California State University, Northridge WordmarkOviatt Library WordmarkOviatt Library Catalog Wordmark
Author Hart, Roger (Roger Preston)
Title Imagined civilizations : China, the West, and their first encounter / Roger Hart.
Published Baltimore, Maryland : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.
Book Cover

 Floor2  BV3417 .H37 2013    IN LIBRARY
Description vii, 374 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Content Type text
Format volume
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 305-366) and index.
Contents Science as the measure of civilizations -- From Copula to incommensurable worlds -- Mathematical texts in historical context -- Tracing practices purloined by the three pillars -- Xu Guangqi, Grand Guardian -- Conclusions -- Acknowledgments -- Appendix A: Zhu Zaiyu's New theory of calculation -- Appendix B: Xu Guangqi's Right triangles, meanings -- Appendix C: Xu Guangqi's writings.
Summary "Accounts of the seventeenth-century Jesuit Mission to China have often celebrated it as the great encounter of two civilizations. The Jesuits portrayed themselves as wise men from the West who used mathematics and science in service of their mission. Chinese literati-official Xu Guangqi (1562-1633), who collaborated with the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) to translate Euclid's Elements into Chinese, reportedly recognized the superiority of Western mathematics and science and converted to Christianity. Most narratives relegate Xu and the Chinese to subsidiary roles as the Jesuits' translators, followers, and converts. Imagined Civilizations tells the story from the Chinese point of view. Using Chinese primary sources, Roger Hart focuses in particular on Xu, who was in a position of considerable power over Ricci. The result is a perspective startlingly different from that found in previous studies. Hart analyzes Chinese mathematical treatises of the period, revealing that Xu and his collaborators could not have believed their declaration of the superiority of Western mathematics. Imagined Civilizations explains how Xu's West served as a crucial resource. While the Jesuits claimed Xu as a convert, he presented the Jesuits as men from afar who had traveled from the West to China to serve the emperor."--Publisher's website.
Language In English; some text in Chinese with accompanying English translation.
Subject Ricci, Matteo, 1552-1610.
Jesuits -- Missions -- China -- History -- 17th century.
China -- Religion -- 17th century.
China -- Social conditions -- 960-1644.
ISBN 9781421406060 (alk. paper)
1421406063 (alk. paper)
OCLC number 856582995