Chinese Theology and Translation
The Christianity of the Jesuit Figurists and their Christianized Yijing
This book uncovers the Jesuits’ mystic theological interpretation in the translation of the Book of Changes (the Yijing) in their mission in China.
The book analyzes how Jesuit Figurists incorporated their intralingual translation of the Yijing, the Classical and vernacular use of Chinese language and the imitation of Chinese literati’s format, and the divinization of Yijing numbers into their typological exegesis.
By presenting the different ways in which Jesuit Figurists Christianized the Yijing and crafted a Chinese version of Jesus and Christian stories onto the Chinese classics, this book reveals the value of Jesuit missionary-translators. The Chinese manuscripts the Figurists left behind became treasures which have been excavated and displayed in this book. These treasures reveal the other side of the story, the side not much shown in past scholarship on the Figurists. These handwritten manuscripts on the Christianized Yijing are a legacy which continues to impact European understanding of Chinese history and civilization in later centuries.
A first analysis of these manuscripts in Chinese, the book will be of interest to scholars working on the history of Christianity in China, Translation Studies, and East Asian Religion and Philosophy.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction; 2 In Other Words—Jesuit Figurists’ Intralingual Translation in their Chinese Manuscripts of the Yijing; 3 The Making of Jesus in the Hands of the Jesuit Figurists— Religious Emotions Transformed in the Translations of the Yijing; 4 The Classical and Vernacular Use of Chinese Language in the Jesuit Figurists’ Reinterpretation of the Yijing; 5 Jesuit Figurists’ Written Space—Figurist Imitation of Chinese Literati in their Re-interpretation of The Yijing; 6 Deciphering God’s Encoded Messages with Divine Language —Jesuit Figurist Theological Interpretation of the Yijing’s Numbers; 7 Concluding Remarks
Sophie Ling-chia Wei is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Translation at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.