The Influence of Portugal in the Music of Asia


Joseph Sebes*

Tabula geodoborica itinerum a variis in Cataium susceptorum rationem exhibens. In: KIRCHER, Athanasius, S. J.; Trans. DALQUIÉ, F. S., La Chine d'Athanase Kirchere[...], Amstelodami, Johannem Janssenium à Waesberge[...],1670, p.4.

How would World opinion react today if the pioneer satellites should prove as realities the fantasies of UFOs, of Star Trek, of Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Or that there really are extraterrestrials on other yet unknown planets in this galaxy of ours or in galaxies still to be discovered? How would we categorize these E. T. s? Would they be welcome? Would they be considered equal to us Earth dwellers? Would they be participants in our dispensation? The situation was not dissimilar when in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the Portuguese and the Spaniards, having expelled the Muslims from the Iberian peninsula which they had ruled since the eighth century, discovered a "New World" during the ensuing Age of Discovery.


Beginning in about 1418, the Portuguese, under the direction of Prince Henry the Navigator (° 1390-†1460), King Dom João II (°1461-†1495), and their successors, discovered for Europe the African continent South of the Sahara and sailed around Africa's Southern tip, called by them the Cape of Torments (Cape of Good Hope being a later euphemism), reaching India, in 1498, the same year Christopher Columbus embarked upon his third voyage to the Spanish New World, which he had discovered for the Crown of Castile, in 1492, in his Westward quest for a sea route to India. 1

The Popes supported these voyages because originally they had been crusading ventures; further, they declared all the territories hitherto unoccupied by Christian Princes as the inviolable Crown property of Portugal and Spain, respectively, and granted to both the trade monopoly in their areas.

During the early stages of these Discoveries, both Christian nations coveted the Indies. Therefore, to avoid conflicts, Papal intervention was sought to establish lines of demarcation, which would clearly and officially designate spheres of influence-thus the Papal Bulls of the 3rd and the 4th of May 1493. However, the Treaty of Tordesillas, of 1494, with new 'lines' approved by the Pope, superseded the arrangements of 1493 and each country pledged to propagate Christianity in its newly discovered territories. From these rights and privileges sprang the Spanish Patronato Real and the Portuguese Padroado. 2

Thus, Portugal could make a fresh effort to establish firm rule in the territories adjudged to her. When, on the 1st of March 1498, Vasco da Gama encountered in Mozambique the first Arab ship laden with Indian freight, further Portuguese exploration and expansion had a new motive: profit from the spice trade. Profits, however, did not replace the crusading spirit, they only diluted it. While the African obstacle had been overcome and India was in sight, it was still necessary to safeguard this achievement against Islam at the zenith of its power. 3 The events which occured in the Near East and the Mediterranean basin are witness to this. The victories of the Ottoman Turks over Venice at the dawn of the sixteenth century sealed the decline of Venice as the commercial capital of a Europe dependent upon the traditional trade with the Islamic World of the East and opened the road for the Ottoman Turks into Central Europe. To reach India from Africa, the Portuguese relied upon Muslim Arabs. Sailing from Malindo (in Kenya) to Calicut on the Malabar coast, in 1498, Vasco da Gama's ship was guided by the Arab pilot Ahmadibn Majin. Thus, the Portuguese had reached India, and the East Asian seas lay open to them. 4 However, control of the traditional trade routes with the East still remained in the hands of the Mamelukes of Egypt.

In 1507, the two main channels of this trade route with the East, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, were closed when two key fortresses, Socotra and Ormuz, were taken from the Muslims by the Portuguese. In 1509, the backbone of Islam's resistance was broken at Diu, when the Muslim fleet was defeated. In 1510, Goa was taken. In 1511, Malacca fell to the Portuguese, who shortly afterwards erected a fortress on the spice Island of Ternate. The trade routes were redirected around Africa and Lisbon became the commercial capital of Europe for the sixteenth century. The new motto of Portugal was "Spices and Souls".5

But the Portuguese did not stop there. By 1513, Jorge Álvares had reached China and, in 1514., a trade mission followed. In 1515, Raphael Perestelo travelled in a Chinese junk to South China. In 1517, Simão Peres d'Andrade sailed up the Pearl River to Guangzhou. In 1520, Tomé Pires, the first Portuguese Ambassador to China, reached Beijing. In 1542, António da Mota, with two companions, first reached Japan, driven there by a storm. In a few decades, Islam's front had been turned by an outflanking movement and its communications severed in the rear. The East was once more in direct contact with the West. Europe had discovered, or rather rediscovered, Africa and Asia, a "New World".6

The Portuguese discovery of a sea route to India and points East had come at a time when the Turks had squatted down on the Medieval land routes to the East, making them difficult and unprofitable to merchants. In 1602, at the request of Matteo Ricci, S. J., (°1552-†1610) the Jesuit lay Br. Bento de Góis (°1563-&1607) traveled overland from Agra to China to rediscover the land route and to test Ricci's hypothesis that the Cathay of Marco Polo and of the medieval friars was China.

On his death bed, Góis remembered how: "this journey had been very long, very wearisome and beset with dangers. Therefore no member of the Jesuit brotherhood should attempt to follow his example." In spite of this warning, a few attempts were later made to find an alternative route to the equally lengthy, wearisome and dangerous sea route.

They were, for the most part, planned through Russian territories after the overland contact with China had been established. 7

As great as the Portuguese accomplishment was, China had long before discovered what today we refer to as Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. From 1405, under the Yongle Emperor (°1403-&1424), seven great expeditions under the leadership of Zhenghe (°1371-†1433) had gone as far west as Africa. 8

With the reaching of Japan, the Age of Discovery ended and the Colonial Period began. Portugal then, as today, was a small country and could not hope to conquer the vast Asian and African territories. But being a sea power, she aimed at ruling the trade routes by maintaining a strong grip on important harbours and trade centres by establishing trading factories and fortresses to protect her interests. 9

The Portuguese in Southeast Asia and the Spaniards in the Philippines discovered that in this "New World", with its strange Cultures, the Christian Faith was the property of the Europeans only. All non-Christian Cultures were, at first, looked upon by many as the work of the Devil. This realization gave the Europeans a sense of destiny, a will to conquer and proselytize unknown to Medieval Europe, a belief in their own superiority as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart."10

However, to the peoples of the East, these newcomers from the West were considered barbarians. The Chinese called them Folangji (Franks). They later referred to the Dutch as Hunguoren ("barbarians") with red hair, The Russians, who approached China from the Northwest, were counted among the Northern "barbarians" and called Luocha and Eluoshi. 11

The early missionaries who left Europe to convert this "New World" also tried to Westernize it in the process. In the territorries belonging to Portugal, converts were, at the time of their baptism, not only given a Christian name but also urged to take Portuguese surnames, wear European clothes and observe European Rites. The Spaniards did the same in their sphere. Any adaptation of European Culture, not to mention Christian Doctrine, was considered to be against God. The spirit and example of Paul of Tarsus, who accommodated Christianity, hitherto a small Jewish sect, to Greco-Roman Culture, was overlooked and ignored. The main object of the founding of the Jesuit Order by Ignatius of Loyola (° 1491-& 1556), in 1534, was the defense and propagation of the Faith. His followers, inspired by his spirit expressed in the Order's Institute Constitutions and Spiritual Exercises, imitated St. Paul and tried to follow his example. Few such attempts have ever been made. 12

The first missionaries to come to this "New World" under the Padroado were Franciscan and Dominican friars, who took up the arduous task of evangelization where their Medieval predecessors had left off. Also, some secular priests served as chaplains at Portuguese fortresses. Then, in 1542, with the coming of the Jesuits, the first phase of the history of the Portuguese missions in the Orient ends. Profound changes began to take place. 13

Map of Sanchoan Island and frontespiece. In 1700, Castner supervised the construction of a chapel in the island of Sanchoan, where Francis Xavier died, in 1552. In: CASTNER, Gaspar, Relatio Sepulturæ Magno Orientis Apo∫tolo S. Francisco Xauerio erectae in Insula Sanciano anno soecula-/ri, MDCC, fly page and title page.

Among the first Jesuits to arrive was Francis Xavier. In 1540, the Society of Jesus had been officially established, purposed to propagate the Faith wherever the Pope should want its members to go. Within a year, Xavier and four others left Europe for the East. Xavier had come as a missionary of the Portuguese Padroado, sent by the King of Portugal and invested with the authority of Papal Nuncio by the Holy See. His missionary activities and those of his fellow Jesuits, began by relying upon Portuguese colonization. But his hopes of getting help and support from the civil authority led to bitter disappointment. He "fled," as he himself says, 14 from the sphere of Portuguese influence to Japan, where no European functionary, so harsh toward the natives, could undo what he so laboriously was building. While in India, Xavier had been more tolerant of local customs and practices than other missionaries, even though he had worked among poor fishermen and people of the lower castes who were willing to accept Christianity in its European garb. In Japan, Xavier's approach took on a new dimension after he was challenged by the Buddhist monks. The Japanese response helped Xavier realize that for Christianity to succeed in Asia, missionaries had to reach the natives on their own terms; speaking, reading and writing the native languages; becoming an integral part of a particular Civilization and behaving like the natives of the country and, as will be said later, "Becoming Chinese to win China for Christ." Thus, while trying to learn Japanese, Xavier wrote: "In these six weeks, by God's favour, we have got so far that we already give explanations in Japanese of the Ten Commandments."15

For a time, Xavier went so far as to equate the name Dainichi ("The Great Sun") - in Mahayana Buddhism the great Vairochana Buddha, the pantheistic deity of the Singon sect -, with the Christian concept of God. This was a singularly unhappy choice, for whatever else it may mean, Dainichi does not even remotely approximate the Christian concept of God. When he realized his mistake, he prohibited further use of the name. His Jesuit successors in Japan discussed this problem for the next fifty years and decided to employ traditional Portuguese or Latin terms to express Christian concepts. The word Deus [Portuguese] later became De-u-su, Christiano [Italian] became Ki-risht-an, and so on, just as centuries later the Japanese adopted bei-su-bo-ro (baseball), ai-su-ku-re-mu (ice cream) and so on. They got away with this because in the sixteenth century, during the Sengoku ("Country at War") Period, Japan was an open society and was willing to accept Christianity in its Western garb, together with firearms and trade. 16

To approach the daimyo and to debate the Bonzes in front of them, Xavier put on an aristocratic appearance, donned expensive clothes with chains of gold and had his attendants wait on him on their knees as he spoke to them. But all this Royal display had only one purpose: to discredit the Buddhist monks whom he regarded as the deadliest enemies of Christianity. 17

In his debate with them, he became convinced of two things: first, that future missionaries to Japan would have to be learned men, "powerful intellects, practiced in dialectics [...] to unravel sophisticated arguments, and to show the incoherence and mutual contradictions of false doctrines"; 18second, that the secret to the conversion of Japan was the conversion of China. The Japanese, Xavier wrote, try to make this "a principal point against us, that if things were as we preached, how was it that the Chinese knew nothing about them?"19

Xavier had already noticed, when he first landed in Japan, that the Japanese, like their Chinese masters, were led by reason and showed a great interest in the sciences. He wrote about the Japanese:

"They did not know that the world is round; they knew nothing of the course of the sun and stars, so that when they asked us and we explained to them [...] they listened to us most eagerly [...] regarding us with profound respect as extremely learned persons. This idea of our great knowledge opened the way for us to sow the seed of religion in their minds."20

Xavier was also impressed by the emphasis the Japanese and their Chinese masters placed on moral conduct. In this he thought he had discovered a close parallel between Eastern ethics and Christian morality.

Consequently, future missionaries to East Asia would have to be men of high morals, learning, and science. Xavier was the first to realize the importance of science as an entrance to East Asian societies. 21

Xavier decided to go to China, learn more about the sources of Japanese beliefs and values and convince the Emperor of the truthfulness of the Christian Faith. He nourished the hope that once the Son of Heaven was converted, all the Chinese as well as the Japanese would follow suit and soon all East Asia would be converted to Christianity. He did not succeed in penetrating the walls of China's self-imposed isolation and in his attempt he died in 1552 on the small island of Sanchoan (St. John's), off the coast of China.

