Abstract： Qiong Li Xue compiled by F. Verbiest has an important position and significance in the history of “Western learning spreading to the East” in the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties. The subject knowledge system it introduced was basically what F. Verbiest had learned at European Jesuits colleges in his early years, mainly including Aristotle’s formal logic, Western mathematics centered on Euclidean geometry in the 16-17th Century and various natural science and technology knowledge. This subject knowledge system has some basic characteristics, such as attaching importance to systematization, highlighting the role of formal logic expounded by Aristotle, and emphasizing mathematics as the theoretical and applied basis of all science and technology.
Facing such an ancient civilization with long historical traditions and rich cultural accumulation like China, M. Ricci and other Jesuits coming to China in the late Ming Dynasty adopted and established the cross-cultural communication policy of “adaptive missionization”. However, the Ming Dynasty was declining at that time，and the above policy was later implemented as the strategy of “academic missionization”, which means introducing Western learning mainly through translation and other literal work, in order to win the favor of Chinese scholar-officials and achieve the purpose of missionization. In contrast, Jesuits such as J. A. S. Von Bell and F. Verbiest came to China at the early Qing Dynasty when the new regime was in the ascendant. They no longer took winning over and persuading Chinese scholar-officials as their main task. Instead, they focused on directly providing secular services centered on science and technology for the Qing government, which made the strategy of “academic missionization” develop into “science and technology missionization”. In order to meet the needs of the establishment and development of the regime in the early Qing Dynasty, F. Verbiest served in the Qing government for many years, and participated in activities such as manufacturing astronomical instruments, casting cannons and trial-producing steam engines, which helped him accumulate rich practical experience. To a large extent, Qiong Li Xue was compiled based on the above practical activities and experience, and its main content can be regarded as the theoretical elaboration of F. Verbiest’s practical experience in activities like calendar revising, instrument manufacturing, cannon casting and transportation during his service in the Qing government.
Corresponding to the cross-cultural communication policy of “adaptive missionization” adopted by the Jesuits coming to China in the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties, the Qing rulers headed by Emperor Kangxi adopted a “selective absorption” policy. In order to consolidate the new regime internally and resist external aggressive forces, Kangxi redressed J. A. S. Von Bell’s unjust case and put F. Verbiest in important positions with multiple commendations and rewards, indicating that he trusted F. Verbiest politically. Meanwhile, Kangxi strongly advocated absorbing Western scientific and technological knowledge, and he himself took the lead in studying Western science and technology such as mathematics and astronomy. However, F. Verbiest was rejected when he presented Qiong Li Xue to Kangxi and hoped that it would be published. The main reason was that Galen’s view on human brain memorizing knowledge compiled in Qiong Li Xue was inconsistent with traditional Chinese concepts. Obviously, Qiong Li Xue was denied not for political but cultural reasons. It shows that cultural factors such as historical tradition, concept of values, modes of thinking and national psychology are often taken as the yardstick of acceptance or rejection and play a decisive role in the process of cross-cultural communication.
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