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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2019, Vol. 14 Issue (2) : 201-225
The Tianzhu Shilu Revisited: China’s First Window into Western Scholasticism
Daniel Canaris()
Department of Philosophy, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
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On 29 September 1584, the first Catholic catechism was printed in China under the title The True Record of the Lord of Heaven (Tianzhu Shilu 天主實錄). Written primarily by the Jesuit missionary Michele Ruggieri (1543–1607) with the assistance of at least two other Jesuits and Chinese interpreters, the catechism inaugurated the rich cultural exchange between China and Europe for which the Jesuit China mission would be renown. Despite the pioneering role of this catechism, it has been viewed for the most part by posterity as a pale forerunner of the later catechism by Ruggieri’s confrère, Matteo Ricci (1552–1610), The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven (Tianzhu Shiyi 天主實義). This article attempts to skirt the anachronistic comparison with Ricci’s Tianzhu Shiyi by proposing the Tianzhu Shilu as an autonomous text expressive of a cogent strategy for tailoring Western scholasticism to the contingencies of the Chinese cultural context.

Keywords Michele Ruggieri      Jesuit China mission      catechism      Alessandro Valignano     
Issue Date: 15 July 2019
 Cite this article:   
Daniel Canaris. The Tianzhu Shilu Revisited: China’s First Window into Western Scholasticism[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2019, 14(2): 201-225.
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