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Title: Trading Jesuits for ritual influence : Kangxi's wager in the Chinese Rites Controversy
Authors: Tan, Louis Aquinas Kai Rong
Keywords: Humanities::History
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Tan, L. A. K. R. (2022). Trading Jesuits for ritual influence : Kangxi's wager in the Chinese Rites Controversy. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: The Chinese Rites Controversy is a dispute from the 17-18th century on whether it was permissible for Catholics to participate in ancestor rites and the veneration of Confucius. At its climax, Pope Clement XI ruled that they were impermissible, and in response the reigning Kangxi Emperor (康熙帝) wrote the Imperial Ban to prohibit all missionary activity by Westerners. Why did the emperor respond in such a manner? Setting aside the trope on a clash of cultures between East and West, I make the case that Kangxi acted in such a manner to retain ancestor and Confucius rites as tools for exerting imperial influence. This essay contains a pioneering study in the conflict between the demands of Kangxi’s 1670 Sacred Edict (shengyu 聖) and Clement XI's 1715 anti-rites ruling Ex Illa Die. While the pope explicitly forbade Middle Kingdom Catholics from visiting the “ edibus Confucii (Houses of Confucius)” on the “Novilunio (New Moon)” and “Plenilunio (Full Moon)”, the emperor obliged all imperial subjects to visit their local Confucian shrine or hall on the first day (i.e. New Moon) of each month in a ceremony proclaiming the Sacred Edict, which was essentially state propaganda in Confucian verse.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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