Why Did Matteo Ricci of the Society of Jesus Lie about the Muslims of China? China, Europe, and Their Islamic Worlds in the 16th Century
Zvi Ben-Dor Benite
Thursday, February 22, 2018, 6:30 PM
SFU-Harbour Centre - Room 1420-1430 (Joseph & Rosalie Segal Centre) 515 West Hastings St., Vancouver
This talk presents and discusses a passage in one of Matteo Ricci's earliest reports on China in which he describes the Muslims of the city of Canton. I will analyze the passage against the broader context of the Portuguese and Ming China in the late 16th century explaining how Ricci addresses keys issues such the "problem" of Islam and Muslims in the Indian Ocean and their presence in China on the one hand, and plan to attack China on the other.
Dr. Zvi Ben-Dor Benite is Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. His research centers on the interaction between religions in world history and cultural exchanges across vast space and deep time. He is the author of The Dao of Muhammad: A Cultural History of Muslims in Late Imperial China (Harvard, 2005) and The Ten Lost Tribes: A World History (Oxford, 2009). He is currently working on a number of projects related to Jews, Jesuits, Chinese, and Muslims.