Philology In Our Time will be hosting an online book presentation on Xu Dongfeng’s book Friendship and Hospitality: The Jesuit-Confucian Encounter in Late Ming China. The presentation will include the author (Xu Dongfeng), Huan Saussy, and Edward Shaughnessy. All are invited and must preregister.
Friday, July 9th, 10 pm Taipei/10 am New York; Register HERE
I am reading this book and writing a review for China Review International. A bit heads-up for interested readers: In my view, the book is essentially a Postmodern (viz., mainly per Levinas’s and Derrida’s theories of Différance and the Other) rereading of the Late Ming encounter of Christianity and Ruism. It presents under-explored aspects of late imperial Chinese history such as the impact of Matteo Ricci’s new world map to the worldview of Ru literati, as well as how the relationship of Ruism, Buddhism and Christianity was shifted and reconfigured due to the historic encounter. One controversial aspect of the book could be: everything presented by the author about Postmodern thinkers is cherished as the correct theories as well, and then, anything else analyzed or interpreted by these Postmodern theories is either critiqued or in more than a few cases, condemned using strong words. This will make readers wonder whether the author uses selected and sometimes over-interpreted historical materials to corroborate their Postmodern heroes, rather than presenting an accurate account of what actually happened in that particular period of history rich with inter-religious insights and visions.