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A Historical-Theological Study of the Jesuit Mission to China, 1552–1773
This book integrates history, theology, and art and analyzes the Jesuits’ cross-cultural mission in late imperial China. Readers will find a rich collection of resources from historical sites, museums, manuscripts, and archival materials, including previous unpublished works of art. The production and circulation of art from different historical periods and categories show the artistic, theological, and missional values of Christian art. It highlights European Jesuits, Asian Christians, transnationalism, and gives voice to Chinese Christian women and their patronage of art in the seventeenth century. It offers a rare systematic study of the relation between art and mission history.

Abstract

To carry out their mission of evangelization, early Jesuit missionaries followed practices that included creating, facilitating, and using Bible-themed painting, sculpture, and church architecture. The purpose of this study is to highlight and investigate the significant role of art in Jesuit mission efforts in the late Ming and the early Qing Dynasties (1552–1773), as well as Christian-themed art in the history of China prior to the Jesuit contact. It examines the initial European Jesuit motivation for using art in mission, and explores how the Jesuits developed their art and architecture within their historical context. An exploration of how some Han and other ethnic peoples in China responded to the gospel as presented through religious art reveals new Christians replacing Buddhist or Taoist images and objects with Christian art, and some even becoming painters of Christian-themed art themselves. Chinese Christian patrons, both men and women, sponsored such art and church architecture as acts of piety. A unique aspect of the Jesuit mission was churches built exclusively for women, a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the same historical period. Balanced attention is given to both European and Asian Christians, Christian men and women, Han and ethnic minorities, and intellectuals and ordinary Christians. Primary sources from archeological materials and written texts suggest that in their mission of evangelization, the Jesuits valued Christian-themed art. Art also served to sustain Christian faith and devotion in the post-conversion period. In sum, this study is primarily an exploration of the historical and theological themes and meanings emerging out of Jesuit art and architecture, and the significant role such art played in local people’s ways of knowing God and living out a Christian life.

In: Art as a Pathway to God

Abstract

To carry out their mission of evangelization, early Jesuit missionaries followed practices that included creating, facilitating, and using Bible-themed painting, sculpture, and church architecture. The purpose of this study is to highlight and investigate the significant role of art in Jesuit mission efforts in the late Ming and the early Qing Dynasties (1552–1773), as well as Christian-themed art in the history of China prior to the Jesuit contact. It examines the initial European Jesuit motivation for using art in mission, and explores how the Jesuits developed their art and architecture within their historical context. An exploration of how some Han and other ethnic peoples in China responded to the gospel as presented through religious art reveals new Christians replacing Buddhist or Taoist images and objects with Christian art, and some even becoming painters of Christian-themed art themselves. Chinese Christian patrons, both men and women, sponsored such art and church architecture as acts of piety. A unique aspect of the Jesuit mission was churches built exclusively for women, a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the same historical period. Balanced attention is given to both European and Asian Christians, Christian men and women, Han and ethnic minorities, and intellectuals and ordinary Christians. Primary sources from archeological materials and written texts suggest that in their mission of evangelization, the Jesuits valued Christian-themed art. Art also served to sustain Christian faith and devotion in the post-conversion period. In sum, this study is primarily an exploration of the historical and theological themes and meanings emerging out of Jesuit art and architecture, and the significant role such art played in local people’s ways of knowing God and living out a Christian life.

In: Art as a Pathway to God

Abstract

To carry out their mission of evangelization, early Jesuit missionaries followed practices that included creating, facilitating, and using Bible-themed painting, sculpture, and church architecture. The purpose of this study is to highlight and investigate the significant role of art in Jesuit mission efforts in the late Ming and the early Qing Dynasties (1552–1773), as well as Christian-themed art in the history of China prior to the Jesuit contact. It examines the initial European Jesuit motivation for using art in mission, and explores how the Jesuits developed their art and architecture within their historical context. An exploration of how some Han and other ethnic peoples in China responded to the gospel as presented through religious art reveals new Christians replacing Buddhist or Taoist images and objects with Christian art, and some even becoming painters of Christian-themed art themselves. Chinese Christian patrons, both men and women, sponsored such art and church architecture as acts of piety. A unique aspect of the Jesuit mission was churches built exclusively for women, a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the same historical period. Balanced attention is given to both European and Asian Christians, Christian men and women, Han and ethnic minorities, and intellectuals and ordinary Christians. Primary sources from archeological materials and written texts suggest that in their mission of evangelization, the Jesuits valued Christian-themed art. Art also served to sustain Christian faith and devotion in the post-conversion period. In sum, this study is primarily an exploration of the historical and theological themes and meanings emerging out of Jesuit art and architecture, and the significant role such art played in local people’s ways of knowing God and living out a Christian life.

