on the left side of the exhibition room, commemorates just such a person.

In November 1610, the Chinese Emperor Wanli decreed that the Italian missionary Matteo Ricci would be granted the extraordinary privilege of a true Chinese burial.

Tian Sen Doctoral Student, History of Natural Science, Chinese Academy of Science

Some people asked the scholar Ye Xianggao why Matteo Ricci was being given a Chinese burial. For foreigners, this had never been allowed. Ye Xianggao replied that Ricci’s translation of Euclid’s Elements alone warranted this honor.

At that time, this classic work on mathematics was regarded with the highest esteem. It remains a witness to a remarkable period in the history of East-West cultural exchange.

The heroes of this story are Matteo Ricci and his Chinese student, Xu Guangqi.

In 1601, the year after Matteo Ricci and Xu Guangqi met for the first time in Nanjing, Ricci received news that created great excitement throughout the entire Jesuit community. The Chinese Emperor had summoned Matteo Ricci to the Forbidden City for an audience.

Zhu Weijing Professor of History, Fudan University

It was through his alarm clock, through his map, through his western paintings—these things had already won the admiration of the Wanli Emperor. When he arrived, Ricci had not foreseen that he would one day use these articles to open the Palace gates. But he was also somewhat constrained by them. When Ricci was in Beijing, although he had unlocked the door to the Imperial Court, he was given a major assignment. He became an Imperial Clockmaker!

We have no way of knowing Ricci’s feelings in accepting this appointment. But fortunately, this monotonous and tedious existence only lasted for three years.

One morning in 1604, a familiar figure pushed open the door of the Nantang Church in Beijing. The arrival of this person marked a happy day for Matteo Ricci . . . and an even happier day for the entire country.

Xu Guangqi, now 43 years old, had finally passed the jinshi Imperial Examination. Although his score was not outstanding, his senior classmate, jinshi Huang Tiren, transferred to Xu his membership in the prestigious Hanlin Academy. This position required that Xu Guangqi remain in Beijing.

Now after a three-year separation, Xu Guangqi finally had frequent opportunities to study with Matteo Ricci.

By this time, Xu Guangqi was already a devout Catholic. He assisted Ricci in publishing several books on religious doctrine.

But these books alone were not enough to satisfy Xu Guangqi. He had an urgent desire to know exactly where China was situated among the earth’s territories. He also wanted to know whether China was ahead of or lagging behind Ricci’s Europe.

Xu Guangqi discussed with Ricci his questions and quandaries. Ricci said to him, “When I came from Europe, I passed by a hundred countries on the way. Compared to all of them, China’s Confucian Rites and Music System is the most brilliant in the entire world.”

Then why is China at the mercy of natural disasters, Xu asked. Why do famines still occur?

Ricci suggested that the main reason was that scientific skills were still not sufficiently developed in China.”

Ricci’s answer opened the eyes of this high ranking official to the Empire’s weakest area.

Xu Guangqi suggested that they publish some books on European science. Matteo Ricci accepted this suggestion. It did not take long for them to decide which book to translate. Ricci made it clear to Xu Guangqi that unless they first translated Euclid’s Elements, translations of other works would be meaningless.

Why was Matteo Ricci so convinced of the importance of the Elements?

St. Ignatius Church in Italy is named after the founder of the Jesuit Order, Ignatius Loyola. For several centuries, the sound of the bell emanating from this church has influenced Jesuit missionaries all around the world. The Roman College, where Matteo Ricci studied, is located behind this church.

On the roof of the church, the stone foundation of an astronomical telescope can still be found today. This moment reminds us of the eminent and sacred position this church college holds in the history of natural science.

400 years ago a new subject just introduced into the college curriculum attracted great interest among the young seminarians. The textbook for this course had been arranged and compiled from Euclid’s Elements by the famous European mathematician, Fr. Christopher Clavius. This work ignited the enthusiasm of many students for science. Among them were Galileo and Kepler, later to become known throughout the world.

Christopher Clavius taught Matteo Ricci mathematics based on this textbook.

