Sojourners in a Strange Land: Jesuits and Their Scientific Missions in Late Imperial China

By Henderson, John B. | The Catholic Historical Review, October 2011 | Go to article overview

Sojourners in a Strange Land: Jesuits and Their Scientific Missions in Late Imperial China


Henderson, John B., The Catholic Historical Review


Sojourners in a Strange Land: Jesuits and Their Scientific Missions in Late Imperial China. By Florence C. Hsia. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2O09- Pp. xv, 273. $45.00. ISBN 978-0-226-35559-7.)

There is no shortage of books, in several languages, on the Jesuit missionaries in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century China, and on the European science that a few of these Jesuits taught in China. If any subject in the history of late-imperial or early-modern China has attracted enough scholarship to do it justice, it would probably be this one. But much of the more recent scholarship on this subject rather neglects the European audience and background of the scientific mission of the China Jesuits (just as Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land [New York, 1961] does not tell us much of what we might like to know about Valentine Michael Smith's Martian background and support network).

But whereas Heinlein does tell us quite a bit about Smith himself, Hsia's account of the China Jesuits is cast more as a "biography in a collective mode" (p. 7) in which individual personalities do not stand out as clearly or vividly as in the Jesuit historiography of an earlier generation. Although Hsia demonstrates an admirable competence in the field of spherical astronomy (starting on p. 100), neither does the book focus on the science that Jesuits taught in China or even much on the Chinese reception. Hsia's niche in this comparatively oversubscribed field is, rather, "the historical emergence and fortunes of this puzzling figure" (p. 2) of the Jesuit missionary scientist in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century China- an individual who transmitted European science and personal discoveries to the Chinese literati, European savants, and other interested parties of the European proto-Enlightenment. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Sojourners in a Strange Land: Jesuits and Their Scientific Missions in Late Imperial China
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
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.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.