Erenlai - Focus: The Legacy of Matteo Ricci
Focus: The Legacy of Matteo Ricci

Focus: The Legacy of Matteo Ricci


The Legacy of Matteo Ricci

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Father Matteo Ricci. This remarkable Jesuit not only signifies the spread of the Catholic Church to China but also in his partnership with Xu Guangqi, introduced and shared European astronomy and maths and science, further enriching Chinese society and its education system.

In this Focus, we will not only be looking in greater detail at the achievements and legacy of the great man, how he changed the world and how his spirit of this pioneer in dialogue lives on;  but also we will show how our umbrella organisation, the Taipei Ricci Institute is renewing Ricci's legacy, that of his encounter with Xu Guangqi and indeed our own Institutes mission and relevance today. Thus we announce the opening of the Matteo Ricci - Pacific Studies Room in the National Central Library, Taiwan; the Xu-Ricci Dialogue Institute at Fudan University in Shanghai, and the release of an electronic version of the Grand Ricci - which was the very first and most complete dictionary between Chinese and any European language.




週四, 20 五 2010

Remembering Ricci: Opening of the Matteo Ricci - Pacific Studies Reading Room at the National Central Library

On April 16th in Taipei the National Central Library of Taiwan and Taipei Ricci Institute inaugurated the new "Matteo Ricci Pacific Studies Reading Room" to commemorate Ricci's contribution to East-West cultural exchange. The vibrant ceremony is shown in the video above, and it was followed by Professor Nicolas Standaert's symposium: "Sino-European Displacements: The Circulation of Prints between Europe and China". Professor Standaert is one of the world’s foremost experts on cultural exchanges between Europe and China during the Late Ming and Early Qing dynasties.

Named after the famous Jesuit missionary, Matteo Ricci, over the last 50 years the Ricci Institute has been devoted to research in fields such as international Chinese Studies, comparative religion, and linguistics. The Institute is the compiler and publisher of Le Grand Ricci (a Chinese-French dictionary), and publisher of Renlai Magazine. During the process of compiling this dictionary, the Ricci Institute amassed a considerable number of books, particularly relating to linguistics, philosophy and the social sciences. In order to promote an atmosphere supporting academic research, and to allow many more people able to make full use of its collection, the Institute has permanently loaned them to the National Central Library. The Library possesses the ideal environment to house such a collection, with extensive experience in preserving and digitizing valuable historical documents and records to a professional standard. To fulfill the need to safely store and make available for reading the books entrusted to it by the Ricci Institute, the Library has established the Matteo Ricci & Pacific Studies Reading Room on the 6th floor.

At the same time, with the support of the library, the Council for Aboriginal Affairs and of individual scholars, the Taipei Ricci Institute is working towards the creation of a "Taiwan Society for Pacific Studies" that will become its main research outlet and focus. New research into language evolution suggests most Pacific populations originated in Taiwan around 5,200 years ago. The Austronesians arose in Taiwan around 5,200 years ago. Before entering the Philippines, they paused for around a thousand years, and then spread rapidly across the 7,000km from the Philippines to Polynesia in less than one thousand years. After settling in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, the Austronesians paused again for another thousand years, before finally spreading further into Polynesia eventually reaching as far as New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island. This cultural and linguistic history opens up compelling perspectives on the globalization process and on the challenges that humankind is now confronting.



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KPS Matteo Ricci documentary: Part 1/3

Part 1│Part 2Part 3

This three part documentary was recorded over 20 years ago by the Kuangchi Program Service, but takes us back 400 years with re-enactments of conversations that would have actually happened between the Jesuit Matteo Ricci and his friend Xu Guangqi. A challenge that all western students of Chinese can relate to, Ricci shows us what it was to struggle through the strokes of a Chinese character before the days of the The Grand Ricci, let alone the brand new digital version.  Fittingly Ricci is played by Jesuit Jerry Martinson.

To purchase the full version of the DVD Matteo Ricci in Chinese 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 come and visit the Kuangchi Offices in Taipei. Also available are educational documentaries on Matteo Ricci's good friend Xu Guangqi and two other Jesuits influential in Sino-Western history - Adam Schall von Bell and Francis Xavier. All available in Chinese and English.


Fr Jerry Martinson who acts Matteo Ricci in this film has also been involved in many cross cultural dialogue missions of his own, to hear about them click here.


週三, 26 五 2010

Matteo Ricci: An excursion

At one point, a few years ago, I was standing in the front yard of my mother’s house in Texas. She and I were talking, doing our usual different-schedules-same-house-4:00 PM update as she was coming home from and I was going to work. In my family, no one can stay on topic in any conversation and what started as a mundane discussion of odd jobs, bills, and babysitting jobs quickly morphed into me intellectually puttering around, trying to describe to my mother the mental process I use to accomplish goals or resolve conflicts into which I have backed myself.

