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Prof. Sophie Ling-chia Wei's new article
Prof. Sophie Ling-chia Wei’s new article, Typological Figuration of Mystical Elements in Jesuit Figurists’ Re-interpretation of Chinese Classics, is published in Encountering China’s Past: Translation and Dissemination of Classical Chinese Literature in April by Springer.
In this paper, the author focuses on one of the earliest groups of Sinologists, the Jesuit Figurists, particularly discussing how they translated mystical creatures and elements in Chinese classics, such as the dragon, dog, and Chinese mythological figures, in their typological exegesis as a tool of proselytization. Interestingly, in their translations into Latin, the Three Sovereigns 三皇 and Chinese mythological figures were depicted as biblical figures or figures from Greek and Roman mythology to parallel them with the biblical stories and narrow the cultural gap; and in the opposite linguistic direction, in their translations in Chinese manuscripts, the betrayal of Satan, the fall of Adam and Eve, and the emergence of Jesus were modeled as mystical creatures in Chinese classics, to lessen their foreignness. In addition, this paper will also focus on the space they borrowed from the Chinese classics and records of mythic geography, such as Shan Hai JingM 山海經 (The Classic of Mountains and Seas) and their purpose to create a new space that accommodated the histories and mythologies of both sides. Their translations of Chinese ancient mythologies came into play to broaden the European people’s understanding of Chinese culture, while their translations of biblical stories also opened the eyes of the emperor and the Chinese literati to a Chinese packaging of Christian stories.
For more information, please visit: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-19-0648-0_9?noAccess=true