Christianity and Cultures
Japan and China in Comparison, 1543-1644

edited by
M. Antoni J. ÜÇERLER, S.J.

About the Book:

This is the collection of 13 papers presented at the 2006 MRI Symposium, which aimed to bring together leading Sinologists and Japanologists from around the world engaged in research on the history of Christianity in Japan and in China. It took as its point of departure the 400th anniversary of the death of Alessandro Valignano, S.J. (1539–1606), one of the first Europeans to articulate a clear policy of religious and cultural engagement with the civilizations of China and Japan.

More specifically, scholars have concentrated on early Christian texts in translation, works of art, the development of new forms of Christian ritual, local community organization, etc., in late Ming China and Warring States / early Tokugawa Japan (ca. 1543–1644). Such modes of interaction with local cultures, while originally relying on European models, were adapted over time by the missionaries and prominent local Christians to and transformed by the East Asian cultural matrix. How these processes evolved historically in Japan and in China are the main focus of the volume. A number of scholars have also explored the unique role played by Macau, the port-city that was at the diplomatic, economic, and religious crossroads between East Asia and Europe and that facilitated these encounters between faith and culture.

About the Editor:

M. Antoni J. Üçerler, S.J. (余安道) is Research Fellow in East Asian history and Senior Tutor at Campion Hall, University of Oxford. He co-edited Alessandro Valignano. Uomo del Rinascimento. Ponte tra Oriente e Occidente (2008) and helped to create and encode the Laures Rare Book Database at Sophia University, Tokyo. His research and writing concentrate on global and comparative history, with a special focus on Christianity in early modern Japan.