I adopted the process from the only person in the world I can honestly say I viscerally hate – my ex-mother in law. (I would not slow down a car if I were driving and she was walking across the road in front of me. Such was our relationship.) She said that when she was about 24, she had a vision of herself at age 50. She was wearing a suit, in a boardroom, and she was leading the meeting. Now, when she had this vision in 1966, she didn’t understand its meaning nor how she would bring it to life. What she did understand was that the vision was not so much a goal, but a trajectory. If she acted and worked in accordance with this vision, she would, in some way, end up in a suit, in a boardroom, leading a meeting. By 2004, when I divorced and left Florida, she was a well respected real estate broker worth several million dollars with a real estate portfolio that included Atlantic beach front property and an 80 slip marina. I may have hated the woman, but her techniques worked. So, I adapted them and was telling my mother about them. She smiled then laughed and said “Well that just sounds like prayer.”

I squinted at her, trying to put these things together. I am not a man who prays. My parents however prayed a lot. My father, in the last ten years of his life, daily prayed the Rosary (He loved the meditative value of the Rosary.) My mother was a Franciscan Nun for ten years, until deciding she was actually more suited for the lay life. I however do not pray - not in any structured way that would be recognizable to someone orthodox. So, my ex-nun mother identifying my visualization process as a form of prayer quite amazed me. I was surprised in the interesting ways in which my Catholic background and upbringing always returns.

[inset side="right" title="Ars Morativa"] If you could represent Chinese as a serious of images in a building, a block of buildings and a city of those blocks of buildings of images, then why couldn’t you build a 3D model of it and wonder around in it with Google Maps?[/inset]

After work that evening, I came home and started researching the various schools of thought on visualization techniques, their uses and their overall importance in people’s daily lives. The technique which most fascinated me was the Ars Memorativa a combination of images, architecture and memory. But more on that in a bit….

What do we remember on this 400th anniversary of Matteo Ricci? I am not a Ricci Scholar, by any means. I am familiar with Ricci through having read three sources – Jonathan Spence’s work The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci, Jean Lacouture’s multibiography on the Jesuits, and Francis Yates’ work on the Ars Memorativa. Ricci’s historical importance is due to three factors. He was the first westerner to truly master Chinese. His Histories was the primary source on information about China for three centuries. His introduction of Western science and technology (including his famous memory palaces) to Ming dynasty China showed the dynasty that perhaps the West had something of value. For centuries, Ricci was the door, the threshold one had to cross to move from West to East.

matteoricci_portraitBut aside from his historical importance what relevance does Ricci have for us today? Among a thousand things, in Ricci, we find a clue to the mastery of such an unfamiliar world as the Chinese language. What made Ricci’s accomplishment so astounding was that he was accepted as a scholar on Chinese terms, not merely as a curiosity (which he clearly was), but as a man who had mastered the Classical Chinese Canon As proof of this, he had written and published works of his own in Chinese. What aided Ricci was his use of the classical mnemonic device of the Ars Memorativa. Francis Yates and Jonathan Spence have written much about this Classical and Renaissance memory aide and I am merely parasitical on their scholarship. The Ars is a fascinating tool used to remember long passages of text or tremendous lists. At its simplest, one creates a mental room and fills that room with images adapted from the target text. At its most complex, one fills a whole city with room and building of mental images. Instead of building a memory palace and filling it with passages of Euclid or Martial, Ricci filled his memory palace with mental images of Chinese characters. Each image was a composite of radicals translated into some striking mental image. In The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci, Jonathan Spence gives us two characters : 武,要 as examples. For 武 , Ricci created the image of two soldiers locked in combat, the one trying to strike a finishing plunge with a lance, the other gripping the shaft, blocking the strike and creating a stand-off. For 要,Ricci conjured up a woman from the Western Frontiers of the Ming Dynasty – today’s Xinjiang and Gansu provinces. (This woman may be a Muslim, which points towards a Chinese perception of the sameness of the Abrahamic Religions, when compared to the Triple Braid of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. ) After forming such images as the Soldiers and the Woman from the West, Ricci would then transform a Chinese sentence into a serious of detailed images. The sentence/image would be grouped together until whole Classical Texts had been transformed into mental cities.

Now, I do not advocate that all of us Chinese Language Learners create full memory palaces, a process I doubt any of us could do anymore. (The truly classically educated individual who could pull this off in 2010 is as rare as a WWI veteran.) What interests me in Ricci’s method is the link between the aural and the visual in language processing and second language acquisition, especially in terms of cognitive maps of the language. I know I’ve learned a word when I hear it fly out of the mouth of a native Chinese speaker humming along at full speed in the middle of a conversation and I can see the word in my mind’s eye, as clear and distinct as the Taipei 101 on a rare sunny Taipei day. I know I’ve mastered a piece of grammar when I can see that piece of grammar flow logically into the other parts of related grammar .“Oh that’s what the double 了 (or 到) (or 得) is for!”