The voyages undertaken by Xavier must not be considered as the manifestation of the spirit of adventure in this man from Navarre. Neither can they be explained solely by his desire, as Superior of the vast territories stretching from the Cape of Good Hope to Japan, to visit all his subjects and to inspect their work. 22 He never regarded himself as an individual missionary. His task was that of a pioneer, a path-finder, destined to open the way for others. That was the work entrusted to him by the Holy See and by his own Superior, Ignatius of Loyola. Xavier was then forty-five years of age, and there seemed to him ample time to plot the course of this mighty undertaking. He was urged on by his search for a vantage point from which the Christianization of the East could be accomplished. Relying, even temporarily, on a native clergy (in South India, Malacca and the Moluccas) did not augur well for the future. Everywhere one encountered that soft, dreamy and non enterprising spirit that would never endure hardship. It was at this precise moment he was told that in Japan there was to be found a different type of people. As soon as he encountered the Japanese he saw that he had not been misled and his hopes were fulfilled. The Japanese themselves told him, as we have seen, that their teachers and masters were the Chinese. Thus, after immense labours, he arrived at the conclusion that the conversion of East Asia had to be accomplished by first converting China. 23

To put this plan into operation, however, an enormous obstacle had to be overcome. Sixteenth century Ming China was still the very epitome of orderly Government and political stability, but unwilling to come out of her selfimposed isolation-so unlike India and Japan, where warfare and turmoil and open societies had enabled the Portuguese and the Jesuits to establish a foothold and even introduce Christianity in its European form. Before the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), China had been an open society. 24

After the defeat and expulsion of the Mongols (Yuan Dynasty), the Hongwu (r.1368-†1398) and Yongle (r. 1404-†1424), Emperors, the first rulers of the Ming (the last native Chinese Dynasty), attempted to make the Kingdom of the Middle safe and impregnable from land and sea. Hongwu led nine campaigns against the still-dangerous Mongols to push them as far away from the Great Wall frontier as possible. Under Yongle, the seven great maritime expeditions were undertaken, bringing China into contact with Southeast Asia and Africa. During at least the initial period of the Yuan Dynasty, China had been part of the much larger Mongol World Empire and foreign "barbarians" came from all directions.

By 1429, having secured its borders on all sides, China closed her doors and withdrew into self-imposed isolation to cleanse herself and her Civilization from this cosmopolitan contamination and to restore the purity of Sinic Culture. This isolation was reinforced by the Japanese pirates, the wako, who endangered the coast of China. The Chinese in general often regarded the Portuguese as little better than the Japanese pirates and rightly so as in the case of Simão Peres d'Andrade. 25

Xavier was not deterred by the fact that it meant death or imprisonment for any foreigner attempting to land in China. He proposed to the Portuguese Viceroy of India that he appoint one of his fellow countrymen Ambassador to the Emperor of China and with him he would travel as Papal Representative. He hoped that in this way he would be able to put forward his case to the highest authority. He would bring presents to the Emperor, beg him to change the laws against the admission of foreigners, release from prison the Portuguese who were in the jails of Guangzhou and give him and his companions leave to preach the Gospel.

FACING PAGE: Carte particuliere de l'entrée de Canton/Canton (A Particular Map of the Entrance into Guangdong) with an insert of Plan de Quang-Cheou-Fou/Canton (A Plan of Guangzhou). In: DU HALDE, Jean-Baptiste, S. J., Description de la Chine, A La Haye, 1736, vol. 1. p. 231.

The Viceroy thought the plan worth trying, for he had already witnessed Xavier's success against seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He therefore appointed Xavier's friend, Diogo Pereira, as Ambassador and Xavier was to accompany him. The whole effort, however, was frustrated by Álvaro de Ataíde da Gama, the Captain-General of Malacca and the unworthy son of the great navigator, Vasco da Gama. When the ship carrying the Ambassador stopped at Malacca, the Captain-General would not permit it to leave unless Pereira's appointment was rescinded. A very greedy, materialistically minded man, Ataíde wanted the very lucrative post for himself. Whatever success Xavier's pleading might have had with the Emperor of China, it had none with Álvaro de Ataíde. So, abandoning all hope of an official introduction to China, the missionary decided to go on alone and be smuggled into the Empire by boat. Before putting his plan into action, he wrote a farewell note to Ambassador Pereira, who had given him money for bribing his way into China. Xavier wrote that should Pereira visit him there, he would find him either in a Guangzhounese prison or in the Palace, in Beijng, where the Chinese Emperor was said to have his Residence. 26 Then, in August 1552, making his way to Sanchoan island, off China's coast, together with a faithful Chinese inter preter, he made arrangements with a Chinese merchant to convey him to the mainland. The latter, however, never appeared and Xavier died on the deserted island on the 3rd of December, unsuccessful in his efforts to penetrate China's self-imposed isolation.

Although Xavier died before he could penetrate China, his spirit and method of accommodation survived and for the next thirty-one years his successors tried with admirable tenacity to open the gates of China, but with little success. In fact, twenty-five priests succeeded in entering but were not permitted to stay and had to leave again after a short time. The story of the twenty-five is as follows:

On the 20th of July 1555, Melchior Nunes Barreto-(°1519-†1571), Portuguese Provincial of the Jesuits in India, visited Sanchoan Island and celebrated Mass there on his way to Japan. He was accompanied by Fr. Gaspar Villela (°1526-†1572) and four Jesuit Brothers: Melchior and António Dias, Luis Fróis(°1528-†1597)and Estevão de Góis(° 1526-†1588). On the 3rd of August he went to Lampacao Island, 27 twenty-eight leagues West of Macao, whence between August and November of the same year he went twice to Guangzhou, on each occasion remaining there a month in an attempt to obtain the release from prison of three Portuguese and three native Christians. 28In 1556, he went to Giuangzhou a third time, during Lent Then, on the 5th of June, he continued to Japan, leaving Br. Góis, in China, to learn the language, but the Brother became ill and, in 1557, returned to Goa. 29

In late 1556, Gaspar da Cruz, O. P. arrived in Guangzhou and remained there a month. 30

On the 21st of November 1560, Baltasar Gago, S. J. (°1515-†1583), on his return trip from Japan, was forced, because of severe weather, to seek refuge on Hainan Island, until May 1561, whence after a trip of thirty days he reached Macao and remained there until the 1st of January 1562. 31

On the 24th of August 1562, the Italian Giovanni Battista de Monte, S. J. (°1528-†1587), together with his Portuguese companion, Luís Fróis, stopped in Macao and remained there until the middle of 1563. 32

On the 29th of July 1563, Francisco Pérez, S. J. (° 1514-† 1583), Manuel Teixeira, S. J. (° 1536-†1590) and André Pinto, S. J. (°1538-t1588), arrived in Macao in the entourage of Diogo Pereira, the Ambassador of the King of Portugal to the Emperor of China. As indicated, this Embassy failed. 33

On the 15th of November 1565, the Spanish Juan de Escobar, S. J. and the above-mentioned Pérez came to Guangzhou and, on the 23rd of November, Pérez asked permission from the authorities to remain in China, but was refused. 34

In 1565, Pérez and Teixeira established a Residence of the Society of of Jesus, in Macao. 35

On the 15th of August 1567, the Spanish Juan Batista de Ribera, S. J. (° 1525-† 1594), went to Macao with two companions and from there proceeded to Guangzhou, arriving on the 9th of May 1568. He planned to move on to Nanjing but was forced to return to Macao shortly after. 36

Sometime before October 1568, Pedro Bonaventura Riera, S. J. (°1526-†1573), went to Guangzhou with some Portuguese merchants. 37

In 1569, probably Bp. Melchior Carneiro, S. J. (°1519-†1583), spent some time in Guangzhou. 38

In 1574, António Vaz, S. J. (°1523-†ca 1573), was in Guangzhou from the 7th of February to about the 20th of March. 39

In 1575, Critóvão da Costa, S. J. (° 1529-†1582), accompanied Portuguese merchants to Guangzhou twice and stayed there on one occasion for two months and on another for a month but could not obtain permission to remain. 40

Also around 1575, Bp. Carneiro tried to establish himself in Guangzhou but without success. 41

In 1575, two Augustinians, the Spaniard Martin de Rada and the Mexican Jerónimo Marín, came from the Philippines to Fujian Province and returned to the Philippines on the 14th of September. 42

In February 1579, some Jesuits visited Guangzhou. 43

On the 23rd of June of the same year, four Franciscan friars and three members of the Third Order of Saint Francis, dressed as Franciscans, arrived in Guangzhou. The priests were the Italian Giovanni Battista Lucarelli da Pesaro (°1540-†1604) and three Spaniards, Pedro de Alfaro (†1580), Augustino de Tordesillas (°1528-†1629) and Sebastiano de Baeza (†1579).

The three Third Order men were two Spanish soldiers, Francisco de Dueñas and Juan Díaz Pardo (†1615) and the Mexican Pedro de Villaroel. They had to leave China after having spent fifty days in a Guangzhou prison. 44

For Easter of 1580, Michele Ruggieri, S. J. (°1543-†1607), went to Guangzhou and stayed in a house near the river. In 1581, he returned twice to Guangzhou, the first time accompanied by Br. Pires (°1563-†1632) and the second time by Fr. André Pinto. 45 He remained the first time for three months, the second time for two months, being housed in the palace of the Siamese Ambassador. 46In April and May 1582, Ruggieri went to Guangzhou for the fourth time and remained for a month and a half and, on the 2nd of May, he was joined by Alonso Sánchez, S. J. (°1551-†1614) and two Franciscans, one of whom was the Third Order member, Juan Díaz Pardo, for whom this was the second time. These men had come from the Philippines by way of a port in North-Eastern Guangdong Province. Sánchez remained in Guangzhou from the 2nd of May to the 29th of May. 47 From Guangzhou, Ruggieri ventured on two occasions as far as Chao-ch'ing. Vice-regal seat of the "two Guangs" (the Provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi). On his first visit in June, he was accompanied by Matías Panela, a judicial auditor, and on the second visit, on the 27th of December, by Francesco Pasio, S. J. (°1554-†1612). Between the two trips to Zhaoqing, he returned to Macao. In March 1583, Ruggieri and Pasio returned to Macao from the second trip, while the two Franciscans returned to the Philippines, through Macao and Japan. 48

In June 1582, the Minor friars Jerónimo de Burgos (†1593), Martin Ignacio de Loyola (nephew of Ignacio de Loyola), Agostino de Tordesillas (second time), Girólamo de Aguilar (†1591) and Antonio de Villanueva, in their effort to reach Macao, landed instead at Quanzhou, in Fujian Province. They were accompanied by two lay-Brothers, Francisco de Córdova and Cristóforo Gómez, together with three soldiers. From Quanzhou, they were all taken to Guangzhou as spies but were later freed and sent to Macao. 49

In May 1583, another group of friars, Frs. Diego de Oropesa, Bartolomé Ruíz, Francisco de Montilla and Pedro Ortiz Cabezas, landed on Hainan island, driven there by a storm on their return trip from Annam to the Philippines. They were accompanied by four Franciscan lay-Brothers, Cristóforo Gómez, Diego Jiménez, Francisco Villarino, and anovice, Manuel de Santiago. Taken for spies, they were all sent to Guangzhou where they were freed on a payment of alms given by the Portuguese. 50

Thus, excluding the members of the Jesuit Residence in Macao, and counting each attempt of those who tried several times to enter China, there were thirty-two Jesuits (twenty-four priests and nine scholastics or lay-Brothers), twenty-four Franciscans (thirteen priests and eleven lay-Brothers or members of the Third Order), two Augustinians and one Dominican. If we count only the individuals and not the times they tried to enter China, there were twenty-five Jesuits, seventeen of them priests and eight scholastics or lay-Brothers; twenty-two Franciscans, of whom twelve were priests and ten lay-Brothers or members of the Third Order; two Augustinians; and one Dominican. This is by no means a complete listing. It is only a list of those who tried unsuccessfully, between 1552 and 1583, to penetrate China's self-imposed isolation and establish permanent Residence there. 51

This is the story of missionary persistence with China, a country that remained hostile to the Western World. However, in return for Portuguese help in ridding the South China coast of an exceptionally troublesome pirate chief. In 1557, Chinese authorities had permitted Portugal to establish a trading post known as Macao on the tiny tip of a peninsula in Guangdong Province. 52 At first, a barrier was built across the neck of the peninsula and no one could cross it except twice a year by the carefully guarded gate in the middle, but after a time the gate became wider and means of getting around the Wall more easily devised. As a result, more regular contact grew between the Portuguese and the Chinese authorities in Guangdong.

