Forgive Us Our Sins
Confession in Late Ming and Early Qing China
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Confession in early modern Europe has been the subject of several studies. But what happened to the confessional practice when it moved to other cultures? This is the major research question of the present book as applied to late Ming and early Qing China. The origin of this research can be traced back to the Handbook of Christianity in China: Volume One (635-1800) (Leiden 2000) compiled by researchers of the K.U. Leuven, in collaboration with an international team of circa twenty scholars. As a reference work, the Handbook comprehensively presents many different aspects of Christianity in China, including sciences, arts and crafts. But there was one major absentee: ritual, which is often considered essential for understanding China. A first step in filling this gap was the organisation of an international workshop on "Chinese and Christian Rituality in Late Imperial China" (Leuven, June 2004). The present volume includes the revised contributions by Eugenio Menegon and Erik Zürcher and a reworked version of an article by Liam Brockey as well as the edition of the primary source he used for his article, a confessional manual composed by Jose Monteiro S.J. (1646-1720). These articles portray from different angles one of the sacramental rituals, viz. that of confession.