What I advocate, instead of memory palaces, is to update Ricci’s method for the computer age. If you could represent Chinese as a serious of images in a building, a block of buildings and a city of those blocks of buildings of images, then why couldn’t you build a 3D model of it and wonder around in it with Google Maps? What would these Language Cities look like? Would English be a sprawling metropolis? Or something utterly different?

And prayer? If my mom is right and prayer is a visualization process, a dialogue with the divine, what happens when my reading comes full circle and one builds a memory palace of one’s lifetime of prayers? What would a city, filled with buildings of prayers and hopes, look like?

週五, 21 五 2010

The lesson of Matteo Ricci and Xu Guangqi

To mark 400 years of dialogue and cultural exchange set off by Matteo Ricci, on May 11th 2010 Michel Camdessus opened the Inauguration International Forum on the "Dialogue among Civilizations and Global Challenges" held by the new Xu-Ricci Dialogue Research Center at Fudan University Shanghai. He explains to us why he is so delighted that the new institute has been jointly named after Matteo Ricci and Xu Guangqi and how they are still relevant today.

[dropcap cap="I"] rejoice in the fact that the new Centre organising our forum has been placed under the twin names of Xu Guangqi and Matteo Ricci. Through this patronage, its founders are inscribing their academic endeavour into the domain of humane friendship – and more specifically of intercultural friendship. For sure, solitude plays a part in scientific research as well as in all human pursuits. But friendship plays a role at least as important, especially in our time where most research endeavours are collective ones. I would say that, besides the quest for pure truth, friendship and rivalry – sometimes associated with one another – is another important driver – if not the most important - for humane and scientific achievements.[/dropcap]

Ricci opened a new world to the curious mind of Xu Guangqi. However, it is also true to say that without Xu Guangqi, without his welcoming kindness, his ardour to study, his questions, his patience in revealing to Ricci the Chinese ways of thought and cultural treasures, there would not have been a Ricci. Their interaction is a fascinating chapter in the history of scientific, cultural and spiritual encounters. The four hundredth anniversary of the death of Matteo Ricci, is marked by a number of celebrations – including our forum - that show how relevant and inspiring the lives of these two pioneers remain today. This anniversary has implications for the future interaction between China and the rest of the world, it helps one to reflect anew on the role of China in the era of globalisation and on the ways to develop meaningful intercultural exchanges for our times.

Universal in scope, the message given by the life of Ricci also has special implications for the way we can have intercultural encounters and conduct research projects as individuals and as teams of persons dedicated to common objectives. A fellow Jesuit, Nicolas Trigault, kept vivid for us the memory of the last days of the life of Ricci, depicting him joyfully conversing with his fellow Jesuits and the nascent Chinese Christian community.

To one of the priests asking him how they could repay the affection he always showed to his brothers, Ricci replied by asking them to do likewise for the Jesuits coming from Europe, “in such a way that they receive from you, more friendship than they could receive from the ones from outside.” Ricci’s care for his fellow Jesuits had started early, he was known for helping - with particular zeal - foreign Jesuit students arriving in Rome during the time of his studies.

Thus, from the start, the secret of Ricci’s life, spirituality and success is revealed to us: His is a spirituality of friendship, first anchored in the way he experiences his relationship with a God, to whom, according to an expression found in the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola, we are able to speak “as a friend speaks to his friend.” Ricci would extend this sense of friendship to the people he met, making himself the neighbour of the ones he encountered along the way.

[inset side="right" title="MIchel Camdessus"]Ricci and Xu Guangqi’s lesson is still valid today: friendship is both the starting point and the fruit of a dialogue pursued in truth and reciprocal respect[/inset]

Of particular significance, are the subject-matter and the title of the first booklet he published in China, a booklet composed on the basis of his recollections of Greek and Latin authors: “On Friendship.” The fact that this is his first published work makes it resonate like a program; from then on, friendship would be at the root of his communication strategy.

By deliberately choosing this approach, Ricci would also prove to be a peace-builder of particular historical significance. The way he introduced Chinese classics to the West also contributed in this endeavour. Later on, relationships between China and the West would be marred by the rise of imperialisms and cultural misunderstandings. Still, the living memory of Ricci and of the first Jesuits who followed in his steps has continued to reassure the Chinese people that the message and ways of interacting they were bringing with them, could go along with respect for one’s culture and national dignity as well as equality in partnership.

