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Faculty Essay


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"What is the meaning today of the missionary activities of the Society of Jesus in China? The attempt by members of the Society of Jesus to convert Chinese to Christianity from the late-16th to early-18th centuries was part of the Catholic Reformation’s missionary expansion around the world. Was the Jesuit mission also part and parcel of an expansionist Western imperialism, or did it rather reflect a humanistic universalism?2 Obviously, there are some aspects of both, but on balance, the conversion of Chinese in this era is stronger evidence of the universal appeal of the Christian message.

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