The Interweaving of Rituals: Funerals in the Cultural Exchange Between China and Europe
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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1 Chinese and European Funerals
2 Missionaries Knowledge of Chinese Funerals
3 The Gradual Embedding of Christian Funeral Rituals in China
4 Funerals as Public Manifestation
5 Funerals as Community Practice
6 Christian versus Superstitious Rituals
7 Imperial Sponsorship of Jesuit Funerals
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