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Matteo Ricci. Inculturation through Friendship and Faith
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Matteo Ricci. Inculturation through Friendship and Faith

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Christopher Shelke, Sj - Mariella Demichele (eds.) 2010, pp. 444.ESAURITO - OUT OF PRINT  Presented by the Faculty of Missiology of the Pontifical Gregorian University in collaboration with professors from other departments and also colleagues at the Fu Jen Catholic University, this volume gives a completely new portray of Matteo Ricci who has been through his creative fidelity a great son of St. Ignatius of Loyola and was shaped and formed through the Spiritual Exercises. It would certainly build bridges between the East and the West, between Chinese Nations and the Western countries, between the cultures and religions of the world.

During this 400th anniversary of the death of Matteo Ricci, many exhibitions, seminars and conferences have taken place in Macerata, Shanghai, Taipei, Rome and other places to honour the great scholar and Jesuit missionary. Likewise several books have been published to remember the scholarly achievements of this Italian mathematician, geographer, theologian, and linguist, including a small book entitled ‘Amicizia’. This was Ricci’s first piece of writing in Chinese; later on, he translated it into Italian. Different versions of this booklet are preserved in European and Chinese archives. This Tract contains quotes from Western philosophers on the topic of Friendship – a topic dear to Chinese scholars. Here, in this volume, is an English translation of the version conserved in the Archives of Pontifical Gregorian University. In addition, three letters of Matteo Ricci had written just before his death on May 11th 1610 have been translated from the original Italian.

In his essay, Creative Fidelity in Inculturation, Christopher Shelke points out how the concept of the Society of Jesus is the Society of Love which is founded on the Communion with the Lord. Shelke interprets the treaty on Friendship in the context of dedication of Matteo Ricci, dying to himself by civilization, so that the new culture of Incarnation could begin in China.

João Vila-Chã presents a philosophical meditation contrasting the Aristotelian idea of friendship to the one offered by Ricci in his tract, that is friendship based on the Lord’s commandment.

Edmund Ryden, a sinologist from the Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan has analyzed the statements of the Kangxi Emperor in his correspondence to the missionaries and to the Papal delegate at the time of the Rite Controversy. It is the lack of friendship, the lack of mutual respect and excessive emphasises on rules and norms that had created an atmosphere of disharmony, disunity and mutual rejection.

“Today, Ricci invites all of us – astronomers and theologians, scientists and philosophers – to mutual respect and friendship as we explore together common grounds, share mutual concerns for tomorrow’s humankind worldwide, and learn to appreciate the metaphysical codes and markers of another’s traditions” (François-Xavier Dumortier S.J., The Rector Magnificus Pontifical Gregorian University)

“Fr. Ricci was a man of dialogue. He taught us that patience and openness are the only way of overcoming mistrust and misunderstanding” (Ambassador Larry Yu-yuan Wang, Embassy of the Republic of Chine (Taiwan) to the Holy See)

“Fr. Matteo Ricci was the precursor of such a choice and a symbol that is fundamental even today” (Archibishop Gianfranco Ravasi, President Pontifical Council for Culture)

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Ultimo Aggiornamento: domenica, 26 marzo 2017 03:32