As a peacebuilder, Ricci is also a pioneer of dialogue. “The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven” - the work of natural theology he wrote in his later years - is conceived as a dialogue between a Confucian scholar and a sage from the West, and this dialogical form is not only a rhetorical device but also reveals his deep-rooted confidence in Man’s ability to communicate in truth and spirit with the help of reason and of the other qualities he is endowed with. The same confidence in dialogue, communication and reason also explains his commitment to the lifelong study of the Chinese language and classics. It is not the natural gifts of Ricci, his uncanny linguistic abilities, that should draw our attention, but rather the respect for language and serious learning that he displays. In an age where communication seems sometimes oversimplified and globalised, Ricci’s example rings as a reminder: we can never stop immersing ourselves in the language and mindset of the Other, untill these somehow becomes our own. Short cuts in apprenticeship and communication eventually lead to a watering down of the quality of the exchange – sometimes with dangerous misunderstandings.

Ricci and Xu Guangqi’s lesson is still valid today: friendship is both the starting point and the fruit of a dialogue pursued in truth and reciprocal respect. And if we are not able to nurture such a spiritual attitude then we will not be able to tackle the challenges that define our common destiny.


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週四, 20 五 2010

Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit in the realm of the dragon

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In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the passing of Matteo Ricci, Gjon Kolndrekaj was commissioned by the Society of Jesus and the Italian diocese of Macerata, the birthplace of Matteo Ricci's birthplace, to direct the documentary on the life of Matteo Ricci. In  filming the documentary he would journey along Matteo Ricci's path, starting in Ricci's home town of Macerate. Taipei's own Ricci Institute also thought it fitting to invite the accomplished director to Taiwan's first screening of the 50-minute documentary at the National Central Library in Taiwan, before which he was interviewed by eRenlai.  The on-site interpretation was provided generously by Antonella Tulli of Fu Jen Catholic University.

Gjon spent his early years in Albania. His inspiration to focus on directing documentaries came from Mother Teresa, a cousin of his mother. He once asked Mother Teresa to come with him for a couple of hours to a special place. He took her to a place where they would be drawn by a reknowned holy artist. Whilst they were being drawn, Mother Teresa told him that if he wanted to do God's work he should count on his fingers every morning on awaking, five things that he would do for humanity. By night he should count how many of these he had accomplished. Each good deed for humanity would be considered a deed done for God. From then Gjon put all his efforts into documentary, where he perceived his mission to lie.

Eventually Gjon tried to progress to a prestigious film school in Rome. At the time Albania had a very closed off regime (whose few allies included China) and no one in Europe had much information about the situation. Gjon took advantage of this to proceed in his mission, recounting some tales about the situation at the time in Albania. Fascinated by what he told them, the competitive school decided to enroll him. In this school he was exposed to some of the greatest documentary and filmmakers to ever embrace the world, amongst those he was influenced by, learnt from and worked with were Valerio Zurlini, Micros Jankson (Autumn Sonata) and Jon Evans.

Gjon has made documentaries of two particularly great people. They were of different eras and their missions were in different countries. He has already made a documentary of Mother Teresa and says that she and Ricci both managed to raise awareness of the struggles and poverty of the common people to the leaders of their respective countries. However they started from different paths: Mother Teresa initially acquainted herself with the leaders and worked her way down to those with the worst hardships; Ricci started off with the common people then worked his mission into the sympathies of the gentry class and then all the way to the emperor. His achievements go without saying, he was the first person to really introduce Chinese civilisation to the west.

When asked about the future Gjon talked with the confident optimism of a man who is constantly in the process of accomplishing his mission and with the knowledge that he is at least  contributing . Regarding the situation in his own homecountry of Albania he said "Clever people, will find a clever solution. The path to democracy is a slow process. They're on the right path". On his own future, he will be returning to his own hometown this summer. Furthermore, he has another project in the works, another Saint - Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini - who helped Italian immigrants in the USA when they were one of the most marginalised and maltreated groups in the country. Later Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone and other prominent Italian Americans later set up a foundation in her name and her honour. Once again, hers is a case that has huge relevance to the modern day where there are still innumerous groups of immigrants suffering persecution and racism all over the world.

Gjon explains that he began to understand the achievements of Matteo Ricci when he had the opportunity to travel to Beijing in 1976: "Focusing so much on researching Matteo Ricci, this Catholic missionary, this Italian scientist who met with eastern philosophy and ideology, was an undertaking that fascinated me. I hope that through this documentary I have contributed to the understanding and recognition of Matteo Ricci, not just those for those who worked on the project but to give many others the chance to know him"

"Because he fascinated me as a person; first as a man, secondly as a man of faith and this insight in knowledge that he wanted to transmit. His magnanimity that all men of good will can have" -Gjon Kolndrekaj 

To see the official trailer for the documentary click here.








