WHEN EUROPE CHANGE ITS MIND ABOUT THE MIDDLE KINGDOM – Ancient China On Debate At Macau Ricci Institute

Pedro Daniel Oliveira

On April 10, Professor Nicolas Standaert is giving a lecture on “The Intercultural Weaving of Historical Texts – Chinese scholars and European missionaries writing about ancient,” at the Don Bosco Auditorium of the University of Saint Joseph. The lecture is under the aegis of the Macau Ricci Institute (MRI).

“The European view on history was shaken to its foundations when missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries discovered that Chinese history was older than European and Biblical history. With an analysis of the Chinese, Manchu and European sources on ancient Chinese history, this presentation proposes an early case of ‘intercultural historiography,’ in which historical texts of different cultures are interwoven,” a statement by MRI reads.

The lecture focuses on the ways Chinese and European authors interpreted stories about marvelous births by the concubines of Emperor Ku. “These stories have been the object of a wide variety of interpretations in Chinese texts, each of them representing a different historical genre,” the statement adds.

They are excellent case-studies to illustrative how the Chinese hermeneutic strategies shaped the diversity of interpretations given by Europeans. The lecture starts at 6:30 PM.

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