Cnthusiasm for the effort to penetrate China never slackened, and it had the fullest support of Superiors, in Europe, where it was also greatly stimulated by encouragement from an unexpected quarter. In 1552, the year before Xavier died, a remarkable nobleman of Spain, Francisco Borgia (°1510-†1572), Duke of Gandía, renounced his titles and property and was ordained a Jesuit priest. His previous position as well as his remarkable personality gave special authority to everything he said or did. In 1559, he visited Portugal, and because the East (from India to Japan) was in the Portuguese missionary zone and under the Portuguese Padroado, he had first-hand access to all that had been reported about the establishment of Macao and the efforts to penetrate China. He publicly stated that there was good hope for the opening of missionary work in China. This caused great excitement in Jesuit circles and from all quarters, petitions from priests, young and old, went to Superiors asking to be allowed to participate in this undertaking.

Relatione de la gran Città del Quinsay [the name given by Marco Polo to Hangzhou], et del Rè della China [...]. Excerpt of the manuscrit letter from Ugo Contucci to Luigi Gonzaga, from 1583. Hangzhou was the second christian community to be established by the Frs. Ruggieri and Almeida, in China

In 1565, an even greater opportunity to assist in this project came his way when Borgia was elected Father General of the Society of Jesus. His interest in the missions was by no means confined to those of his own Order. In 1568, it is on record that in a conversation with Pope Pius V, he suggested the formation of a special Congregation to direct all activities pertaining to the conversion of those outside the Catholic Faith. For, as things were then, the missions were to a degree subject to the secular powers who were no longer able to provide for their needs.

In 1622, this suggestion contributed to the establishment of the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith). 53As far as his own Order was concerned, one of the most useful things he did was to admit Alessandro Valignano (°1539-†1606) into the Society, the second great Jesuit missionary in the Orient. 54

This remarkable young man was the son of a close friend of the reigning Pope, Paulo IV. He gained a Doctorate in law with distinction at the University of Padua and then began what promised to be a brilliant career in the legal service of the Holy See, when at the age of twenty-seven he abandoned it and entered the Society of Jesus. Because of his previous studies, he was not long in being ordained to the priesthood and after five years was appointed assistant to the Master of Novices at San Andrea del Quirinale, in Rome. In 1571, in the absence of the Novice Master, it was his good fortune to welcome to the novitiate another promising student of law, Matteo Ricci, then in his twentieth year. It was a significant meeting, for their lives were to be linked in a way that would have a decisive effect on the China mission.

Before young Ricci had finished his noviceship, he heard that Valignano, now Rector of the Jesuit College, in Macerata - the home of Ricci's family whose members Valignano must have met -, had asked to be sent to Goa. He took care of pressing Indian business and then embarked for Japan, but had to spend ten months in Macao (October 1577 to July 1578) waiting for the favourable monsoons. This was one of three trips he was to make to Japan. The other two were in 1590-1592 and 1598-1603, and each time he stopped in Macao. His ten-month delay in Macao, however, was providential, for here he was apprised of the persistent but unsuccessful attempts to enter China and saw for himself the pessimism of a number of his Jesuit brethren who were of the opinion that further attempts would be hopeless.

Valignano was a man who looked at everything with an open mind.

This was his first meeting with the World East of India and he set himself to learn everything he could about China. Like Xavier, he heard about the Chinese and made the acquaintance of some of them through personal dealings. He wrote of them in his letters to Europe as "a great and worthy people"55 and came to the conclusion that the failure to lead them to a knowledge and acceptance of the Christian Faith was due to the manner of approach that had been adopted. He wrote to Borgia, the General of the Society who had sent him, that the penetration of China would have to be completely different from the methods employed up to that time in all the other countries where the Society had missions. He believed that the Chinese respect for learning and their willingness to listen to anything that was put to them in an intelligent way would open their minds to the acceptance of Christianity, but he was equally convinced that they would reject anything that came from a Civilization that claimed superiority to their own. Hence, he gave instructions that all who were assigned to missionary work in China must, as a necessary preliminary, learn to read, write, and speak Chinese and make themselves acquainted with Chinese Culture, manners, and customs.

Having little hope that any of those already in Macao were fitted to do this because of the contrary views they expressed, he wrote to the Jesuit Provincial, in Goa, Vicente Rodrigo, to send him a young Italian priest, Bernardino de Ferraris, the then-rector in Cochin. Why he chose this man and why he was not available is not clear, but the Provincial sent in his stead one whom he thought would be a good substitute, Michele Ruggieri. 56

Realizing, as Xavier had before him, that men of learning were needed, Valignano not only requested that such men be sent from Europe, but also took great care of the intellectual training of the young Jesuits, reorganizing studies in St. Paul's College, of Goa, founding a College at Funai (Öita), Japan, and building (1593-1594) the imposing structure of the [St. Paul's] College, in Macao. Thus, Valignano not only inherited and further developed Xavier's method of Cultural Accommodation but also institutionalized it and implemented it in Japan, as his 1581 booklet Il cerimoniale per i missionari del Giappone shows. 57 He provided for China by assigning the men who were to implement it there. Valignano had three advantages over Xavier. He benefited from Xavier's pioneering insights, he had more time (thirty-two years compared with only ten for Xavier) and for the last eleven years he had only East Asia to worry about.

When Ruggieri, who had been called to the China enterprise, arrived in Macao, in July 1579, Valignano had departed for Japan but had left detailed instructions on how Ruggieri should prepare himself for the arduous task. He began his work with great zeal, composing first of all a catechism in Chinese and later on, with the help of interpreters, translating into Latin one of the Confucian Sishu (Four Books), the Daxue (Great Learning). 58He got little encouragement from the other priests in Macao. They were few in number, their work being among the soldiers and traders, and they wanted him to share in that work, as they entertained little or no hope of receiving permission to labour in China. Ruggieri nevertheless continued assiduously with his studies but found the study of Chinese something very different from that of an Indian dialect. Acquiring a command of it was very difficult for him, though he became quite accomplished in his grasp of the formalities of Chinese friends. He had few illusions about his progress with the language and therefore wrote to Valignano, in Japan, suggesting that Ricci, who had come with him to India, should be sent to join him. Valignano agreed and dispatched word to India that Ricci and Pasio, who had come with Ruggieri from Italy, should join Ruggieri in Macao. From there, Pasio was then to go to Japan. It took a long time for letters to travel in those days, and Valignano himself actually arrived in Macao before the two priests.

In the meantime, Ruggieri, determined to get as far as he could in the new approach to things Chinese, asked to be allowed to go to Guangzhou with some of the Portuguese traders who had leave to pay two visits there each year. It was only during his second year in Macao that he was first able to go. On this occasion, he was scrupulous in his attention to everything required by Chinese etiquette, to which the visiting merchants paid no heed. This was noticed at once by the Chinese officials, and after their first meeting with him, they asked that he be present at all the audiences granted to foreigners.

This successfully broke the ice. On his second visit the following year, Ruggieri was shown marked respect and was recognized not as a trader but as a foreign scholar. He was, therefore, allowed to stand during the audiences, while the others had to kneel. On his third visit, some of the civil and military officials attended his Mass.

Such was the situation in 1582, when Valignano returned to Macao from Japan. He had seen the results of the method of Cultural Accommodation which he advocated in Japan; now he would be able to put it into operation with equal hope of success in China. Since there was little likelihood of winning over the missionaries who were settled in the old ways, he made a change of Superiors in Macao and established the framework of a mission in China. It was to be quite distinct from the normal work among soldiers and traders.

Within a short time, Valignano had every reason to believe that the new method would succeed. The Philippine Islands, after their discovery by Magellan, in 1522, had come under the Spanish Crown and so became a new mission field. In 1578, a number of Spanish Jesuits were sent to join the other missionaries who were already laboring there. 59Some of them, anxious to participate in the conversion of China, especially after 1580 when Felipe II [of Spain] became King [Filipe I] of Portugal (1578), went to Guangzhou via Fujian, thus avoiding Macao. This was looked upon by the officials of Guangdong Province as an unwarranted use of facilities given only to special persons who came from Macao.

The Viceroy of the two Provinces, Guangdong and Guangxi, who had his seat in the official capital, Zhaoqing, ordered the Bishop of Macao to go to Zhaoqing where he would be apprised of the Government's policy in this matter. In late 1582, Valignano sent Ruggieri to represent the Bishop and the courtesy and suavity of the young priest completely won over the Viceroy with the result that, on his return to Macao, he received an official invitation from him to return to Zhaoqing and settle there permanently. Valignano agreed at once and appointed Pasio, who had just arrived from India, to accompany Ruggieri. They were well-received by the Viceroy who gave them a Pagoda for their use, and when they were settled he paid them a visit of courtesy and presented Ruggieri with a Chinese scroll.

Their stay was unhappily short. The Viceroy fell out of favour and when summoned to Beijing to answer charges, he thought it was wiser to ask the two Jesuits to leave. Sadly they returned to Macao. 60 Ruggieri then wrote to the officials in Guangzhou requesting their indulgence. Within a very short time he was given permission to return and, in accord with his request, was also granted a small piece of land on which to build a House and Church. By this time, Pasio had gone on to Japan, so Ruggieri brought Ricci, who had arrived in Macao on the 7th of August 1582, to Zhaoqing as his companion. That was a significant date, for though it was Valignano who had decided on the new approach to mission work in China and Ruggieri who first practiced it, it was Ricci who brought it to complete success. From this time on, he became the principal Jesuit on the Chinese scene. 61

Avisi della Cina Cavati d'alcune lettere scritte al P[ad]re Generale, della Compagnia di Giesù dell'anni 1583 et 1584 [...]. Excerpt of the manuscript letter from Fr. Luigi Gonzaga Ruggieri to Zhaoqing Fu, dated the 7th of February 183, describing his efforts to learn Chinese and to reach Guangzhou.

Ricci was born in Macerata, in Italy, on the 6th of October 1552, the year of Xavier's death. The eldest of eleven children, he was enrolled in the local Jesuit College at the age of nine. In 1568, he was sent to the University of Rome to study law. Three years later he joined the Society of Jesus, entering the novitiate of San Andrea al Quirinale. After taking his first vows and after a short period of teaching at the Jesuit College, in Florence, he returned to Rome and entered the Colegio Romano. Here he studied philosophy and mathematics under the famous Jesuit Christopher Clavius (°ca 1537-†1612), the associate and friend of Kepler and Galileo and a leader in the Gregorian reform of the Julian Calendar, promulgated in 1582. Ricci also studied Euclidean geometry, physics, the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, map-making and mechanics. Most of the scientific Treatises on these subjects were later translated into Chinese by him or under his direction. He had practical talent as well and from the making of sundials and astrolabes, he passed to the construction of clocks and other appliances which he fashioned with exceptional ingenuity.

When he began to the study of theology, he likewise showed special ability. The Jesuit professor Robert Bellarmine (°1542-†1621), now a referred to as a Doctor of the Church, was then the great controversialist of his day and "the hammer of heretics." Ricci attended his course on controversies and from it learned the clear exposition of Doctrine which he put to such practical use in later years. Everyone predicted a great professorial career for the young student but, as his Renaissance training progressed, he was drawn to the foreign misssions in the newly discovered World, the opening up of which had been one of the accomplishments of the Renaissance. In 1577, he was accepted for the Jesuit mission in India under the Portuguese Padroado. Going to Portugal, he prepared himself by continuing his study of theology at the University of Coimbra and in March 1578 sailed from Lisbon.