週三, 19 五 2010

Sino-European displacement: the circulation of prints between Europe and China

On Friday 16 April 2010, Professor Nicolas Standaert S.J. presented to a full house at the National Central Library of Taiwan.

The audience assembled to hear Professor Standaert elucidate upon the circulation of religious prints between China and Europe in the seventeenth century. As part of the celebrations for the 400th anniversary of Matteo Ricci’s death, this talk was an opportunity to learn about Ricci’s spirituality through the concept of displacement and the use of visual culture as a communication medium.
An elaborate world map formed the foundation of Professor Standaert’s presentation. In drawing this map, and other prints, Ricci and his collaborators created a space where the dialogue of displacement could take place. Such displacements occurred in the minds of readers, who while they may have been sitting on a stool in Europe, would be able to visualise a scene on the other side of the world. Ricci drew upon the established knowledge in China and reflected this in these maps. Places that might seem laughable to cartographers of the 21st century (‘The Land of Birds’, ‘The Land of Women’) were presented just as earnestly as China and Europe were. Ricci undoubtedly believed that these places really existed.
Professor Standaert emphasised that the flow of images and ideas was not all in one direction; it was a dialogue. Biblical scenes were reproduced for Chinese audiences in a manner that would resonate with them: buildings reflected Chinese architecture and were furnished with local items. Likewise, prints designed for Western audiences incorporated aspects of Chinese culture. Over time, ideas and images were adopted and reinterpreted in both Europe and China. During the audience discussion, Professor Standaert clarified the use of isometric perspective (favoured by Chinese artists) and geometric perspective (favoured by European artists). These two perspectives are evident in seventeenth century prints from both areas. However, it is not an issue of who influenced or admired whom, but rather a chance to consider the many ways ideas travelled at the time.
The fantastically ornate maps and gifts that circulated during this period vouch for the importance of this global dialogue. Compared to the present day, the almost glacial speed at which the transfer of ideas occurred is remarkable. One book took 20 years to arrive in Beijing from Europe. Despite this slow delivery time, the contents must have remained relevant as the Emperor was impressed with what he read.
Those present at Professor Standaert’s talk were fortunate to hear a fascinating insight into the early stages of a religious and cultural exchange that will continue long into the future.


Dr. Nicolas Standaert got his Bachelor and Master's degree in Chinese Studies from the University of Leiden in 1982. Later he spent a year in studying Chinese history and philosophy at Fudan University, Shanghai. In 1984 he got his Ph.D Chinese Studies at University of Leiden. He also got a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Theology at Centre Sèvres, Paris in 1990. And in 1994 he got his Licentiate in Theology, Fujen University, Taipei.

Now a professor of Chinese Studies, K.U. Leuven (Belgium). He worked as a research assistant in Sinological Institute Leiden in 1984 and collaborator of China News Analysis, Hong Kong from 1990 to 1992. Since 2003 he has been a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Belgium.




週一, 09 十月 2006

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.









On the shoulders of Matteo Ricci: Adam Schall von Bell

As we know, Matteo Ricci was the first Jesuit to make a significant impact in China however since then there has been various other Jesuits who have had shaped the history of dialogue between the western and Chinese civilisations. Among the most significant is Fr. Adam Schall von Bell

In 1618, Fr. Johann Adam Schall von Bell, a brilliant young Jesuit scholar from Germany, set out for the mysterious and still little-known land of China. Following in the footsteps of his Jesuit missionary predecessor Matteo Ricci, Schall mastered the Chinese language and diligently adapted his lifestyle to Chinese culture. When Schall's talents in astronomy and mathematics attracted the attention of the Ming Dynasty Emperor, he was appointed head of the Bureau of Astronomy and given the monumental task of renovating the Chinese calendar.

Schall retained his position even after the Ming Dynasty fell and was replaced by the Manchu Qing Empire. He became the close friend and spiritual guide of the young Qing Emperor who raised Schall to the highest official level ever attained by a westerner in Chinese history-Mandarin of the First Class. When the Emperor met with an early death, Schall was influential in choosing his successor - the great Kangxi Emperor - who came to be China's longest reigning and most respected ruler. It was the Kangxi Emperor that issued the edict giving the Catholic Church legal status in China.

In memory of Fr. Johann Adam Schall von Bell The Kuangchi Program Service, Taipei and Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation, Nanjing have jointly produced a two-part TV docudrama following Schall throughout his long and dramatic life in China, his accomplishments, his struggles with his fellow missionaries as well as his own conscience, his persecution and narrow escape from a cruel death, and his official burial presided over by the Emperor himself.

To purchase the full version of the DVD Adam Schall von Bell: In the Service of Emperors 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, his good friend Xu Guangqi and Fr. Francis Xavier.


