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Reshaping the BoundariesThe Christian Intersection of China and the West in the Modern Era$
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Song Gang

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390557

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390557.001.0001

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“Sinarum gentes … omnium sollertissimae”

“Sinarum gentes … omnium sollertissimae”

Encounters between the Middle Kingdom and the Low Countries, 1602–92

(p.9) 1 “Sinarum gentes … omnium sollertissimae”
Reshaping the Boundaries

Thijs Weststeijn

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter presents a penetrating survey of the multilayered cultural exchanges between China and the Low Countries during the seventeenth century. It highlights the intermediary role of the Low Countries in transacting cultural products between two ends of the world. The author pays particular attention to a group of leading Dutch Jesuits who travelled to China, then called the Middle Kingdom, and transferred the newly acquired knowledge of Chinese language, philosophy, arts, and history to the Dutch Republic. Their collaborative efforts in translating Confucian classics disclosed a carefully reinterpreted version of Confucianism, filtered through the Christian truth, which in turn aroused a number of later translations and commentaries bouncing between ancient Chinese wisdom and post-Renaissance humanism.

Keywords:   Sino-Dutch relation, Netherlandish Jesuitica, early Dutch Sinology, Confucius Sinarum philosophus

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