Except for a brief period of Cochin, he taught for the next four years at the Jesuit St. Paul's College, of Goa, where he was ordained to the priesthood, in July 1580. It was from here Valignano called him to Macao, where he arrived in August 1582, a summons made, as noted earlier, at the suggestion of Ruggieri, who had been called to Macao, in 1579, for the same China enterprise. In the meantime, between 1580 and 1582, Ruggieri had made four trips to Guangzhou and one directly to Chao-ch'ing, whither he was accompanied in December 1582 by Pasio. Ricci was still weak after a rough passage from India, 62 and so it was decided that would join them later. 63 However, Pasio and Ruggieri could not remain in Chao-ch'ing and had to return to Macao. However, some months later, on the 10th of September 1583, Ruggieri and Ricci succeeded in establishing themselves at Chao-ch'ing. Ricci never left China.

In 1588, Valignano decided to send Ruggieri to Rome to explain the situation and to petition the Pope to send an Embassy to the Emperor of China. The death of four Popes within a year-and-a-half prevented consideration of an official mission and by the end of that time the opportune moment had passed. In Europe, Ruggieri's health failed, and he never returned to China.

Ricci, having been left alone in Zhaoqng, remained there until 1589.

In that year, the viceroy of the "two Guangs" (Guangdong and Guangxi) died, and a new one was appointed. Three Viceroys had sanctioned Ricci's stay, but this one took steps to have him expelled. By cleverness of argument, in which Ricci was now experienced from his dealing with officials, he got the Decree changed on condition that he reside in another City. So he moved to Shao-chou, further North in Guangdong Province. He remained there until 1595, when one of his high-ranking friends, a member of the Imperial Board of War, was summoned to Beijing, in connection with the Japanese invasion of China. He invited Ricci to accompany him, at least part of the way. This was the opportunity he had been waiting for: to penetrate the heart of China.

The official with whom he traveled was able to take him as far as Nanjing, where he hoped to settle for a time but, in the war atmosphere that prevailed, this was impossible, as Nanjing was the second City of the Empire. So, after a few weeks he went back South to the capital of Kiangsi Province, Nanchang, a City of many scholars. Here he stayed until June 1598, when he set out for Beijing, the capital of the Empire. Unable to establish himself there, he returned to Nanking until May 1600, when he again set out for Beijing - this time with success. In January 160, he reached Beijing never to leave again, dying there on the 11th of May 1610.

This is briefly the story of this extraordinary man. By the time Ricci died, missionaries of the Society of Jesus were all over the World and different methods of evangelization were operating in different countries appropriate to their Culture and Civilization, but the approach in China differed from others. The very old, deeply-rooted and sophisticated Culture set China apart from other countries and this Culture would have to be understood before the Christian faith could be grafted onto it.

It now remains to look at the method Ricci employed to accomplish this. Ricci's method of Cultural Accommodation was not a rigid policy but a mental attitude developed on a trial-and-error basis. He used ideas and practices inherited from his predecessors, but he used them selectively. Those that proved useful he retained, the others he modified or discarded. One of the most fundamental conceptions he inherited was that the Chinese were a very intelligent and reasonable people and placed high priority on moral principles and ethical behaviour. They were also impressed by science.

The earliest Portuguese in China, as well as the first missionaries, including Xavier and Valignano, were convinced that if the Emperor of China could be induced to grant them a hearing they would be able to persuade him to allow the Portuguese to trade with China and even to allow the propagation of the Christian Faith among his subjects. This is why one of the first things the missionaries did was to translate the catechism. All that was necessary, in their opinion, was to get this translated work to the Emperor or, failing that, to the officials who would bring it to the Emperor's attention. The rest would follow. The problem as they saw it was to get to the Emperor.

From their earliest contacts with the Chinese, the Portuguese also realized that one of the best means to this end was the sending of an Embassy by the King of Portugal or the Viceroy of India to the Chinese Emperor. This could be either a Diplomatic mission like the one of Tomé Pires, in 1520, a Papal mission like the one that Ruggieri, with Valignano's approval, was to urge the pope to send to China, or a trade mission like Diogo Pereira's which Xavier had promoted. 64 Missionaries would accompany these Embassies and, seizing the opportunity, explain Christianity to the Emperor. As difficulties and obstacles delayed the sending of Embassies, some went so far as to advocate military action against China, a measure justified, in their opinions, by the unreasonable resistance of the Chinese to the Gospel. Mention of military action is found65 not only in the very earliest Portuguese reports but also in the Spanish reports of the 1580s, when the number of Spanish missionaries entering China from the Philippines increased after the accession of Felipe II to the Portuguese throne.

Ricci agreed with the basic assessment that the Chinese were an intelligent people guided by ethical principles and interested in science.

But his greater perception and better understanding led him to draw quite different conclusions from those of his predecessors. He was the first to learn the language well enough not to have to rely on interpreters or the reports of former Portuguese prisoners. During his nine-year stay in Beijing, he never once laid eyes on the Emperor, but even before arriving at that City, in 1601, he had already gained a profound insight into the sociopolitical structure of the Confucian state and had come to realize that the Emperor's absolute power was theoretical, limited, and, in the cases of weak Emperors, even usurped by officials, eunuchs, or both. He also came to understand the role of the gentry- literati official class. On the basis of all this, he gave up the idea of the efficacy of an Embassy; at least he did not advocate it or place as high a priority on it as did Valignano and Ruggieri. As for the idea of military action against the Chinese, he ignored it completely; it is not even mentioned in his writings. He had seen the futility of the Korean invasion by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (° 1536-& 1598), in 1592.

In 1583, when Ricci and Ruggieri first entered China together they were dressed as Buddhist Bonzes, a style of dress recommended by their predecessors, Xavier and Valignano, but when they realized the low esteem in which Buddhism was held by the literati and saw the lifestyle and ignorance of some of the Buddhist monks, they adopted, at the urging of some of their literati friends, the attire and lifestyle of the literati. This same advice had been given to Ruggieri earlier by the Viceroy of Guangdong and Guangxi. 66 Besides, Ricci's interests were basically with the literati class, and it was to them he soon turned his attention. Ricci's predecessors, Xavier, Valignano and Ruggieri, having learned about the Chinese respect and admiration for science and technology, advocated using these as means or, as some say, as 'bait', to attract the Chinese. Similarly, having come to know about the Confucian esteem for ethical behavior which seemed to harmonize with Christian morality, they thought they had found another means to attract the Chinese to Catholic teaching and dogmas. Ricci, with a deeper insight and a better understanding, realized that the Chinese World view was a global one, an ideology in which science, technology, ethics, and philosophical teachings formed an organic whole. Thus, he saw the need for presenting Christianity in a similar way, as an organic and global World view which his acquaintances, friends, and Chinese converts were to call Shishu (Western Learning) or Tianzhu (Learning from Heaven). 67 The original title of Ricci's magnum opus, xylographed for the first time in 1603, was Tianshu shiyi (True Meaning of the Learning from Heaven) even though it became known under the more familiar title Tianzhu shiyi (True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven). 68

Ricci's attitude is best illustrated, in 1583, by his request to the Viceroy of the two Guang Provinces, to be allowed to remain in Chao-ch'ing. In his petition, he said that having been attracted by the great fame of the Government of China, he had come from a faraway country only to serve God (Tianzhu, the Lord of Heaven - a term used by Ricci since 1583) in a small Church and House he wanted to acquire. This modest request was granted after Wang P'an, the magistrate, had seen Ricci's Map of the World. Ricci had not concealed his true purpose. He had clearly stated it, yet his request was granted because of the Map. He never lost sight of the ultimate goal: the preaching of the Gospel and the conversion of China. 69

This conversion was to proceed at the top and the bottom simultaneously, but it was to be affected primarily from the top down. Missionaries would work among the people, but some missionaries would serve the ruling class to maintain their good-will toward Christianity. Ricci, would of course, concentrate his attention upon the Emperor and the literati. Ricci fully recognized that things other than religious teachings would be the attraction at the top. Later on, he himself honestly acknowledged that among the six reasons for his success, his religious teachings came last. They were outranked first by the fact that he, as a foreigner, had learned to speak, read and write Chinese; second, by his fantastic memory and by the fact that he knew the Four Books by heart; third, by his knowledge of mathematics and other sciences; fourth, by the curious objects he had brought as presents; and fifth, by his alleged knowledge and experience in alchemy. 70Among the ordinary people it was, of course, quite different.

To accomplish the conversion of China, a different method, a different approach and different priorities were needed. To have Christianity or Tianzhu accepted both among the high ranking classes and among the ordinary people, it had to become an integral part of Chinese Culture and be taken off the list of the "foreign" and "pernicious" Doctrines. This assimilation was more important to Ricci than numbers. He knew this would take time. He was patient.

FACING PAGE: Qiankun Wanguo Quantu Gujin Renwu Shiji(Map of the Heaven, the Earth and of the Ten Thousand Countries of the World). The first Chinese world map which has embodied the geographic knowledge introduced in China by the Jesuits. Based on Ricci's first world map of 1584, which present whereabouts are unknown. It is the first Chinese map which includes North and South America.

He also realized that assimilation among the educated people would require the written word, ie: books. Also, the forum to accomplish" indigenization" at the top would not be the Church or the House of worship but the shuyuan (Academies), highly popular during the Ming Dynasty. 71 Here was where one had to get a hearing for Western Learning and all its facets and where ideas, even unorthodox ideas, could be exchanged. To the literati, before proceeding to the dogmas and the mysteries of the Faith, those elements of the Faith were to be explained first that could be proven by reason. This is the thrust of Ricci's True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven. Among the people for whom the Church would remain the place of worship, this gradation did not have to be as pronounced. This, however, does not mean that Ricci's approach was vitiated by duplicity. It only meant a difference in emphasis, never the suppression or elimination of vital elements of the Faith. "Indigenization" was to be accomplished by a four-faceted method: lifestyle, terminology (with underlying ideas and conceptions), ethics and rites and customs inspired by the ideology. For a successful "indigenization", all four were equally important yet not equally difficult to implement. The least controversial was the first and most controversial the fourth. Yet, the most crucial and difficult was the second. Let us look briefly at these methods of Cultural Accommodation.


AFTER his entry into China, Ricci became a Chinese with the Chinese. 72 He adopted Chinese manners, diet, sleep patterns and clothing, down to cuffs, belt, sash, hat and colours. He gave up grape wine for rice wine - no small matter for an Italian. When he died, one of the most important of his friends addressed a memorial to the Emperor requesting that in view of the great merit of Li Madou (Ricci's Chinese name), the Westerner who had become Chinese, a special place of burial should be designated to receive his remains.


THE principal problem Ricci faced was to translate Western words into Chinese. It was more than a simple matter of terminology. What was of utmost importance was to convey to the Chinese the ideas behind the words-for example, that the World was created by a deliberate act of T'ien shu. Ricci was convinced that the idea of the true God was not alien to the Chinese and that they had been recipients of Divine revelation. 73 The more Ricci penetrated the intellectual life of China, the more he was astounded at finding in the oldest Canonical books, the basis of Chinese learning, such a pure idea of God. In the Classical writings, there simply was not the slightest trace of polytheism, nor did the Chinese have a pantheon as did the Greeks, Romans, Hindus, and Mahayana Buddhists.

They recognized Shangdi, as a personal being. The offering of sacrifices to Shangdi was reserved for the Emperor and ordinary citizens could not presume to arrogate this privilege for themselves. It is true that besides Shangdi the Emperor offered sacrifices to the Spirits of the mountains, rivers and famous men and that the people were allowed and even urged to offer sacrifices to the tutelary Spirits of their villages and individual families to their ancestors. But all these spirits were subordinated to the Supreme Being, so that the original religion of China before the advent of Daoism and Buddhism was Monotheism. For this reason, Ricci and his successors, when speaking of the T'ien-chu (True God or Lord of Heaven), used the terms by which the Chinese classics designated tien (Heaven) and Shangdi (the Supreme Being, Supreme Lord or Lord on High). This was not too dissimilar from what the Apostles had done in not hesitating to use the Greek word theos to designate the True God of the Old Testament.

