MRI Forum 92

The Intercultural Weaving of Historical Texts - Chinese scholars and European missionaries writing about ancient

Forum

Date:

  • 10 April 2018

Location:

  • Don Bosco Auditorium, The University of Saint Joseph (Green Campus)

Cooperation Partner:

  • University of Saint Joseph

Time:

  • 18:30 to 20:15

Cost:

  • Free

Languages:

  • English

Sponsor:

  • Macao Foundation (澳門基金會)

Speaker

Forum

Dr. Nicolas Standaert

Prof. Dr. Nicolas Standaert, Professor of Sinology, Head of Department of Sinology of the Catholic University of Leuven. His major research interest is the cultural contacts between China and Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In this field he has led multiple research projects on rituality, visual culture, materiality and historiography and organized several international workshops on these topics.

Major publications of Prof. Dr. Nicolas Standaert:

The Intercultural Weaving of Historical Texts: Chinese and European Stories about Emperor Ku and His Concubines, Leiden: Brill, 2016. ISBN:978-90-0431-615-7

Chinese Voices in the Rites Controversy: Travelling Books, Community Networks, Intercultural Arguments, (Bibliotheca Instituti Historici S.I. 75), Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 2012, 476 pp. ISBN 978-88-7041-375-5

The Interweaving of Rituals: Funerals in the Cultural Exchange between China and Europe, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008, 328 pp. ISBN 978-0-295-98823-8 (paper) / 978-0-295-98810-8 (cloth)

Chinese translation: Liyi de jiaozhi: Mingmo Qingchu ZhongOu wenhua jiaoliu zhong de zangli 礼仪的交织:明末清初中欧文化交流中的丧葬礼, trans. Zhang Jia张 佳, Shanghai: Shanghai guji chuban she, 2009, 282 pp. ISBN 978-7-5325-5383-9

Introduction

The European view on history was shaken to its foundations when missionaries in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries discovered that Chinese history was older than European and Biblical history. With an analysis of the Chinese, Manchu and European sources on ancient Chinese history, this presentation proposes an early case of “intercultural historiography,” in which historical texts of different cultures are interwoven.

It focusses on the ways Chinese and European authors interpreted stories about marvelous births by the concubines of Emperor Ku 帝嚳. These stories have been the object of a wide variety of interpretations in Chinese texts, each of them representing a different historical genre. They are excellent case-studies to illustrate how the Chinese hermeneutic strategies shaped the diversity of interpretations given by Europeans.