ACCOMMODATION – THE PREDECESSOR OF AGGIORNAMENTO? (THE EXAMPLE OF CATHOLIC MISSIONS IN CHINA IN 16TH AND 17TH CENTURY)
A chapter from the famous Rites Controversy of the 17th and 18th centuries, by which the whole missionary body in China was divided. The author argues that the Riccian approach, i. e. the practice of accomodation to domestic religios traditions and practices – as regards the use of the term Tianzhu for designating the true God; ancestor worship; and honours paid to Confucius – represented a sort of the contemporary aggiornamento movement accepted and followed by Jesuits.
The origins of the Jesuit accommodation practice in Malabar, India (Roberto de Nobili, 1577–1656); its introduction to China (Matteo Ricci, 1552–1610); its final condemnation by the Papal Constitutions of Clemens XI in 1715 (Ex illa die) and Benedict XIV in 1742 (Ex quo singulari) leading to temporary destruction of the whole Catholic missionary work in China.
The case of the so-called “Red Manifesto” (Hong piao) letter of Emperor Kangxi of 31st October 1716 and its destiny in Europe.