The Confucians of Ricci's day had lost the true idea of God because they equated the Lord on High and heaven with a concept of Song Neo-Confucian creation, the T'ai-chi (Supreme Ultimate), a kind of impersonal, mechanical prime mover functioning by way of li (act)and ch'i (potency). These concepts were created by the Tang and Song Neo-Confucians under the influence of Buddhism and Daoism in an attempt to provide Confucianism with a metaphysical superstructure.

Confucianism, the official ideology of the Chinese state beginning with the Han Dynasty (206 B. C. -A. D. 220), had lost credibility with the fall of the Han. As a result, Daoism and Buddhism rose to prominence during the ensuing period of disunion (220-618) before the rise of the Tang (618-906) and Song (960-1280) Dynasties. To rehabilitate Confucianism and make it competitive with Buddhism and Daoism - which had their metaphysics - Confucianism had to acquire one. But in the process, as Ricci observed, they also corrupted Confucianism which evolved into, if not an atheistic and materialistic ideology, at least an agnostic one. Confucianism in its original form was basically a socio-ethical system. By equating his Lord of Heaven with the Lord on High of the Classics, Ricci joined the battle with the Neo-Confucians of his day, the T'ien chu (Lord of Heaven) being a personal Shangdi (Supreme Being) while the T'ai chi (Supreme Ultimate) was the immanent Universal order in things. 74

This very fundamental idea of a creator God also had many concomitant concepts, such as the dichotomy of soul and body, retribution and so forth, 75which had wide-ranging repercussions and created conflicts with prevalent Neo-Confucian views. But not only did this concept of a creator God provoke conflicts with Neo-Confucian ideas, it also raised some very thorny questions as far as traditional Confucianism was concerned. If the T'ien chu created the World and everything in it, he must also have created the Chinese race. How? This was not only a difficult question but a delicate and dangerous one, given the sensitivity and feeling of superiority of the Chinese. Then the enormity of the problems emerges when the explanations of the dogmas and the mysteries of the Catholic Faith are added to this.


WHILE Ricci and his successors argued against and tried to discredit the meta physical-cosmological World view of Neo-Confucianism, they retained the socio-ethical teachings of Confucius as not only not contrary to Christian morality but as complementing it. In his Chiao-yu lun (Treatise on Friendship, Ricci equated the Christian concept of love with the Confucian concept of ren (humaneness). He said that in true friendship the other person should be treated "like [one treats] oneself."76And he stretched the concept of ren (humaneness) even further when he said that the meaning of humaneness can perhaps be exhausted in two phrases: to love God above all things and to love men as one loves oneself. If one would do this, one would possess all virtues. God loves all men equally; and if one really loves God, is it possible then not to love all men? Confucius himself had said that a man of humaneness loves all others. "Not loving others, how could [one's] sincerity towards God be tested?"77Thus, Ricci's contention is obvious.

If and when the Chinese regained the original notion of God, they would be transformed into truly virtuous men. Thus it is clear what he meant by complementing Confucianism with Christian morality. Instead of challenging the Confucian ethic of graded love (according to the Five Relationships), Ricci and his successors maintained that Christianity would perfect Confucianism. 78 China would then be able to create again a completely ethical and harmonious society under "original Confucianism", as it existed in ancient times.

Ricci offered the Confucians a method of testing the validity of his foreign teaching. By presenting Christianity as morally persuasive as Confucianism, if not more so, he Confucianized Christianity or Christianized Confucianism. Christianity was to be judged and evaluated by Confucian standards if it was to be accepted. It had to be morally effective. Xu Guangqi (°1562-†1633), the best-known convert during the Ming Dynasty, maintained that Christianity could "supplement Confucianism and displace Buddhism."79Xu went so far as to state that in the West there were no terms for revolt and anarchy and that the Christian West was living in harmony under the guidance of God. 80This exaggerated portrait of Europe in perpetual peace was not a case of the Jesuits' lying to their converts but of Xu's insistence on judging Christian values in terms of their efficaciousness as a guiding force for moral reform, derived from God's revelation. Xu and others considered Ricci and the early Jesuits true followers of the sages because their tao (Way) was that of ch'eng (sincerity).

They were men of te (virtue) endeavoring to serve society. Many other Chinese were surprised that these "barbarians" lived by such high ethical standards, and in the end it was the unethical behaviour of the later missionaries that hurt the misssion more than anything else. Not all of them followed Ricci's exemplary life. This was probably his greatest miscalculation.


THE core of the Chinese ethical system was, and to a certain degree still is, devotion and obedience toward parents and all legitimate authority. Part and parcel of these filial duties was also the veneration of ancestors. Their names were inscribed on wooden tablets, which were called the seat of the deceased souls, and before these they kowtowed (prostrated themselves, knocking the fronts of their heads against the ground), lit candles, burned incense, offered food and burned paper money. These actions were supposed to be of service to the deceased in another World. The officials and the l iterati had to perform similar rituals to honour Confucius. To forbid these Rites would have made the conversion of China impossible from the outset. The injunction of St. Paul to parents to care for their children and not the other way around, could not even be mentioned in front of the Chinese without provoking such a storm of indignation that it would be well nigh impossible for the missionary to say anything further.

Here Ricci found himself confronted by a seemingly insurmountable obstacle; if he forbade these Rites, all he could hope for was a few conversions. This problem had to be resolved. It goes without saying that under no circumstances would it be acceptable for Christians to believe that the tablets were the seat of the deceased souls or that burned paper money could help the dead in the hereafter. But then not all customs were of this nature. Moreover, the Chinese literati in fact declared that the prostrations to honour Confucius were only to pay him homage as teacher and exemplar of men and did not imply that he was being prayed to for riches, talents or honours. In other words, the prostrations in front of Confucius were only signs of courtesy and gratitude and not a religious Rite. Similarly, it seemed to Ricci and his followers that permission could be granted to prostrate before the coffin of a deceased person or before the tablet of Confucius on the occasion of the elevation of a person to a higher official rank. Certainly among the common people there were those who, in return for this kind of veneration, expected riches, progeny and other favours. But in the Chinese Classics, there are passages which show that the original meaning of these Rites was not that. Therefore, in their pristine form and meaning, these ceremonies could be practiced. Hence, one could consider the food offered to the dead - food later on solemnly consumed by all the participants as being a simple way of making one feel in the company of the deceased ancestors. This is especially confirmed by the fact that the word for these offerings does not necessarily mean the same as our word "to sacrifice."81

Frontespiece with floral monomark of the Society of Jesus.

In: ROGEMONT, Francisco, S. J., Relaçam Do Estado Politico E Espiritual Do Imperio Da China, pellos annos de 1659, atè o de 1666. Escrita Em Latim Pello P. Francisco Rogemont da Cõpanhia de Iesus, [...] Traduzida Por hum Religioso da mesma Companhia de Iesus., Lisboa, loam da Costa, 1672, title page.

If it was necessary to be on guard about superstitions in connection with these Rites, one also had to be careful about the explanation given them by the Neo-Confucian literati who, as followers of the teachings of Zhu Xi (° 1130-† 1200), were materialists. According to them, the soul of Confucius had long ago withered into nothingness and all that remained of him were the syllables of his name and his memory. So naturally the same was true about one's ancestors. Given this interpretation, it is evident that the ancestors could neither be invoked nor could anything be expected from them. Zhu Xi's interpretation of the Confucian Classics had been declared official by Imperial Edict, as late as 1552, but one must not forget that although this atheism or agnosticism was the official Doctrine, it was not necessarily the conviction of the individual literati. Nor did the masses share the ideas of the literati. Their veneration of the ancestors and the offerings made to them were religious acts. According to Ricci and his followers, both of these errors had to be rectified by a return to the original meaning in the Classics.

At first, Ricci had prohibited these Rites, but when he saw that the kowtow was performed even to living beings, like the Emperor and one's parents, he permitted the veneration of ancestors and Confucius. But even this initial hesitation had created a bad impression and during the persecution of 1616, this was one of the gravest accusations brought against the missionaries. 82Somewhat later, it appears the Jesuits considered the Rites as neutral and the debate and conflict concerning them really developed only after the arrival of the Mendicants. Ricci and his successors realized that by making these concessions they were on dangerous ground; this can be seen from the fact that they intended to tolerate these Rites only temporarily, even the most innocent ones. Ricci's directives of 1603 (a pioneer model of Cultural Accommodation), which initiated the Jesuit missiology of the Rites, clearly testify to this fact. In other words, it was Ricci' s intention to foster a Cultural blending from the inside (Chinese Rites) as a transition process to a permanent Cultural blending from the outside (Western Rites). His successors and the Kangxi Emperor, in his declaration of 1700, understood Ricci's intention in this manner. 83This is called the "Jesuit Thesis": the attitude of Ricci and his successors regarding the problem of certain immemorial non-Christian habits of thought and action that externally gave the appearance of illicit superstition. It has been defined by the French Jesuit Sinologist, Antoine de Beauvollier (° 1657-†1708) in this terse formula: "There is a danger in admitting the Rites but a greater danger in suppressing them."84

Moreover, the Jesuits were content to give the Riccian method of Cultural Accommodation the theological note of "probability" (probabile, immo valde probabile). Ricci and his successors did not deny that the opposite opinion was "safer" (tutior) and that is why they, unlike their more militant adversaries, did not try to impose their views on those missionaries whose consciences were more at ease with the stricter religious ideas they had been taught. Let us not forget, however, that without the Jesuit method their adversaries would never have been able to set foot on Chinese soil. Thus, one may say that the Jesuit thesis was a balanced halfway dialectic based upon reasonable premises that were admissible by Catholic moral principles and made imperative in order to win a hearing for the Gospel. Although in the course of the century some few dissenters would sporadically turn up in Jesuit ranks and others would amplify the evidence beyond measure (the "Certitudinalists"), the vast majority of Jesuit Sinologists judged Ricci's method of Cultural Accommodation as a "probability". The only one in disagreement with the entire method was Claude de Visdelou (°1656-†1738). 85

Between the death of Ricci, in 1610, and the coming of the Mendicants, in 1632, a lively debate was carried on among the Jesuits concerning just about every aspect of his method of Cultural Accommodation. The liveliest discussion revolved around Christian terminology and the meaning of words, particularly the terms used for God. In 1600, Valignano had approved Ricci's terminology. The first reservations about its use came from the Jesuits in Japan. There the problem arose at the very beginning of the mission. As indicated earlier, Xavier for a time used Dainichi (a pantheistic Shingon Buddhist term) for God. Other terms used were jo-do (Paradise), ji-go-ku (Hell), ten-nin (angel) and so forth.

Xavier soon realized his mistake and prohibited further use of such terms and the Jesuits, in Japan, for the next fifty years discussed the problem and decided to employ traditional Latin or Portuguese terminology to express Christian concepts. 86 After the unfortunate Dainichi incident, this Latin-Portuguese approach was safer and in Japan, at that time, fairly easy to effect because the country was in the throes of internacine wars, creating an open society willing to accept Christianity in its European form, together with firearms and commerce.

China, however, was a closed society, an isolated country unwilling to open her doors until Ricci put his method of Cultural Accommodation into effect. Thus, it becomes understandable that, when he selected his terminology and his writings reached Japan, the Jesuits there were disturbed, not realizing that the problem in China was not the same as in Japan. They transmitted their apprehensions to Jesuit East Asian headquarters in Macao, and from there they became known to the Jesuits in China. Niccolò Longobardi (° 1565-† 1655), successor to Ricci as Jesuit Superior of the China mission, agreed with the Jesuits in Japan and conducted an inquiry among the literati with regard to the validity of the Riccian terminology and meaning, and published a book containing his conclusions. 87 Another Jesuit in disagreement with Ricci was his colleague, Sebastiano de Ursis (° 1575-†1620), although others, such as Giulio Aleni (°1582-†1649), Álvaro de Semedo (°1586-†1658) and Nicolas Trigault (°1577-†628), supported Ricci. This debate lasted from 1610 to 1633. The term for God on which they all finally settled, because it could be used without damage to either orthodoxy or clarity, was T'ien-chu (Lord of Heaven), the term used by Ricci since 1583 and employed by Chinese Catholics ever since. This compromise, however, did not mean that Shang-ti (Lord on High) or t' ien (Heaven) were unacceptable.

