This talk examines on the period from the 7th to the 17th century, when one could follow the complex sequence, interaction and interplay of four Christian denominations, whose representatives ended up in the territory of the Chinese Empire. We will trace the four different approaches of four different Christian denominations, entering China, starting from the pseudo-Nestorians (Luminous Religion / jingjiao), proceeding to Franciscan minorite monks, assessing Jesuit brothers approaches and analysing their discrepancies with both the Franciscans and the Dominikans. The presenter is going to give an overview of the theoretical basis of all the groups and show how they tried to interact with both the Chinese (Mongol and Manchu) authorities and local philosophical thought, as well as literati and laypeople. We will try to demonstrate that almost fourteen centuries of Christian preaching in China were not a continuous succession of missionaries arriving to labour in the Middle Kingdom. Most of the Christian missions were not in concert with each other either ideologically, organisationally, or historically — neither by preaching methods nor even by time of arrival. As history shows, the Great Pontiffs — with rare exceptions during the Rites Controversy — tried, as originally intended in their position in Ancient Rome, to build bridges between peoples and cultures. One hopes that over these bridges, which once allowed apostolic missions to make their way from Rome to countries of the East, Catholics from these countries of the East will soon find their way back to Rome. [Go to the full record in the library's catalogue]
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