Curious Land: Jesuit Accommodation and the Origins of Sinology

By D. E. Mungello | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
PROPAGANDIZERS AND CRITICS OF JESUIT ACCOMMODATION

1. THE BACKGROUND TO FR. LE COMTE'S NOUVEA UX MÉMOIRES SUR L'E TAT PRÉSENT DE LA CHINE

After the anti-Christian persecution of 1664-1668 and the recall of most of the Jesuits from exile in Canton in 1671, the leading Jesuit, Ferdinand Verbiest ( 1623- 1688) was struck by the rich harvests which awaited the Mission in China, could they but find the right missionaries1. Fr. Verbiest expressed these thoughts in several letters to Europe, one of which is said to have impressed Louis XIV. Besides, the French king saw a means of increasing the influence of France while breaking the shaky Portuguese monopoly of ecclesiastical patronage. He and his advisers saw that the most effective political means of achieving this would be to capitalize on the scientific interests of the age, which were manifested in the widely publicized activities of the Académie des Sciences. For King Louis, the Académie could serve ably as a vehicle for science, God and France. Consequently, he ordered the mission organized in what was one of the earliest uses of a scientific and religious mission for the political interests of a modern nation-state.

The Jesuits were requested to supply six of their number with appropriate scientific skills for this purpose. The Jesuit Jean de Fontaney ( 1643- 1710) had distinguished himself as a teacher of mathematics and astronomy at the Collège Louis le Grand and by publishing several pieces on astronomical subjects in the widely read Journal des sçvans and Mémoires de l'académie des sciences2. Fr. Fontaney was assigned the task of finding other skilled young Jesuits and under his leadership the following missionaries were enrolled: Bouvet, Jean-François Gerbillon , ( 1647- 1707), Louis-Daniel Le Comte ( 1655- 1728), Guy Tachard ( 1648- 1712) and Claude de Visdelou ( 1656- 1737). All were members of the Collège Louis le Grand and therefore had a special identification with the French king. Prior to departing, Fontaney and three other Jesuits were admitted to the Académie des Sciences and were equipped with instruments to

____________________
1
Pfister, pp. 420-423.
2
In describing the origin and preparation of the first French mission to China, I rely upon Gatty, Voiage, p. 14, and Fr. Witek account in his Controversial ideas in China and Europe, pp. 23-39, to expand and correct information found in Pfister, pp. 420- 424 & 431-432 and in the article on Bouvet by Henry M. Brock in the Catholic encyclopedia ( New York, 1907) II, 723.

-329-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Curious Land: Jesuit Accommodation and the Origins of Sinology
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 408

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.