週四, 15 四月 2010

On the shoulders of Matteo Ricci: The Jesuits meeting with Chinese scholars

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Fr. Matteo Ricci. This remarkable Jesuit not only signifies the spread of the Catholic Church to China but also in his partnership with Xu Guangqi, introduced and shared European astronomy and maths further enriching Chinese society and its education system. Two modern day 'Matteo Riccis', Jacques Duraud and Jerry Martinson, both Jesuits in the service of cultural exchange introduce to us the life and achievements of Matteo Ricci and let us know what he symbolizes for them.

An exhibit on Matteo Ricci was organized at the National Central Library in Taipei:
The Jesuits’ Encounter with Chinese Scholars: A Meeting of East and West -- An Exhibition Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Matteo Ricci
The exhibit formally started on Saturday 17 and ran until May 16, 2010,
at the new Matteo Ricci Pacific Studies Research Room


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週二, 20 四月 2010

“Found in Translation” Matteo Ricci’s lexicographic inheritance is alive

“Grand Ricci”, Matteo Ricci and Xu Guangqi, Guests of Honor in Shanghai

• On May 11, 2010, the digital edition of the Grand Ricci, the largest Chinese-foreign language dictionary in the world, was unveiled in Shanghai.

• This event took place on the date of the four hundredth anniversary of the death of Matteo Ricci (May 11, 1610), pioneer of cultural interaction between China and the West.

• Scholars invited to address the newly founded “Xu Guangqi-Matteo Ricci Dialogue Institute” at Fudan University joined the “Association Ricci” for the May 11 event, celebrating a new era of intercultural dialogue founded on the mutual appreciation of the diversity of our tongues and traditions.

週一, 31 五 2010

Xu Guangqi - China's Man for All Seasons

Paul Xu Guangqi (1562 -1633) from rural Shanghai rose to the office of Grand Secretary of the Ming Dynasty Emperor and is known as the forerunner of modern science in China. His friendship and collaboration with European Jesuit missionaries, especially the renowned Matteo Ricci, is the first instance of real cultural dialogue between China and the West. Together with Ricci, Paul Xu introduced western mathematics, astronomy, and scientific method into Chinese scholarship. By developing new crops to combat famine, Xu triggered China’s “green revolution”. This 4-part docudrama shows China at the start of its cultural relations with the West and provides us with a wealth of material for reflection on globalization today.

週二, 10 十月 2006

Pilgrim's progress

In memory of Matteo Ricci’s 400th anniversary of arrival in Beijing

A painter from Sichuan narrates his visit to the native town of Matteo Ricci…

"On August 13, 2000, Jacques Duraud and I took the train departing from Rome. It took about more than two hours to Macerata — the hometown of Matteo Ricci — the sacred land which I had dreamed of days and nights. I would be seeing you very soon, my dear friend Ricci…. My heart was full of hope. “Where exactly is Macerata?” I urgently asked when Fr. Duraud opened a map of Italy. “This is Macerata,” Jacques Duraud said, pointing to a little spot next to the railroad line on the map."

“Macerata! Macerata!” When Jacques Duraud was whispering the name in French, I somehow felt that the voice was so mysterious, as if it was coming from a far distance, and yet so close to the heart. Where was it from? I could not answer the question. But I just felt that it was very genial, very close, and then even closer. I was about to arrive the holy land I had dreaming of — a place where the holy spirit was born. (...)

April, 16, 2001.
© copyright 2001 by Taipei Ricci Institute; translated by Eddy Chang.

The whole tale with a set of 10 paintings are available on the Tale Image website

In the footsteps of Francis Xavier

Without Francis Xavier, the co-founder of the Society of Jesus. The grounds for Matteo Ricci's mission in China, may not have been laid. In fact, Francis Xavier actually touched on Chinese soil in the same year as Matteo Ricci was born. Although Francis Xavier never made it to the mainland and passed away on Hong Kong, the significance of his legacy cannot be understated.


In a pilgrimage comparable in scope to that of the Monkey King in Journey to the West, the KPS decided to produce an 8-part docudrama following the footsteps of Francis Xavier:


A young Asian vacationing in Europe stumbles onto the story of St. Francis Xavier and begins a personal pilgrimage that takes him to the places Xavier travelled to during his life. In this docudrama, the story of the 16th-century missionary is rediscovered through the eyes of the Asian Pilgrim. But this is more than just the story of Xavier's life retold. As the Pilgrim grows more and more involved in Xavier's story, he discovers the many parallels between Xavier's life and his own. In following the footsteps of Xavier, he meets people of different races and backgrounds, and finds himself confronting some of the important issues all Christians face today. At the end of his journey, the Pilgrim begins to understand his role as a Christian living in today's world and the meaning this has for his life. It is a pilgrimage every young Christian must make.


