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Conversations between China and the West: The missionaries in early Qing Dynasty and their researches on the Book of Changes

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By the early 18th Century, the “Rites Controversy” among the missionaries themselves has evolved into a culture conflict between the Qing Empire and Europe. To make the European missionaries in China follow the rites of Matteo Ricci, Emperor Kangxi had French Jesuit missionaries Joachim Bouvet and Jean Francoise Foucquet study the Book of Changes in his royal palace and had further conversions with the European missionaries based on their researches. Not only did this cultural conversation reveal the Figurist’s tendencies, as represented by Bouvet, and the interior conflict among the missionaries themselves after the “Rites controversy,” but also showed Kangxi’s policies towards the missionaries, as well as his attitude towards Western culture and religion.


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