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The Chinese Repository, the Jesuits in China, European and American Sinologies
Re-Reading the History of Missionaries and the Sino-Western Encounter from the 16th to 19th Centuries
“We are still at the beginning stage of a much-needed revisionist history of the world,” says Janet Abu-Lughod in reviewing John Hobson’s The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation. The history of the Christian missions in the early modern Sino-Western encounter also needs revisionist. The connection between the early Jesuit mission in China and the Protestant mission in the 19th century has been long overlook. The Chinese Repository (1832-1851) was a periodical published for the use of Protestant missionaries working in China and was seen as the first American sinological journal in the nineteenth century. Very interestingly, one may find that quite a few early Jesuit sinological publications were introduced and translated by the American protestant missionaries in this periodical right from the first issue in 1832. This connection between two parties deserves more scholarly attention. The three-year project proposes to first trace the continuation of the missionaries’ sinological contributions via both synchronical and diachronical investigations to the Jesuit works presented in The Chinese Repository and hope to be one of the revisionists to re-read and re-write the history of missionaries and the Sino-Western encounter from the 16th to 19th centuries.
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