So come and join us on the final leg of Francis Xavier's pilgrimage...

To purchase the full version of the DVD In the footsteps of Francis Xavier 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, his good friend Xu Guangqi and Fr. Adam Schall von Bell: In the service of emperors..











週五, 26 二月 2010

A new dialogue centre at Fudan University

In January 2010, the School of Philosophy at Fudan University in Shanghai officially founded the Xu Guangqi Matteo Ricci Research Center for the Dialogue among Civilizations and Religions, abridged as Xu-Ricci Dialogue Institute. Located within the premises of Fudan, the launching of the new center coincides with two world-class events:

- Shanghai World Expo will showcase the contribution that Shanghai, home of the scholar and statesman Xu Guangqi, can make to the global quest for a renewed model of sustainable development and cultural diversity;

- 2010 is also year of celebration in the honour of Matteo Ricci, who died on the 11th of May 1610.

The Xu-Ricci Dialogue Research Center is thus named after the Shanghai-born scholar and statesman Xu Guangqi (1562-1633) and the Jesuit sinologist Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), whose friendship pioneered the dialogue pursued between China and the West in modern times.

In recent years several academic institutions have been created to focus on 'dialogue' from a trans-disciplinary perspective. 'Dialogue' can be related to conflict resolution, global issues and peace building; it might be related to negotiations on salary, work safety or social advantages between entrepreneurs, the State and civil society at large; it often centres on interactions among cultures, religions and even civilizations. In such a case it is concerned both with substance (dialogue on certain topics considered as particularly sensitive and contentious) and methodology (ways of fostering a respectful and fruitful dialogue and to foster procedures akin to the purpose for which dialogue is engaged).

The Xu-Ricci Dialogue Institute at Fudan University inscribes itself within this tradition of trans-disciplinary research. At the same time, it develops a few characteristics linked to its setting and its origin:

- The Institute is part of Fudan University School of Philosophy. As such, it aims at focusing on epistemological issues: 'Dialogue' corresponds to an array of philosophical styles, exemplified in the Socratic, Confucian, Indian or scholastic traditions, to name just a few. In other words, the research on 'dialogue' raises questions linked to the relationship between 'styles of communication' and 'categories of truth.' These questions are formalized differently according to times and cultures – and this variety of forms and procedures is part of the study program of the Institute.

- At Fudan University, the School of Philosophy includes a department of religious studies, the development of which has proven to be particularly vigorous. Therefore, the Institute wishes to serve in a special way the qualitative progress of religious studies at Fudan. It does so by focusing on 'religious dialogue' as an academic topic. Its point of departure is that the study of the interaction between different religious and spiritual traditions is particularly fruitful for understanding the nature, history and dynamics of each tradition when independently considered. Furthermore, in a period where the religious landscape of China is changing rapidly, the interaction (or lack of it) between the different religions of contemporary China has become a topic of special relevance. This requires a pragmatic approach to religious dialogue rooted into social sciences, humanities and field research.

- By referring to the friendship that developed between Xu Guangqi and Matteo Ricci, the Institute is indeed making a statement: Xu Guangqi and Matteo Ricci fostered a cross-interpretation of different canonical traditions, namely the Confucian and Christian ones; they anchored their common quest into their shared passion towards scientific truths; ultimately, their dialogue flourished into a deep and genuine friendship, which reminds us of the humane dimension of all the dialogical endeavours in which we engage.

- Founded during the year of Shanghai World Expo and the 400th celebration of Ricci’s death, the Institute aims at modestly contributing to the ongoing dialogue between China and the rest of the world. China’s spiritual, religious and cultural resources are continually reinterpreted when meeting with other traditions, and similarly, they challenge and reinterpret the ones they meet with. Such a process receives special significance at a time where the global community has to share and redistribute the entirety of its resources – material riches, knowledge and spiritualities – so as to answer the challenges that determine its destiny.






KPS: Matteo Ricci documentary Part 2/3

Part 2│Part 1Part 3

This three part documentary was recorded over 20 years ago by the Guangqi film studios, but takes us back 400 years with re-enactments of conversations that would have actually happened between the Jesuit Matteo Ricci and his friend Xu Guangqi. A challenge that all western students of Chinese can relate to in part, Ricci shows us what it was to struggle through the strokes of a Chinese character before the days of the The Grand Ricci, let alone the brand new digital version.  Fittingly Ricci is played by Jesuit Jerry Martinson.

To purchase the full version of the DVD Matteo Ricci in Chinese 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 come and visit the Kuangchi Offices in Taipei. Also available are educational documentaries on Matteo Ricci's good friend Xu Guangqi and two other Jesuits influential in Sino-Western history - Adam Schall von Bell and Francis Xavier. All available in Chinese and English.

