Dissertation, Song, Gang: Learning from the other: Giulio Aleni, ”Kouduo richao”, and late Ming dialogic hybridization

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Title: Learning from the other: Giulio Aleni, ”Kouduo richao”, and
late Ming dialogic hybridization
Pub No: 3237733
Author: Song, Gang
Degree: Ph.D.
School: University of Southern California (0208)
Date: 2006
Pages: 584
Adviser: Cheung, Dominic
Source: DAI Vol 67-10, Section: A, page: 3941

Subject: Literature, Asian (0305);Religion, History of (0320);History,
Asia, Australia and Oceania (0332)

Abstract: Taking Kouduo richao (Daily Record of Oral Instructions,
1630-1640) as one paradigmatic piece of literature, the dissertation
explores how the Jesuits and Chinese converts created a hybrid
Christian-Confucian identity in late Ming Fujian through the medium of
dialogue. The dissertation analyzes interconnected intellectual,
spiritual, moral, and ritualistic themes reflected in Kouduo richao
and other late Ming Christian dialogues, tracing authoritative
thoughts in medieval Europe and imperial China and revealing various
ways they were reinterpreted in a dialogic context. Aleni's
instructions on practical learning were highly selective out of
medieval Aristotelian-Thomist traditions, and subtly adaptive to
classical Confucian thought, while Fujian converts responded with
their reinterpretations (or misinterpretations) of classical sources
and Jesuit sciences to shape a new Christian-Confucian identity. As
for the spiritual and moral learning, Aleni and Fujian converts
likewise involved in dynamic negotiations between Catholic doctrines
and Confucian teaching by frequently shifting among different voices.
Their dialogues revealed a tendency to create mutually acceptable
ideas and to actualize them through filial piety to God the Great
Father-Mother and parents, good works, and an interiorized
contemplative life merging Ignatian spirituality and Confucian
sincerity. In addition, many episodic, daily instructions of the
Jesuit masters in Fujian were accompanied by visual representations of
a hybrid Christian-Confucian identity. Objects, images, and rituals by
means of reproduction and reinterpretation found their way to show up
in Fujian socio-religious landscape, despite the growing opposition of
anti-Christians. With interactive exchanges structured by a self-other
relation, Christian and Chinese representations coexisted to shape a
harmonious reality, visible and practicable. Based on the literary and
cultural inquiry of later Ming Christian dialogism, this dissertation
argues that Kouduo richao should be taken as a representative record
of Aleni's Fujian mission with his consistent employment of both the
intellectual and the religious. It exemplifies a macroscopic but
substantial study of the Sino-Western encounter under the new theory
dialogic hybridization, which leads to an integration of previous
approaches, and through the underpinning trajectory from dialogue to
the dialogic, helps a better understanding of China's past
intercultural experience.




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