MRI Forum 59
Book Launch of Portrait of a Jesuit
Summary of the Presentation
Recently the Macau Ricci Institute has published a short biography of Fr. Matteo Ricci, S.J., based on a collection of essays presented last year at the Institute by Gianni Criveller, Ph.D., PIME, and César Guillén-Nuñez, M.Phil., respectively, dedicated to the memory of the great pioneer after whom our Institute is named. This modest publication, which would like somehow to contribute to the worldwide commemoration of Matteo Ricci's demise in Beijing in 1610, is intended to inaugurate a series of MRI studies related to the history of the Jesuits in the old China mission. The series will be published under the name of Jesuítas Publication Series and will introduce to the readers such outstanding figures of the past as Alessandro Valignano, Melchior Carneiro and Tomás Pereira. Each title of the series will be available in English and simplified Chinese versions.
The forum was chaired by Artur Wardega, S.J., Director of the Institute. The book launch proceeded with a short presentation by the authors of their essays in the booklet, the publishers, and the comments of Fr. Louis Ha, a scholar invited by the MRI for the occasion.
Profile of the Speakers
Gianni Criveller 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. He serves as researcher at the Holy Spirit Study Centre and teaches Missionary Theology at the Holy Spirit College of Theology and Philosophy (both Institutions are in Hong Kong). He has authored various books and more than 50 academic studies. He is a priest in the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions (PIME).
César Guillén-Nuñez is Research Fellow and Book Review Editor (Chinese Cross Currents quarterly) at the Macau Ricci Institute. His M.Phil. (University College London), M.A. (University of Pennsylvania) and B.A. Hons. (Courtauld Institute of Art) are all in the history of art, with a specialization in Spanish and Portuguese Colonial Baroque art and architecture. The latter has led him to focus on the Society of Jesus as pioneers in arts East-West exchange. He began his professional career as Assistant Curator (China Trade, Contemporary Art), at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and later moved to Macao where he was Deputy Curator at the Luis de Camões Museum. He has organized numerous China Trade and contemporary art exhibitions in Macau, Hong Kong, London and Lisbon for these museums, as well as acting as a freelance curator. He has also presented art history papers in Hong Kong, Macau and Poland, and has written many art reviews and several books. The latter include Macao’s Church of Saint Paul: A Glimmer of the Baroque in China, published by Hong Kong University Press in 2009.
Louis Ha is a Catholic priest of the Hong Kong Diocese. Presently, he is a full-time employee of the Chinese University of Hong Kong working for the historical research projects of the Centre for Catholic Studies. At the same time, he is in charge of the Catholic Diocesan Archives for which he has been working for over 15 years. Recently he is leading two historical research projects, i.e. a study on the Catholic cemeteries in Hong Kong, and the history of the missionary societies in Hong Kong. His doctoral thesis was on the “foundation of the Catholic mission in Hong Kong, 1842-1894”.
Anders Hansson is chief editor of publications at the Macau Ricci Institute. He studied Chinese at the University of Stockholm and later in Hong Kong and holds an MA degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University. He has worked in Peking as translator/cultural attaché at the Swedish Embassy 1971–73 and as ‘foreign expert’ in the early 1980s. In the 1990s he taught Chinese language and culture at the University of Edinburgh, and he was editor of the translation journal Renditions at the Chinese University of Hong Kong 2007-09. An issue with the theme ‘Violence in Ming and Qing literature’ was published in this period. His main research interest has been Ming and Qing dynasty social history. His publications include Chinese Outcasts: Discrimination and Emancipation in Late Imperial China (1996).