The Generalate of Claudio Acquaviva: The Origins of the Jesuit Myth of China Michela Catto Adapting and accommodating in pursuit of evangelization à partir d’en haute, adopting the customs and habits of Confucian mandarins, speaking and dressing in the manner of the Chinese, and establishing a dialogue through science: these were four characteristics of the Chinese mission of the Society of Jesus, a Jesuit identity that was “forged” by the Chinese, as noted in the subtitle of a 2002 essay by Nicolas Standaert. All of these choices were made during the generalate of Claudio Acquaviva (1581-1615) and were accepted and codified by the general. To his generalate belongs as much the overcoming of suspicions that the Society of Jesus in Europe could feed toward the adaptation of Chinese habits and customs (with the approval of Alessandro Valignano’s Cerimoniale) as the structural and ideological choices of the Chinese missiological interpretive model. I am not referring to the simple ratification of a model that was being formed de facto in China. The general found himself having to select and decide between the different interpretations that his missionaries were compiling about China and leaning toward a positive model of humanity (favoring the judgments of José de Acosta more than the bellicose ideas of Alonso Sánchez), about its culture and its government (the adoption of the Confucian ratio studiorum and the decisive distancing from Buddhist monks, with whom the first Jesuits were naturally equated at the outset), and for a decodification of Confucianism as a doctrine of ethical and moral values, favoring and preferring the proposals of Matteo Ricci to the atheism of the Chinese religions described by João Rodrigues and the missionaries who arrived in China from Japan. The diffusion of this interpretation of China – the most noted and widespread in Europe at least until the question of Chinese Rites (1645) became public knowledge – through the publication the publication of the litterae annuae and the histories of the Jesuit mission in China not only placed the Jesuit seal on the Far East). It also codified the first myth about China that, even though it was later vigorously challenged, shaped all of European culture during the early modern period.
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|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Titolo:||The Generalate of Claudio Acquaviva: the birth of the Jesuit Myth of China|
|Titolo del libro:||The Acquaviva Project: Claudio Acquaviva Generalate SJ (1581-1615) and the emergence of modern Catholicism|
|Tutti i curatori:||Fabre, Pierre-Antoine; Rurale, Flavio|
|Nome editore:||Institute of Jesuit Sources|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Capitolo/Saggio|
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