MRI Forum 49
"Matteo Ricci's Ascent to Beijing (1583-1610)"
by Gianni Criveller
Summary of the Presentation
On 10 September 1583, Michele Ruggieri and Matteo Ricci succeeded in establishing in Zhaoqing (Guangdong) their first permanent residence. On that day Ricci initiated an ‘ascent’ to the centre of the Empire, establishing residences in Suzhou, Nanchang and Nanjing. He finally reached the capital of the Empire on January 24, 1601, never to leave it again. He died in Beijing on 11 May 1610 and was buried there. He was a prolific writer, and his writings have had a great influence on cultural exchanges between East and West. He promoted the humanistic value of friendship, which had strong roots in both cultural milieus of China and Europe, and the policy of accommodation. The presentation will look at episodes and aspects of Ricci’s activities, which might be lesser known.
Profile of the Speaker
Gianni Criveller (柯毅霖), currently based in Hong Kong, has spent 18 years in Greater China: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and the Mainland. He researches, teaches and writes on China and Christianity, with special attention to the reception of Christianity and missionary work and strategies. He is also engaged in observing and commenting on the current situation of Catholicism and religious policy in China. Fr Criveller also teaches Missionary Theology. He has authored various books and more than 50 academic studies. He is a priest in the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions (PIME).