Symposium 2010:

An International Symposium in Commemoration of the
Fourth Centenary of the Death of Matteo Ricci, S.J.

Macau, 5th - 7th October, 2010

The Kangxi Emperor 康熙皇帝 (1654–1722) enjoys still much attention from Chinese and foreign scholars. There is great interest in any new historical sources that can contribute to a better understanding not only of his long fascinating reign (1661–1722) but also of his personal character and pragmatic style of rule.

The Macau Ricci Institute is conscious of the importance of contributing to better knowledge and use of historical materials of the Kangxi reign and we recognize that a comparatively neglected area are the Emperor and China’s relations with Europe and the European missionaries who were settled in China at the time. A few years ago our Institute therefore initiated a project of transcribing, translating and annotating the Acta Pekinensia (Events of Peking), an eighteenth-century Latin manuscript of 1446 folios, written by the German Jesuit Kilian Stumpf (1655–1720) and kept in the Jesuit Roman Archives.

The Acta Pekinensia is a collection of detailed reports on the actions and events (mostly at the imperial court of Beijing 1705–10) related to the papal legate, Charles Maillard de Tournon (1668–1710), who was sent to China for the purpose of settling one of the most fiercely fought and momentous debates in Sino-European history: the so-called Chinese Rites Controversy. Stumpf’s manuscript gives not only a day by day account of what happened during that time but also contains letters written by other Jesuits in several languages as well as translations of Chinese inner court documents, many since lost.

The basic motivation that underlies this ambitious project is a general belief that Western historical sources will play an important role in complementing Chinese sources, many of which have been recently published in various collections. Sometimes European sources give information on Chinese events that are either too commonplace or outside the literary conventions of Chinese sources to appear in Chinese records. Conversely, the Chinese saw as surprising or contradictory aspects of European behaviour that Westerners took for granted. That double perspective enriches and enlightens both the publication of the Acta Pekinensia and others existing sources. The double perspective situates the ‘Events of Peking’ in a new and broader light, which can be of great interest to Chinese and Western historians.

The purpose of the Symposium organised by the MRI is primarily to share with the scholarly community the results of the current research project to make this fascinating and important text widely known. In addition, the event aims to call or renew attention to the correspondence, reports and journals of missionaries residing at the court of the Kangxi Emperor, which constitute an invaluable source of information for the cultural, social, religious, and political history of this long reign.

Main Themes

I. Acta Pekinensia as a Major Western Historical Source
for the Kangxi Reign
1. The Acta Pekinensia Project
  Historical Significance of Acta Pekinensia
  Manuscript of Acta Pekinensia
  Acta Pekinensia as a Literary Enterprise

2. Acta Pekinensia and the Context of the Rites Question
  The Rites’ Questions: Japan, India and China

3. Acta Pekinensia in the Context of China-Europe Relations
  The Apostolic Visitations to China
  The Padroado Position

II. Other Western Historical Sources for the Kangxi Reign
  An Overview of a Reign
Through Western Historical Sources

Scientific Committee

Claudia von Collani
Institut für Missionswissenschaft, Universität Münster, Germany
Han Qi
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Anders Hansson
Macau Ricci Institute, Macau SAR, China
Marek Inglot, S.J.
Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, Rome, Italy
Jin Guoping
Instituto do Oriente ―
Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas /
Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal
Monika Miazek
Uniwersytet im. A. Mickiewicza, Poznan, Poland
Paul Rule
La Trobe University, Australia
António Vasconcelos de Saldanha
Instituto do Oriente ―
Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas /
Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal
Tang Kaijian
University of Macau, Macau
M. Antoni J. Üçerler, S.J.
University of Oxford, Campion Hall, United Kingdom
Artur Wardega, S.J.
Macau Ricci Institute, Macau SAR, China
John Witek, S.J.†

5th - 7th October, 2010

Macao Cultural Centre,
Av. Xian Xing Hai S/N, NAPE, Macau, China

English, Chinese (Mandarin)
Simultaneous interpretation provided

Organising Institution
澳 門 利 氏 學 社
Macau SAR, China

Contact us