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Translation Seminar Series at Soochow University, Taiwan (One talk by Prof. Sophie Ling-chia Wei)
Title: Mavericks or Trendsetters? –Jesuit Figurists’ Translations and Their Written Spaces
Abstract: This talk presents my intercultural analysis of the Figurist enterprise during the High Qing dynasty and their re-interpretation of the Yijing and the Dao, which marks their relentless efforts in shortening the gap between Christian and Chinese thought and aligning Biblical chronology with Chinese history. I further examine previously uninvestigated Jesuit Figurist Chinese, Latin and French manuscripts (buried in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and Bibliothèque nationale de France) which re-interpret the Yijing and the Dao. Despite the criticism and disregard they received from Catholic and Confucian traditions on both sides, the Jesuit Figurists, at the crucial juncture between the theological perspective and enlightenment thought, built a communal space between Catholicism and Chinese civilization via re-interpreting the Yijing and the Dao, and promoted the study of Sinology in Europe, where they have left a legacy lasting to this day.
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