Litian Swen, Jesuit mission and submission: Qing rulership and the fate of Christianity in China, 1644-1735 (2021)

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Litian Swen, Jesuit mission and submission: Qing rulership and the fate of Christianity in China, 1644-1735 (2021)


Litian Swen, Jesuit mission and submission: Qing rulership and the fate of Christianity in China, 1644-1735, Leiden / Boston: Brill, March 2021 (series: East and West. vol. 9), 230 p., ISBN: 978-90-04-44700-4 .


(Abstract:) Jesuit Mission and Submission explains how the Jesuits entered the Manchu world after the Manchus conquered Beijing in 1644. Supported by Qing court archives, the book discovers the Jesuits’ Manchu-style master-slave relationship with the Kangxi emperor. Against the backdrop of this relationship, the book reconstructs the back and forth negotiations between Kangxi and the Holy See regarding Chinese Rites Controversy (1705-1721), and shows that the Jesuits, although a group of foreign priests, had close access to Kangxi and were a trusted part of the Imperial circle. This book also redefines the rise and fall of the Christian mission in the early Qing court through key events, such as the Calendar Case and Yongzheng’s prohibition of Christianity.


Table of contents:


1-22          Introduction.

Part 1:  The Jesuits’ identity and Qing rulership, 1644-1705:

25-49        ch. 1: Jesuits and their entrance in the Manchu world.

50-74        ch. 2: The Jesuits’ strategic turn.

75-106      ch. 3: The Jesuits and Kangxi’s Imperial Household Department.

Part 2:  Emperor Kangxi’s negotiations with the Pope, 1705-1721:

109-141    ch. 4: Kangxi, the Jesuits, and the first Papal Legation to China.

142-166    ch. 5: Kangxi’s fourteen-year wait and the Second Papal Legation.

Part 3:  The prohibition in 1724:

169-195    ch. 6: The Yongzheng emperor and Christian missionaries.

196-200    Postscripts: Coincidences? The rise and fall of the Christian mission.

201-204    Appendix 1: Yongzheng’s letter to Nian Gengyao

​regarding the master-slave relation.

205           Appendix 2: Kangxi’s note to threaten the prohibition of Christianity.

206-          Bibliography / Index.



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