In 1577, when the 26-year-old Matteo Ricci left Rome for the East, the textbook was packed in his trunk. But compared to his world map, reproduced so many times from its stone tablet, the Elements did not spark that much interest among the Chinese.

In 1592, a scholar named Qu Taisu had collaborated with Ricci in the translation of the first volume of Euclid’s Elements. Why didn’t their collaboration continue? Some say that it is because at that time Ricci was dealing with certain obstacles to his mission, and had little interest in continuing the translation of this work.

Qu Taisu was only doing the translation to benefit his own studies and to demonstrate his talent and learning. After completing the first volume he made a grand exit.

Later while Ricci was still in Nanjing, a man named Zhang Yangmo tried repeatedly to translate the Elements, but did not receive support from Ricci. Why did Ricci refuse to continue translating the Elements with Zhang? The answer is still uncertain. Ricci, in his diary, confirms Zhang’s intelligence and eagerness to learn and states that he was studying Euclid’s first volume on his own without a teacher. But he also writes that Chang Yangmo refused to discuss with him how to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ. Perhaps Ricci was waiting for someone who was both sincerely devoted to Jesus Christ and also naturally gifted.

Going back to the winter of 1606, Xu Guangqi was beginning to increase the frequency of his trips between the Hanlin Academy and Nantang. Several hundred lis from there, war broke out in Liaodong. For a time this development did not affect Xu Guangqi too much. He appeared promptly each afternoon at Nantang. Here, a teacher of wide learning and great talent and a school of broad and profound scholarship awaited him.

For this diligent and studious Eastern pupil, the early stages of the translation went rather smoothly. This is because Xu and Ricci adhered to the original order of the Elements. First they translated definitions, axioms, and formulas, and rarely dealt with logical deduction and proving theorems. Furthermore, they were able to refer to Qu Taisu’s and Zhang Yangmo’s earlier translations of the first volume. But after that, translation became more and more difficult.

Dr. Filippo Mignini – Professor, University of Macerata

Ricci himself said that Xu Guangqi moreless compelled him to translate this book. In the book’s preface, Ricci states that they worked four hours a day for a year and a half without interruption researching Euclid’s Geometry.

Ricci translated the original text into Chinese and simultaneously explained its subject matter to Xu Guangqi who wrote it out in Chinese. Xu Guangqi expended great effort in understanding Euclid’s Geometry, which was actually the logic of the West.

At that time in China, no one understood western logic, making Xu’s task extremely difficult.

Altogether, they translated the work three times. Ricci said that only two Chinese were able to master geometry. One was Xu Guangqi; the other was Li Zhizao. All the rest, although they tried hard, just could not grasp it.

This was a way of thinking very difficult for Chinese of that age to comprehend. Matteo Ricci’s verbal explanations and Xu Guangqi’s written accounts built a bridge of East-West cultural exchange that crossed the language barrier.

But to change from thinking in terms of images to logical thought required a thoroughgoing revolution of the reasoning process.

This revolution was taking place quietly and attracting more and more participants. Besides Xu Guangqi and Matteo Ricci, Chinese scholars such as Yang Tingyun, Li Zhizao, Ye Xianggao, and Jesuit missionary priests Diego de Pantoja and Sabatino de Ursis were among them.

By spring of 1607, Xu Guangqi and Matteo Ricci finally completed their translation of the first six volumes of the Elements. The final text was already their third version.

In Miscellaneous Discussions on the Elements, Xu Guangqi reveals his overflowing excitement after successfully completing the translation:

He who understands this book can comprehend all books.
He who masters this book can master all learning.
Only through geometry can one fully understand the rest.
Remaining closed to it closes oneself to everything else.

Dr. Filippo Mignini – Professor, University of Macerata

Whenever, I think of the two of them meeting and engaging in research and discussion of Euclid’s Geometry, I am deeply moved. Their problem was not just to achieve a superficial understanding of each other. Their problem was to translate two different systems of logic. That meant going beyond the translation of words, sentences, and equations, and translating the logic they were based on. This was a truly magnificent achievement—one of their most outstanding accomplishments. It was one of the greatest gifts that Matteo Ricci gave to China and also one of the greatest gifts Xu Guangqi gave to Europe. In completing this monumental task, each one’s contribution was equally great. Without either one of them, it could not have been done.