Noteworthy is the fact that Longobardi's book was banned between 1635 and 1641 by the Jesuit Vice-Provincial, Francesco Furtado (°1589-†1653), but it is preserved in the Tratados históricos of Domingo Fernández de Navarrete, O. P. (°1618-t1686), an opponent of the Rites. 88

Longobardi's conclusion was not the same as Ricci's, but he accepted the Jesuit policy and method in the end - and not under duress. It was an honest disagreement that was finally resolved. It was not too different from the case of Alfonso Vagnoni, S. J. (°1568-†1640), Superior of the mission establishment, in Nanjing, who, after Ricci's death, departed from his insistence on the indirect apostolate. Influenced probably by those outside China who could not be persuaded that mathematics and astronomy were apt means of propagating the Faith, he had the first public Church in China opened in the City and conducted the liturgical services with more display than was thought wise. This, and critical remarks about Buddhist monks which were attributed to him, created hostility that soon reached dangerous proportions. In 1617, a new Vice-President of the Board of Rites opened a campaign which resulted in a proclamation by the Board prohibiting the teaching and practice of the Christian religion in China. 89 The Decree was strictly enforced in Nanjing. Vagnoni and Semedo, the only Jesuits there at the time were arrested; Vagnoni was condemned to the bastinado and he and Semedo were taken to Gangzhou in a cage and expelled from the country. In his brief exile, Vagnoni applied himself, among other things, to a further study of the Classics and to an improvement in his literary style. He succeeded in writing Chinese skillfully and his works on Catholic Doctrine were among the most effective of all those written by the early Jesuits.

There were also other Jesuits who, like Vagnoni, doubted that mathematics, astronomy, and the other sciences were fit means for propagating the faith and who objected to Ricci's Western Learning approach. For example, Valentim Carvalho (1559-1630), Provincial of Japan, and André Palmeiro (1569-1635), Visitor to Japan and China, both forbade it for a time until the misunderstanding was cleared up. 90

In 1632, with the arrival of the Mendicant friars, new elements enter the picture. The friars focused their attention on two other facets of Cultural Accommodation: lifestyle and Rites. In the first case, they criticized the Jesuits' lifestyle, Christian practices, and missionary methodology, such as failure to promulgate the laws and commandments of the Church, the method of administering the sacraments, alleged failure to preach Christ crucified (the Jesuits emphasized his glorification), adoption of Chinese dress and the refusal to say that Confucius was in Hell (provable by a syllogism, as Friar Domingo Fernández de Navarrette tried to show). In the second case, the friars criticized certain Rites observed by the Chinese in paying honour to their recently deceased family members, to their ancestors and to Confucius, as well as to ancestral tablets and tablets on which the name of Confucius was inscribed. In due time, it was the Question of the Rites that became the focus of attention. Hence the term Chinese Rites.

But why were the friars so late in coming? Because in January 1585, just two years after Ricci had successfully penetrated China, Pope Gregorio XIII in his Brief Ex Pastorali Officio prohibited other religious Orders from entering China, so as to avoid disagreements and to permit the Jesuits to try out their method of Cultural Accommodation. 91This Decree, however, was short-lived, for on the 15th of November 1586, Pope Sixtus V rescinded it and gave the Franciscans permission to go to China. 92This rescission was confirmed by Pope Clemente VIII, on the 12th of December 1600, by Pope Paulo V, in 1611 and by Pope Urbano VIII. 93 Thus, in 1632, the friars finally entered China. Antonio de Santa María Caballero, O. F. M. and Juan Bautista de Morales, O. P. arrived the following year. This marks the beginning of the Rites Controversy between the friars and the Jesuits based on their different methods of evangelization.

While the Rites Controversy is beyond the scope of this paper, let it be said in conclusion that in spite of the alterations, it forced the Jesuits to make in Ricci's method of Cultural Accommodation, especially with regard to his cautious and gradual way of proceeding, enough of the essential elements remained to enable it to succeed for a brief period. In 1692, Christianity was finally taken off the list of pernicious Doctrines and established as an indigenous religion, much like Buddhism (of Indian origin), which had become indigenized centuries earlier. This establishment of Christianity was due to the Kangxi Emperor's "Edict of Toleration"94(1692) and the "Declaration concerning the meaning of the Chinese Rites or customs according to which the Society of Jesus up till now has permitted them, offered to the Kangxi Emperor on the 30th of November of the year of the Lord 1700."95

Frontespiece with coats of arms of the King Dom João V [D. Juan V.] of Portugal.

In: SOUSA, Manuel de Faria e Imperio De La China Y Cultura Evangelica En El Por los Religiosos de la Compañia de Jesus. Sacado de las noticias del Padre Alvaro Semmedo de la propia Compañia. [...], Lisboa Occidental, Officina Herreriana, 1731, title page.

Originally, Ricci had hoped to meet the Wanli Emperor (r.1573-†1620) in person as soon as he reached Beijing and to obtain from him direct permission to preach the Gospel in China. But, by the time he was granted leave to reside there, he realized this was quite unnecessary, for permission to take up Residence, in Beijing, carried tacit approval for him and his companions to continue their way of life and to pursue their intellectual apostolate. The assumption was that there would be no condemnation by the Jesuits of cherished Chinese beliefs or customs. Rather, every effort would be made to prepare the way, with sympathy and understanding, for the operation of Divine grace in the hearts of those they hoped to convert. As already noted, the emphasis was to be entirely on quality of conversion, not on pride in numbers. This is what Ricci wrote to Macao at the time he was urged to seek explicit authorization from the Emperor. He said, later on, that when the number of Catholics increased among the educated people, it would be possible to get permission for the practice of religion since there was no law against it in China; but until that took place, they should wait to see if such permission would be necessary. It became necessary some hundred years later during the last decade of the seventeenth century at the height of the Rites Controversy, or so his successors felt when they obtained the "Edict of Toleration" and the Kangxi "Declaration".

China had officially accepted Ricci's method of Cultural Accommodation, but it was Europe that rejected it in the eighteenth century. 96 And it was the behaviour of the Europeans during the Rites Controversy that exposed the greatest internal ideological weakness of Ricci' s method of Cultural Accommodation, namely, the ineffectiveness of its ethical and moral system. He had painted a sanguine picture of the Christian moral code as something that could complement Confucianism. He was an optimist who believed that the rationality of human nature was able to transcend and overcome the irrationality of the self-imposed limitations of racial, national, and language prejudices. He followed the injunction of Jesus Christ:

"Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you, and I will be with you always, to the end of the age"97

Is it now time for us to try Ricci's method of Cultural Accommodation again, in spite of its difficulties and shortcomings, and heed the warning of the Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:

"The age of nations is past. It remains for us now, if we do not wish to perish, to set aside the ancient prejudices and to build the Earth?"98

**Revised Reprint from: Ed. RONAN, Charles E., S. J. - OH, Bonnie B. C., East meets West, 1582-1773, Chicago, Loyola University Press, 1988, pp. 19-61.


buru yifo 補儒易佛

cheng 誠

dao 道

Daxue 道學


eluoshi 俄羅斯

Folangi 佛郎機

hongmao 紅毛夷

Huang Bolu 黃伯祿

Jiaoyoulun 交友論

li 理

luosha 羅刹

Mingshi 明史

qi 氣

ren 仁

Shangdi 上帝

Shengjiao fenbao 聖敎奉褒

shuyuan 書院

Siku quanshu zhumutiyao 四庫全書注目提要

Sishu 四書

Taiji 太極

Tian 天

Tianzhu 天主

Tianzhu shiyi 天主寳義

Xi Xue 西學

Yang Guangxian楊光先

Zhang Heihua 張維華

Zhenghe 鄭和

Zhuxi 朱熹


1SEBES, Joseph, S. J., The Jesuits and the Sino-RussianTreaty of Nerchinsk(1689): The Diary of Thomas Pereira, S. J., Roma, Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1961, pp. 83-86; BEAZLEY, Charles Raymond, [Sir], Prince Henry the Navigator: The Hero of Portugal and of Modern Discovery, 1394-1460 A. D., [...] with an account of geographical progress throughout the Middle Ages [...], New York - London, G. P. Putman & Sons, 1895; BEAZLEY, Charles Raymond, [Sir], The Dawn of Modern Geography. A history of exploration and geographical science from the Conversion of the Roman Empire to A. D.900 (caA. D.900-1260 -caA. D.1260-1420) [...], 3 vols., London, John Murray, 1897-1906; BENSAÚDE, Joaquim, Lacunes et surprises de l' histoire des découvertes maritimes, leepartie, Coimbra, Imprensa da Universidade, 1930; BENSAÚDE, Joaquim, A cruzada do Infante D. Henrique, Lisboa, Agência Geral das Colónias, 1942; BENSAÚDE, Joaquim, Les Légendes allemandes sur l'histoire des découvertes maritimes portugaises: réponse á M. Hermann Wagner, 2 vols., Genève, Imprimerie A. Kundig, 1917-1920.

See: Ed. and Trans. CORTESÃO, Armando, The Suma Oriental of Tomé Pires an account of the East, from the red Seato Japan, written in Malacca and India in 1512-1515 and the Book of Francisco Rodrigues rutter of a voyage in the Red Sea, Nautical Rules, Almanack and Maps, written and drawn in the East before 1515 [...], 2 vols., London, The Hakluyt Society, 1944; JANN, Adelhelm O. F. M. Cap., Die katholischen Missionen in Indien, China and Japan. Ihre Organisation und das portugiesische Patronat vom 15. bis ins 18. Jahrhundert, Paderborn, 1915; RÊGO, António da Silva, O Padroado Português do Oriente; esbôço histórico, Lisboa, Agência Geral das Colónias, 1940.

2SEBES, Joseph, S. J., op. cit., p. 84.

3Ibidem., p. 85.

4GERNET, Jacques, A History of Chinese Civilization, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1985, pp. 448-449.

5SEBES, Joseph, S. J., op. cit., pp. 85-86.

Other European nations used (in various ways) their own euphemistic slogans with reference to territorial expansion. The Spaniards had "Gold, Glory and the Gospel"; later there were "La Mission Civilisatrice" for the French and "Voyevat ili Torgovat" ("War or Trade") for the Russians; "The White Man's Burden" originated with the British; "Manifest Destiny" was popular among the Americans; and in the twentieth century, Nazi Germany created "Lebensraum".

6 Idem., pp. 85-86.

7 SEBES, Joseph, S. J., op. cit., pp. 90-91.

8 Ibidem., pp. 85-86.; DUYVENDAK, Jan Julius Lodewijk, China's Discovery of Africa. Lectures Given at the University of London on January 22 and 23, 1947, London, Arthur Probsthain, 1949.

9 SEBES, Joseph, S. J., op. cit., p. 86.

10 Roman Missal, 1 Peter 2:9 (Preface I for Sundays) -Elaborating from Exodus 19:6.

11 ZHANG Weihua, Mingshi, Folangji, Lüsong, Helan, Yitaliya sichuan zhushi (A commentary on the four Chapters on Portugal, Spain, Holland, and Italy in the history of the Ming dynasty), in: "Yenching Journal of Chinese Studies, Monograph Series", Peking, 1934, p. 139.

12YOUNG, John Dragon, East- West Synthesis: Matteo Ricci and Confucianism, Hong Kong, University of Hong Kong, 1980, pp. 1-2.

13RÊGO, António da Silva, Curso de missiologia, Lisboa, Agência Geral do Ultramar, 1956, p. 361.

