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|Other Titles: ||The Transmission of Western Four-Elements Theory in Late Ming China|
|Authors: ||徐光台;Kuang-tai Hsu|
|Abstract: ||While five-phases theory (metal, wood, water, fire and earth) was still a dominant theory for Chinese understanding of natural phenomena in late Ming, Jesuits transmitted western learning, including Aristotelian four-elements theory (fire, air, water and earth), for the propagation of Christian faith. In fact, the encounter of these two theory of matter reflected the confrontation between Jesuit and Neo-Confucian (esp. Zhu Xi's) worldviews. In this paper the author will take the position of Jesuits to see how did they transmit western four-elements theory in this background.|
At that time Jesuits and Neo-Confucians had different views on the origin of the universe, theory of matter, and the nature of human soul. In the Tienzhu shiyi ^jΖffS, in which Jesuit and Zhu Xi's worldviews are encountered, Matteo Ricci mentions four-elements theory and five-phases theory in the context of his proofs of the existence of the Creator and the immortality of human soul. In the Qian kiin ti yi 'Ifc^f'fw fi., in order to establish four-elements theory, Ricci attacks Chinese five-phases theory on the one hand, however, he barrows some Chinese terms to make four-elements theory more accommodated to Chinese literati on the other hand. Later, in the Aristotelian traditions of Meteorology and On the Heavens, de Ursis, Vagnoni and Furtado respectively extends four-elements theory in Taixi shut/a ^MT[Q? Kongji gczhl '^Rl^ffiA and Hiinn you qnan '^ff-fiife without forgetting to propagate Christian faith.
Key Words: Late Ming, four-elements theory, five-phases theory, Jesuit worldview, Zhu Xi's worldview
|Appears in Collections:||[01 清華學報] 新27卷第3期|
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