Mao Shuzhi Professor of History in Late Ming, Fudan University

Xu Guangqi, in his preface, states that this book could bring about a method of scientific thinking beyond geometry. He also says that he believes that after a hundred years, the book would be widely used. And that is exactly what happened. Xu opened the eyes of the Chinese to a new world of mathematics.

Ricci was delighted with the successful translation. He was full of praise for Xu Guangqi. But as for Xu Guangqi’s suggestion that they continue translating the remainder, Matteo Ricci then approaching his sixtieth year tactfully declined. It is an historical fact that when Ricci left the Roman College he had only studied the first six volumes. The mathematical horizon of the Chinese people was thereby limited to those six volumes for many years to come.

About this same time, Matteo Ricci’s former classmate Galileo was receiving acclaim for producing the world’s first astronomical telescope.

This had directed the attention of all Europe toward the depths of a much wider universe.

In spring of 1607, knowing that they would not continue translating the remainder of the Elements, Xu Guangqi printed the first six volumes. Shortly after the publication, Xu’s father died. Xu left Beijing and returned to his ancestral home in Shanghai. Xu always regretted being unable to translate the remainder of the Elements. He realized that this was a loss, not only for himself, but for the entire country.

In spring of 1608, when Xu was in Shanghai, he received the final edition of the Elements, approved and authorized by Matteo Ricci. Ricci hoped that he could print another edition of the Elements in the South.

Xu Guangqi also used this time at home to finalize another work that he and Ricci had translated together—Principles of Measurement.

Although one of them was in Beijing and the other in Shanghai, their cooperative translation projects were never interrupted. It seemed as if all this was only the beginning of their collaboration.

But 1610, in the 38th year of the Wanli Emperor’s reign, during the third and last year of the mourning period for his father required by the Imperial Rites, Xu Guangqi received word that Matteo Ricci had died in Beijing.

The dramatic opening movement of their joint symphony had come to an abrupt end and had become instead its final movement.

Matteo Ricci, at age 57, had lived for years in the dry, cold climate of the Imperial Capital. From the day he left his home country at the age of 26, he would never again enjoy the bright Mediterranean sun and its cool breezes. This Jesuit missionary spent the latter half of his life sharing his knowledge of modern western science, technology and thought with Chinese, enabling them to explore new horizons. At the same time, he was the first one to present Chinese moral and religious thought to Europe, laying the foundation for future Chinese studies.

Fr. Thomas Reddy, SJ - Director of Archives – Jesuit Curia, Rome

This is the bone of Matteo Ricci. It was sent to us after the excavation in Beijing where he is buried, as a sense of ‘relic.’ We call it a relic. For the Catholics, it is a symbol of holiness. Matteo Ricci has this thing of holiness for what he did for China and for the Society of Jesus. That is why we have his bones here with us here in the archives.

Matteo Ricci died on May 11th. In December of the same year, Xu Guangqi completed the required three-year mourning period for his father and returned to Beijing. He arrived too late to bid farewell to his old friend.

During summer of the following year, Beijing experienced many days of heavy rain. In his home, Xu once again returned to the Elements. Together with Jesuit missionaries Diego de Pantoja and Sabatino de Ursis they reviewed the translation, made various corrections and additions, and published it again.

At this time, Xu Guangqi knew that, due to Ricci’s death, he would probably never be able to complete the translation of the remaining nine volumes of the Elements. His feelings were far from the elation he experienced at the first publication of the Elements. He wrote a new preface to this edition recalling the entire process of translation and ended it with a lyrical lamentation:

The completion of this great work—
Who knows when it will be done?
Who knows who will do it?
The book lies waiting.

Opening the Qing Dynasty edition of the Elements, in the library where it is now preserved, on the first page of the seventh volume, one finds the signature of the translators—Andrew Wylie from England and Li Shanlan from Haining.

In Chinese history, this took place during the reign of the fourth to last Emperor—Xian Feng.

At that time, since Ricci’s and Xu Guangqi’s translation and publication of the first six volumes of Euclid’s Elements, exactly 250 years had gone by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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