Fr Jerry Martinson who acts Matteo Ricci in this film has also been involved in many cross cultural dialogue missions of his own, to hear about them click here.









KPS: Matteo Ricci documentary Part 3/3

Part 3Part 1Part 2

This three part documentary was recorded over 20 years ago by the Guangqi film studios, but takes us back 400 years with re-enactments of conversations that would have actually happened between the Jesuit Matteo Ricci and his friend Xu Guangqi. A challenge that all western students of Chinese can relate to in part, Ricci shows us what it was to struggle through the strokes of a Chinese character before the days of the The Grand Ricci, let alone the brand new digital version.  Fittingly Ricci is played by Jesuit Jerry Martinson.


To purchase the full version of the DVD Matteo Ricci in Chinese 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 come and visit the Kuangchi Offices in Taipei. Also available are educational documentaries on Matteo Ricci's good friend Xu Guangqi and two other Jesuits influential in Sino-Western history - Adam Schall von Bell and Francis Xavier. All available in Chinese and English.


Fr Jerry Martinson who acts Matteo Ricci in this film has also been involved in many cross cultural dialogue missions of his own, to hear about them click here.








週四, 08 四月 2010

The Jesuits’ Encounter with Chinese Scholars: A Meeting of East and West

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Fr. Matteo Ricci. To commemorate his contribution to East-West cultural exchange and reinforce its commitment to its public service ideals, the National Central Library of Taiwan along with the Taipei Ricci Institute invite you to attend the conference of Professor Nicolas Standaert, S.J. (Leuven University): "Sino-European Displacements: The Circulation of Prints between Europe and China". The conference will be held on April 16th in Taipei, at the briefing room of the National Central Library. Professor Standaert is one of the world’s foremost experts on cultural exchanges between Europe and China during the Late Ming and Early Qing dynasties, and will give a richly illustrated conference – do not miss it!

Also, by attending this conference you will have the opportunity to be among the first to visit the exhibit around Matteo Ricci held at the aforesaid Library: The Jesuits’ Encounter with Chinese Scholars: A Meeting of East and West -- An Exhibition Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Matteo Ricci. The Institute has been associating with Taiwan National Central Library and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for organizing this exhibit which includes images of pieces held in the treasured collections of the Vatican Library, the headquarters of the Society of Jesus in Rome, the Archives of the Society of Jesus, and the Pontificia Università Gregoriana. The exhibit takes place in a new research room into which the library of the Institute has now been transferred. This research room is also dedicated to the new research focus of the Institute: the development of Pacific studies in Taiwan. (More information here).

Also, on April 20 at 2.30pm, Gjon Kolndrekaj, the director of the documentary film “Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit in the Realm of the Dragon,” and Prof. Antonella Tulli of the Department of Italian Language and Literature at Fu Jen Catholic University have been invited to hold a symposium on the film.

We hope that you will join us for one or all these events, register here or 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!

Mei-fang Tsai,
General Manager of Taipei Ricci Institute


Sino-European Displacements: The Circulation of Prints between Europe and China
by Nicolas Standaert (moderator: Pr. Ping-yi Chu, Academia Sinica)
Time: Friday, April 16, 2010, 16:00-17:30
Place: National Central Library, Taipei city, Zhongshan South Road, N.20 1F, Briefing Room
MRT: CKS Memorial Hall
The Jesuits’ Encounter with Chinese Scholars: A Meeting of East and West -- An Exhibition Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Matteo Ricci
The exhibit will be opened half an hour before the starting of the conference.
The exhibit formally starts on Saturday 17 and will run till May 16, 2010,
9:00 -17:00 (Closed on Mondays)
Place: NCL, 6th Floor, Matteo Ricci Pacific Studies Research Room
A Meeting with Gjon Kolndrekaj, Film Director: Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit in the Realm of the Dragon
Time: Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 14:30-16:30
Place: National Central Library, 1st Floor, Briefing Room
Missionary to the Forbidden City: An exhibition in Macao celebrates the remarkable life of the Jesuit priest and Renaissance scholar Matteo Ricci, the first missionary welcomed into Beijing.

週三, 01 十二月 2010

Matteo Ricci, spiritual resources and partnership

At the conference "Dialogue among Civilizations and Global Challenges" held in Shanghai in 2010, friend of eRenlai and former managing director of the IMF, Michel Camdessus, provided the starting point for a discussion on intercultural dialogue,  inspired by Matteo Ricci and Xu Guangqi. He first gave a speech on the secret of Matteo Ricci:


Professor Choong Chee Pang from the Oxford Institute for Asian Society and Religion gave a response to Michel's wise words, particularly focusing on the importance of China's cultural and spiritual resources in contrast to the factors economic, political and military might that are usually focused on:





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