CORDIS
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CORDIS

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Christianity in China. Western Culture in front of the Far East. Adaptionism, Syncretism and Simulation. The specific case of a small and important group of French Jesuits: the Figurists

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 251750

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 May 2010

  • End date

    30 April 2012

Funded under:

FP7-PEOPLE

  • Overall budget:

    € 215 030,40

  • EU contribution

    € 215 030,40

Coordinated by:

ECOLE DES HAUTES ETUDES EN SCIENCES SOCIALES

France

Objective

The Society of Jesus was the link between Europe and the Far East. This was possible thanks to the elaboration of an entirely new model of evangelization based on the assumption that cultural differences were to be “ironed out” in favor of similarities that allowed the Jesuits to enter, like a Trojan horse, the alien culture: this model was called accommodatio. The second step of this strategy was the extraordinary production of books and pamphlets written by Jesuits in the centuries of their missionary activity in the Far East. Chronicles, travel accounts, and polemical treatises accompanied the Jesuits’ mission, and found a Western audience among Enlightenment thinkers, to the point that the “discovery” of China became a fundamental point of reference of Western culture. This is the traditional account but it is necessary and possible now to verify it by using a new approach. First, it is necessary to read again the documents regarding the first penetration of Christianity in China, in the prospective of sixteenth-century European culture: literary culture of simulation or honest dissimulation in the European courts, nicodemism in religious thinking, and in the specific contest of Society of Jesus (in Europe and outside); from Matteo Ricci onwards, specially the writings of first Jesuits in China, and the regulations and discussions inside the Society. Finally, we need to look at them through the Figurists, when nicodemism or similar is replaced by a new way of cultural interpretation that really joins together the Western and Far East worlds. A bibliographical investigation of the Figurists’ writings (often not printed), their contact with European philosophes and the role they had in the Enlightenment’s evolution of concepts of China will complete the study.
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Coordinator

ECOLE DES HAUTES ETUDES EN SCIENCES SOCIALES

Address

54 Bd Raspail
75270 Paris 6

France

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 215 030,40

Administrative Contact

Samira Ben Touhami (Ms.)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 251750

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 May 2010

  • End date

    30 April 2012

Funded under:

FP7-PEOPLE

  • Overall budget:

    € 215 030,40

  • EU contribution

    € 215 030,40

Coordinated by:

ECOLE DES HAUTES ETUDES EN SCIENCES SOCIALES

France