14Eds. SCHURHAMMER, Georg Otto, S. J. - WICKI, Josef, S. J., Epistolae S. Francisci Xaverii Aliaque Ejus Scripta,, 2 vols., Roma, Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1944-1945 [nova editio]; vol.2, p.61.; SCHURHAMMER, Georg, S. J., Trans. COSTELLOE, M. Joseph, S. J., Francis Xavier, His Life, His Times (Franz Xavier sei Leben und seine Zeit), 4 vols., Roma, Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1973-1982,.

15SCHURHAMMER, Georg, S. J. - WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol. 2, p. 373; COLERIDGE, Henry J., S. J., The Life and Letters of St. Francis Xavier, 2 vols., London, 1912 [1st edition: London, Burns and Oates, 1872], vol.2, pp. 241-242.

16COOPER, Michael, S. J., Rodrigues the Interpretero An early Jesuit In Japan and China, New York, Weatherhill, 1974, pp. 284-286.

17YOUNG, John Dragon, op. cit., pp. 4-5.

18COLERIDGE, Henri, S. J., op. cit., vol. 2, p. 369.

19Ibidem., vol. 2, pp. 300-301.

20Ibidem., vol. 2, p.338.

21SCHURHAMMER, Georg, S. J. - WICKI. Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol. 2 p. 373; YOUNG, John Dragon, op. cit., pp. 5-6.

22PASTOR, Ludwig Friedrich August von, [Baron], Ge∫hichte der Päp∫te seit dem Au∫gang des Mittelalters, 16 vols., Freiburg im Breisgau, 1891-1933, vol. 15, pp. 284- 285.

23SCHURHAMMER, Georg, S. J. - WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol. 2, p. 373; Ed. WICKI, Josef, S. J., Monumenta Indica, 19 vols., Roma, Monumenta Historica Societatis lesu, 1944-1988, vol. 13, 1948, pp. 5-13; YOUNG, John Dragon, op. cit., pp. 6-7.

24PASTOR, Ludwig Friedrich August von, [Baron], op. cit., vol. 15, pp. 284-285.

25SEBES, Joseph, S. J., op. cit., pp. 39-42; Ed. WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol. 12, pp. 950-969.

See: CHAN, Albert, S. J., The Glory and Fall of the Ming Dynasty, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1982 -For the Ming Dynasty.

26SCHURHAMMER, Georg, S. J. - WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 483-488, 497-501, 513-515.

27Ed. D'ELIA, Pasquale M., S. J., Fonti Ricciane: documenti originali concernenti Matteo Ricci e la storia delle prime relazioni tra l'Europa e la Cina 1579-1615, 3 vols. Roma, Libreria dello Stato, 1942-1949,1942, vol. 1, pp. 139-140; HERMANN, Albert, Historical and Commercial Atlas of China, Cambridge/Massachussetts, Harvard University Press, 1935, p. 56, C3; PELLIOT, Paul, Un Ouvrage sur les premiers temps de Macao, "Toung pao", 2 1934-1935, p. 71; ZHANG Weihua, Zhushi, p. 138.

28POLANCUS, Johannes, S. J [POLANCO, Johannes Alphonsus von], Chronicon Societatis Jesu, in: "Vita Ignatii Loiolæ et Rerum Societatis Jesu Historia [...] (1491- [...] 1556", 6 vols., Roma - Madrid, Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1894-1898, vol. 4 (anno 1554), p. 652; vol. 5 (anno 1555), pp. 715-723.

29COSTA, Emmanuel da, S. J., Rerum A Societate lesu In Oriente Gestarum Ad aAnnum Usque À Deipara Virgine M. D. LXVIII, Commentarius Emanuel Aco∫ta Lusiani, Recongni / tus, & Latinitate Donatus, Dillingæ, apud Sebaldum Mayer, 1571, fols. 107 vo -114 vo ; Diversi avvisi particolari dall'India e di Portugallo riceuuti dall'ano 1551, fino al 1558, dalli Reuerendi padri della compagnia di Giesu, in Venezia, per Michele Tramezzino, 1558, fol. 271 vo, "Melchior Nunes Barreto (in Macao), 23 November 1555 to brethren in India, Portugal and Rome"; ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 4, fols. 82-89, "Nunes Barreto (from Cochin) to Father General, 8 January 1558"; ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 4, fols. 90-94, "Nunes Barreto (from Cochin), to Father General, 13 January 1558".

30Ed. and Trans. BOXER, Charles Ralph, South China in the Sixteenth Century. Being the Narratives of Galeote Pereira, Fr. Gaspar da Cruz, O. P., Fr. Martin de Rada, O. E. S. A, 1550-1575, London, The Hakluyt Society, 1953, p. 122. See: POLANCUS, Johannes, S. J., op. cit., vol. 5, p. 723.

31ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 4, fols. 290-298 vo, "Gago to the Fathers and Brothers (in Coimbra), 10 December 1562".

32Ibidem., 4, fols. 311-312 ro, "Monte (from Macao) to a Jesuit Father (in Rome), 29 December 1562".

33Ibidem.: 5, fol. 101, "Pérez (from Macao) to a Jesuit (in Goa), 3 January 1564"; ibidem.: 5, fols. 152 ro -156 ro, "Pérez (from Macao) to Father General Diego Laínez, 3 December 1564; ibidem.: 5, fols. 161 ro -162 vo, "Pérez (from Macao) to Luis Gonsálvez, 3 December 1564".

See: Ibidem.: 6, fols. 93 ro -99 vo, ,"Manoel Teixeira (from Macao) to the Jesuits (in Goa), 3 December 1564"; ARSI: Goa, 38, fols. 284 ro, 292 ro

34ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 6, fols. 86 ro -87 vo, "Escobar (from Macao) to Manoel Texeira, 22 November 1565".

See: D'ELIA, Pasquale M., S. J., Contributo alla storia delle relazioni tra l'Europa e la Cina, prima dell'arrivo di P. Matteo Ricci, S. J. (1582), in: "Rivista degli Studi Orientali", 1936, pp. 223-226-For an Italian translation of Escobar's letter to Manoel Teixeira.

35Ed. D'ELIA, Pasquale M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 140.

36ARSI: Jap.-Sin, 6, fols. 236 ro -240 ro, "Ribera (from Macao) to Father General Francisco Borgia, October 1568".

37Ed. WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol. 8, p. 580 ff.. - Riera had to go with Ribera, to Macao.

38ARSI, Jap. -Sin., 6, fols. 257-258, "Organtino Gnecchi-Soldo (from Macao) to Luis Madrid, 29 October 1569".

See: MOIDREY, Joseph de, S. J., La Hiéra rchie catholique en Chine, en Corée et au Japon (1307-1914), in: "Variétés sinologiques", Zi-Ka-wei, 1914, p. 6.

See: Ed. D'ELIA, Pasquale M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 153, n. 5 - In January 1555, Carneiro was nominated Bp. of Nicaea and coadjutor to the Patriarch of Ethiopia. Like the Patriarch, he never succeeded in reaching Ethiopia. In June (ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 6, fol. 240), he arrived in Macao as Bp. of China and Japan, but not as a Bp. of the Diocese of Macao, which was not established until 1576.

Also see: PASTELLS, Pedro, S. J., Catálogo de los Documentos relativos a las Islas Filipinas existences en el Archivo de Indias de Sevilla por D. Pedro Torres y Lanzas y Francisco Navas del Valle, y precedido de una erudita historia general de Filipinas por el P. Pedro Pastells, S. J., Barcelona, Compañia General de Tabacos de Filipinas, 1925-1934,8 vols., vol. 2, p. 109- Not long after his arrival in Macao, Carneiro tried to renounce his episcopal dignity and retire to a House of the Society but was unable to do so until January 1582. On the 19th of August 1583, he died in Macao,

39ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 7, I fol. 241 ro, "Giovanni Francesco Stefanoni (from Goto, Japan), 6 October 1574".

40Ibidem., 7, II fols. 291-292, "da Costa (from Macao) to Father General Everard Mercurian, 17 November 1575".

41Ibidem., 7, I fol. 287 ro, "Ribera (from Lisbon) to Father General Everard Mercurian, 18 October 1575".

See: MOIDREY, Joseph de, S. J., op. cit., p. 6.

42Ed. and Trans. BOXER, Charles Ralph, op. cit., p. 19.

43ARSI: Goa, 38, fol. 177 ro, "Annual letter of Francisco Chávez (from Malacca), 20 November 1579".

44Ed. D'ELIA, Pasquale M., op. ci t., vol. 1, p. 141.

45ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 9, I fol. 49 ro, "Domingo Álvarez (from Macao) to Father General, 25 October 1581".

46Ed. D'ELIA Pasquale M., op. cit., vol.1, pp. 142, 156.

47ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 9, I fols. 87-93, "Alonso Sánchez (from Macao) to Father General Everard Mercurian, 3 July 1582".

48Ed. D'ELIA, Pasquale M., op. cit., vol.1, pp. 142-167.

49Ibidem.., vol. 1, p. 142.



52Ed. WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol. 13, pp. 195-201. BRAGA, José Maria, O primeiro accordo Luso-Chinês realizado por Leonel de Sousa em 1554, reproduzido e anotado pelo autor, Macau, 1939; BRAGA, José Maria, The Western Pioneers and Their Discovery of Macao, Hong Kong [printed in Macau], Secção de História of the Instituto Português de Hong Kong [Imprensa Nacional], 1949.

See: BOXER, Charles Ralph, Fidalgos in the Far East 1550-1770: Fact and Fancy in the History of Macao, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1948, pp. 1-9; BOXER, Charles Ralph, The Great Ship from Amacon: Annals of Macao and the Old Japan Trade, 1555-1640, Lisboa, Centro de Estudos Históricos Ultramarinos, 1959, pp. 1-11.

53Ed. WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol. 7, pp. 504-506.

54SCHUETTE, Josef Franz, S. J. [SCHÜTTE, Giuseppe Francesco], Valignanos Missionsgrundsätze für Japan. 1 Band. Von der Ernennung zum Visitator bis zum ersten Abschied von Japan (1573-1582); I. Teil: Das Problem (1573-1580) (in: "Edizione di Storiae Letteratura", Roma, 1951), II. Teil: Die Lösung (1580-1582) (in: "Edizione di Storia e Letteratura", Roma, 1951-1958); SCHUETTE, Josef Franz, S. J., Introductio ad Historiam Societatis Jesu in Japonia, 1549-1650, edendos, ad edenda Societatis Jesu Monumenta historica Japoniœ propylaeum [...], Roma, apud Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1968; SCHUETTE, Josef Franz, S. J., Die Wirksamkeit der Päpste für Japan im ersten Jahrundert der japanischen Kirchengeschichte (1549-1650). Versuch einer Zusammenfassung, Roma, apud Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1967 - For Alessandro Valignano's life and work, see all these three studies.

55BÉRNARD-MAÎTRE, Henri, S. J., Aux Portes de la Chine. Les Missionaries du Seizième Siècle, 1514-1588, Tientsin, Hautes-Études, 1933, p. 141.

56ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 9, I fols. 149-150 vo; Ed. WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol. 11, pp. 550-551, 572-574.

57SCHUETTE, Josef Franz, S. J., II Cerimoniale per i Missionari del Giappone, Roma, 1946 - For Alexandro Valignano.

58LUNDBAEK, Knud, The First Translation from a Confucian Classic in Europe, in: "China Mission Studies (1550-1800)", (1) 1979, pp. l-11.

See: Ed. D'ELIA, Pasquale M., S. J., op. cit., vol.1, pp. 141-49; PFISTER, Louis, S. J., Notices biographiques et bibliographiques sur les Jésuites de l'anciene mission de Chine 1552-1773, 2 vols. in: "Variétés sinologiques", Shanghai, (59, 60) 1932-1934, vol.1, pp. 15-21 - For Ruggieri see both these studies.

59ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 9, I fols. 87-93 vo, "Alonso Sánchez (from Macao) to the Jesuit General, 2 July 1582". The Jesuits were Alonso Sánchez and his companions.

60ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 9, I fols. 149-150 vo

61Ed. D'ELIA, Pasquale M., S. J., op. cit., vol.1, CICXXXV; PFISTER, Louis, S. J., op. cit., vol.1, pp. 22-42; Ed. TRIGAULT, Nicolas, S. J., Trans. GALLAGHER, Louis, S. J., China in the Sixteenth Century: The Journals of Matthew Ricci, 1583-1610, New York, Random House, 1953; Ed. VENTURI, Pietro Tacchi, S. J., Opere storiche del P. Matteo Ricci, S. J., 2 vols., Macerata, 1911-1913--For biographical data on Ricci. see all these four studies. Hereinafter, this essay contains material from the present writer's, Matteo Ricci Chinois avec les chinois, in: "Études", (357) Oct. 1982, pp. 361-374.

62ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 9, I fols. 112-113 vo

63ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 9, I fols 149-150 vo, 163-164 ro

64Ed. SCHURHAMMER Georg, S. J. - WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol.2, pp. 358-364, 453-463,468-475, 483-488, 497-501,513-521; Ed. WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 510-520; vol. 3, pp. 119-128, 163-169, 245-254, 449- 451; vol. 5, pp. 160-188,238-246,250-265,315-318,398-423,481-487,693-99,719-725,737-747,752-758; vol. 6, pp. 69-77, 103-128, 508-518, 522-529, 660-662, vol. 7, pp. 207-212,486-494; vol. 11 pp. 727-741; vol. 12, pp. 950-969-For the idea of an Embassy as a constant theme in the writings of Xavier and his successors.

See: ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 4, fols. 76-81 vo, 90-94 vo, 290-298 vo, 311-312; 5, fols. 101,152-156, 161-162 vo, 164- 169 vo; 6, fols. 93-99 vo; 9, I fols. 58-61 vo, 112-113 vo

Also see: ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 9, I fols. 58-61 vo, "Ruggieri (from Macao) to Father General Everard Mercurian, 12 November 1581" - The distinction between Diplomatic and Trade missions was made by Ruggieri. In his opinion, former Embassies had failed because they were trade missions. He urged a Diplomatic mission.

65*** Ed. WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol.4, pp. 160-188, 673-714; vol. 7, pp. 207-212,486-494; vol. 9, pp. 661-669, 696-708; vol. 10, pp. 662-683; vol. 13, pp. 1-319. ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 6, fols. 211,234-235 vo, 236-240; 7, fols. 241-243vo; 8, I fols. 280-282vo; 9, I fols. 49-50vo, 130-132vo.

See: Ed. WICKI, Josef, S. J., op. cit., vol. 7, pp. 157-161; vol. 9, 644-649,669-71; vol. 10, pp. 509-515 -For causes of concern of war between Spain and Portugal over the East Indies.

Also see: BOXER, Charles Ralph, Portuguese an d Spanish Rivalry in the Far East during the 17th Century, in: "Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland", (3)Dec. 1946, pp. 150-164 and(4)(April) 1947, pp. 91-105.

66ARSI: Jap.-Sin, 9, I fols. 137-141 vo

67GERNET, Jacques, Chine et Christianisme. Action et réaction, Paris, Gallimard, 1982, pp. 36, 54, 81-89.

68Ibidem., pp. 16-17.

See: Sikuquanshu zhumutiyao (Summary reviews of the general bibliography of the great encyclopedia of the four treasuries), in: "Imperial Catalog", vol. 24, part. 2.

Also see: SEBES, Joseph, S. J., The Summary Review of Matteo Ricci's Tianzhu shiyi in the Sikuquanshu zhumutiyao, in: "Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu", (53) 1984, pp. 386-391 - For an article about the summary review given the Tianzhu shiyi in the latter work.

69Ed. D'ELIA, Pasquale M., S. J., op. cit., vol. 1, pp. 180- 183.

70VENTURI, Pietro Tacchi, S. J., o p. cit., vol. 2, pp. 206-209; GERNET, Jacques, op. cit., p. 29.

71ZÜRCHER, Emil, The First Anti-Christian Movement in China (Nanking 1616-1621), in: CONGRESS OF THE DUTCH ORIENTAL SOCIETY ON THE OCCASION OF ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY, Leiden, May 1970- Ed. PESTMAN. W. P., "Acta Orientalia Neerlandica", [ Proceedings of... ], Leiden, 1971, pp. 192-193.

72ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 9, I fols. 85-85 vo, "Gómez (from Macao)to Father General, 5 June 1582" -"I am almost fifty years of age, and I confess to Your Paternity that I am learning everything anew as if I were entering the world: I am learning how to eat, to drink, to sit, to lie down, to dress, to put on shoes, to receive and be received; learning the courtesies, the alphabet, the language, and life. May it please the Lord that I truly become a child for His love who, being the Wisdom of the earth, for my sake became a child unable to speak. According to what I understand, those going to Japan also have to divest themselves of the customs and clothes they bring from Europe and put on the clothes and new customs of Japan, so that we do not [try to] transform the nature of the Japanese into ours but ours into theirs in order to bring them to our spirit and our holy faith."

73WITEK, John W., S. J., Controversial Ideas in China and in Europe: A Biography of Jean-François Foucquet, S. J. (1665-1741), Roma, 1982, pp. 143-144, 148-151, 179-180, 300-308, 332-335 - Some later Jesuit missionaries, the Figurists, tried to prove this in a unique way. This was important to counteract the feeling of racial superiority on the part of the Europeans and their feeling of superiority as the sole recipients of Divine revelation. The early Jesuits maintained that the Chinese and Japanese belonged to the white race.

See: Ed. SCHURHAMMER, Georg, S. J. - WICKI, Josef, S. J., vol. 2, pp. 277, 291-292 - For Xavier's two letters from Cochin, 29 January 1552, respectively, one to the members of the Society and the other to Ignacio de Loyola. Ed. WICKI, Josef Wicki, op. cit., vol. 13, p. 5 - For Valignano's, in his "Indian summary", written from Malacca, 8 December 1577.

The others followed their lead.

74GERNET, Jacques, op. cit., pp. 261-290.

75Ibidem., p.198-230.

76YOUNG, John D., op. cit., p.46 - For a citation of Matteo Ricci's [Li Madou], Jiaoyoulun, p. 1b. D'ELIA, Pasquale M., S. J., "Il Trattato sull'Amicizia. "Primo Libro scritto in Cinese da Matteo Ricci, S. J. (1595). Testo Cinese. Traduzione antica (Ricci) e moderna (D'Elia). Fonti, Introduzione e Note, in: "Studia Missionalia"(7)1952, pp. 425-515; D'ELIA, Pasquale M., S. J., Further Notes on Matteo Ricci's "De Amicitia," in: "Monumenta Serica", Bonn, (15)1956, pp. 356-377.

77YOUNG, John Dragon, op. cit., pp. 44-45 - For Matteo Ricci's, Tianzhu shiyi xiajuan, pp. 46-45.

78Ibidem., p. 48.

79Ibidem., pp. 44, 68 n. 11: pu ju i-fo.

80Ibidem., p.48.

81LEGGE, James, The Religions of China. Confucianism and Taoism described and Compared with Christianity, New York, 1881, p.53 [1st edition: London, Hodder and Stoughton] - The author states:

"The Chinese charactertsî covers a much wider space of meaning than our term sacrifice [...] The most general idea symbolized by it is an offering whereby communication and communion with spiritual beings is effected" (p.66).

82ZÜRCHER, Emil, op. cit., pp. 192-193.

83ROULEAU, Francis A., S. J., Chinese Rites Controversy, in: "New Catholic Encyclopedia".

84ASIP: Fond Rites Chinois, Article 3,33-126 - BEAUVOLLIER, Antoine, S. J., Eclaircissements [sur la Controverse] de la Chine (1702), in: - For this reference, the present writer is indebted to the late Francis A. Rouleau, S. J.

85ROULEAU, Francis, S. J., op. cit..

See: BRANCATO, Francesco, S. J., De Sinensium ritibus po liticis acta seu responsio apologetica ad R. P. Dominicum Navarette Ordinis Praedicatorum, Paris, 2 vols., 1700, vol.2, p.185 - Quoting Johann Adam Schall von Bell, S. J. (°1592-†1666), Brancato writes:

"Quam quam illud quod hactenus Paternitates Vestrae [Patres Dominicani] secutae sunt, et magis probabile est et tutum, nostrum tamen pro-babilitate non caret, atque omnino illud sequi convenit."and adds: "Nemo ex nostra Societate umquam condemnavit practicam opinionem Patrum aliorum, nam bene novimus nostram opinionem non esse demonstrationem, sed contineri intra limites opinionis probabilis."

This information was also provided by Fr. Rouleau from his files, which are housed at the Institute for Chinese- Western Cultural History at the University of San Francisco, in California.

86COOPER, Michael, S. J., op. cit., pp. 284-286.

87GERNET, Jacques, op. cit., p.19 - Niccolo Longobardi's book was entitled Traité sur quelques points de la religion des Chinois.

88Idem. - Note that all missionaries in China, Jesuit and Non-Jesuit, including the Dominican Domingo Fernán de Navarette, reached an agreement on the "Praxes" (Jesuit practice of the Rites) at the Guangzhou Synod (29 November 1669), during the Guangzhou internment of the missionaries. This internment resulted from the persecution provoked by Yong Guangsheng (°1597-†1669) and known as the persecution of the "Four Regents", during the Kangxi Emperor's minority (1669-1671).

See: SEBES, Joseph, S. J., History of the Jesuits in the Old China Mission, 17th and 18th Centuries: An attempt at Cultural Accommodation, pp. 14-15 - [unpublished Colloquium paper, presented on the 6th of October 1977] - About his event. Excerpts from this paper were published under the title China's Jesuit Century, "The Wilson Quarterly" (Winter) 1978, pp. 170-83.

89ZÜRCHER, Emil, op. cit., pp. 188-95 - Regarding this persecution.

90GERNET, Jacques, op. cit., p.34.

91JANN, Adelhelm, O. F. M., op. cit., pp. 125-26; MAAS, Otto, O. F. M., Die Wied ereroffnung der Franziskanermission in China in der Neuzeit, Münster, 1926, p.77; DUNNE, George H., S. J., Generation of Giants: The Story of the Jesuits in China in the Last Decades of the Ming Dynasty, Notre Dame/Indiana, University of Notre Dame Press, 1962, p.231.

92Ibidem., p.234; MAAS, Otto, O. F. M., op. cit., p.77.

93Idem.; DUNNE, George H., S. J., op. cit., pp. 234-235.

94The "Edict of Toleration" or "Edict in Favour of the Catholic Religion", 17th to 20th March 1692.

See: HUANG Po-lu, S. J., Shengjiao fenbao (Public Praise of the True Religion), Shanghai 1904, pp. 115b-116b. (Public praise of the true religion), Shanghai, 1904, pp. 115b-116b- For the "Edict of Toleration" or "Edict in Favour of the Catholic Religion", from the 17th to the 20th of March 1692.

95ARSI: Jap.-Sin., 165, fols. 188ff. - For two copies.

96The four specific occasions were: (1) the Decree Cum Deus Optimus, issued by Pope Clemente XI, on the 20th of November 1704; (2) the 1707 condemnation, in Nanjing, by Card. Charles Thomas Maillard de Tournon (° 1668-†1710), the Papal Legate of the Chinese Rites; (3) Pope Clemente XI's Bull Ex Illa Die, of the 19th of March 1715, approving Tournon's action; and (4) Pope Benedetto XIV's Bull Ex Quo Singulari, of 1774, peremptorily condemning the Chinese Rites.

97Matthew 28:19-20.

98CHARDIN, Pierre Teilhard de, S. J., L'Énergie humaine, in: "Oeuvres de Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 6 vols., Paris, 1962, vol.1, p.46. The original French is:

"L'âge des nations est passé. Il s'agit maintenant pour nous, si nous ne voulons pas périr, de secouer les anciens préjugés, et de construire la Terre."

* Professor Emeritus of History in Georgetown University. Editor of Monumenta Sinica. Author of articles and publications, including The Jesuits and the Sino-Russian Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689): the Diary of Thomas Pereira, S. J.

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