The Interweaving of Rituals: Funerals in the Cultural Exchange Between China and Europe

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University of Washington Press, 2008 - History - 328 pages
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The death of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci in China in 1610 was the occasion for demonstrations of European rituals appropriate for a Catholic priest and also of Chinese rituals appropriate to the country hosting the Jesuit community. Rather than burying Ricci immediately in a plain coffin near the church, according to their European practice, the Jesuits followed Chinese custom and kept Ricci's body for nearly a year in an air-tight Chinese-style coffin and asked the emperor for burial ground outside the city walls. Moreover, at Ricci's funeral itself, on their own initiative the Chinese performed their funerary rituals, thus starting a long and complex cultural dialogue in which they took the lead during the next century.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
1 Chinese and European Funerals
10
2 Missionaries Knowledge of Chinese Funerals
37
3 The Gradual Embedding of Christian Funeral Rituals in China
80
4 Funerals as Public Manifestation
117
5 Funerals as Community Practice
139
6 Christian versus Superstitious Rituals
163
7 Imperial Sponsorship of Jesuit Funerals
183
8 Conclusion The Metaphor of Textile Weaving
206
Appendix
230
Chinese Glossary
282
Abbreviations
288
Bibliography
290
Index
314
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About the author (2008)

Nicolas Standaert is professor of Sinology at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He is the author of Yang Tingyun, Confucian and Christian in Late Ming China: His Life and Thought and editor of Handbook of Christianity in China: Volume 1, 635-1800.

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