Jesuit Manuscripts Relating to China
Scope and Content
This manuscript collection demonstrates the ways in which the Jesuit order attempted to understand and learn the cultural traditions, language, literature, history, and philosophy of the peoples they lived among and attempted to convert. The documents, from the years 1725 through 1732, are heavily oriented towards Jesuit essays on and/or critiques of Chinese treatises on history, astronomy, Confucian philosophy, and science. Some of the documents also deal with the standing of the Jesuits in China at the time, particularly with the relationship between the emperor and the order, which culminated in the expulsion of the Jesuits by Yung Cheng in 1724 and the execution of the Portuguese Jesuit João Morão in 1726 or 1727. Five documents are written in French, three in Latin, and two in Italian.
- Society of Jesus (Jesuits) (Organization)
Language of Materials
Language of Materials
French, Latin and Italian
Use of Materials
Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site.
It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. See curator for questions.
A Roman Catholic religious order founded in 1540 by Ignatius Loyola, the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits, sent priests throughout the world to live among non-Christians and proselytize. Beginning in the 1580s, these lands included China, where the famed Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) established himself among the elite literati class, learning Chinese and studying Confucian texts. The Jesuits succeeded in erecting some churches in China and managed to convert a number of Chinese, but there was often tension between the Christian priests and the emperor. In 1724, the emperor made Christianity illegal in China and expelled all religious orders, including the Jesuits.
.25 Linear Feet (8 folders)
Written in French, Latin, and Italian, these 10 manuscript items include documents concerned with Chinese philosophy, science, history, and political circumstances, as well to Jesuit affairs in China.
This collection is organized into eight folders, with one document in each folder, except for folder #5, which contains three documents, all relating to the subject of the Father Moraon Affair.
Bell Library call number: 1725 fJe
Call number required to access materials
- China – History – 18th century – Sources Subject Source: Lcnaf
- Jesuits – Missions – China – History – 18th century – Sources
- Manuscripts, French – Specimens Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Manuscripts, Italian – Specimens Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Manuscripts, Latin – Specimens Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Jesuit Manuscripts Relating to China, 1725-1732
- The James Ford Bell Library
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- The finding aid is in English.