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Piracy And Play: Two Catholic Appropriations Of Nieuhof 's Gezantschap

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Chapter Summary

Johan Nieuhof 's report of a Dutch East India Company (VOC) embassy to Beijing, printed in Amsterdam in 1665, was one of the most influential works of its time on Western perceptions of China. Two of the institutional providers of extra-European news, and in many ways the main two, were the VOC and the Society of Jesus. The constitutions of the Society of Jesus provided that corporate morale be built up by the circulation throughout the society of annual letters of edifying news from each province - a novel stipulation in religious life and one of the things that made Jesuits particularly conscious of belonging to a peculiarly modern and global organization. The dialogues of Zungchin are stocked with local colour and historical detail that critics have taken to derive from Nieuhof.

Keywords: Amsterdam; Dutch East India Company (VOC); Johan Nieuhof; Society of Jesus; Zungchin



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