In: Art as a Pathway to God

Abstract

To carry out their mission of evangelization, early Jesuit missionaries followed practices that included creating, facilitating, and using Bible-themed painting, sculpture, and church architecture. The purpose of this study is to highlight and investigate the significant role of art in Jesuit mission efforts in the late Ming and the early Qing Dynasties (1552–1773), as well as Christian-themed art in the history of China prior to the Jesuit contact. It examines the initial European Jesuit motivation for using art in mission, and explores how the Jesuits developed their art and architecture within their historical context. An exploration of how some Han and other ethnic peoples in China responded to the gospel as presented through religious art reveals new Christians replacing Buddhist or Taoist images and objects with Christian art, and some even becoming painters of Christian-themed art themselves. Chinese Christian patrons, both men and women, sponsored such art and church architecture as acts of piety. A unique aspect of the Jesuit mission was churches built exclusively for women, a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the same historical period. Balanced attention is given to both European and Asian Christians, Christian men and women, Han and ethnic minorities, and intellectuals and ordinary Christians. Primary sources from archeological materials and written texts suggest that in their mission of evangelization, the Jesuits valued Christian-themed art. Art also served to sustain Christian faith and devotion in the post-conversion period. In sum, this study is primarily an exploration of the historical and theological themes and meanings emerging out of Jesuit art and architecture, and the significant role such art played in local people’s ways of knowing God and living out a Christian life.

In: Art as a Pathway to God

Abstract

To carry out their mission of evangelization, early Jesuit missionaries followed practices that included creating, facilitating, and using Bible-themed painting, sculpture, and church architecture. The purpose of this study is to highlight and investigate the significant role of art in Jesuit mission efforts in the late Ming and the early Qing Dynasties (1552–1773), as well as Christian-themed art in the history of China prior to the Jesuit contact. It examines the initial European Jesuit motivation for using art in mission, and explores how the Jesuits developed their art and architecture within their historical context. An exploration of how some Han and other ethnic peoples in China responded to the gospel as presented through religious art reveals new Christians replacing Buddhist or Taoist images and objects with Christian art, and some even becoming painters of Christian-themed art themselves. Chinese Christian patrons, both men and women, sponsored such art and church architecture as acts of piety. A unique aspect of the Jesuit mission was churches built exclusively for women, a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the same historical period. Balanced attention is given to both European and Asian Christians, Christian men and women, Han and ethnic minorities, and intellectuals and ordinary Christians. Primary sources from archeological materials and written texts suggest that in their mission of evangelization, the Jesuits valued Christian-themed art. Art also served to sustain Christian faith and devotion in the post-conversion period. In sum, this study is primarily an exploration of the historical and theological themes and meanings emerging out of Jesuit art and architecture, and the significant role such art played in local people’s ways of knowing God and living out a Christian life.

In: Art as a Pathway to God

Abstract

To carry out their mission of evangelization, early Jesuit missionaries followed practices that included creating, facilitating, and using Bible-themed painting, sculpture, and church architecture. The purpose of this study is to highlight and investigate the significant role of art in Jesuit mission efforts in the late Ming and the early Qing Dynasties (1552–1773), as well as Christian-themed art in the history of China prior to the Jesuit contact. It examines the initial European Jesuit motivation for using art in mission, and explores how the Jesuits developed their art and architecture within their historical context. An exploration of how some Han and other ethnic peoples in China responded to the gospel as presented through religious art reveals new Christians replacing Buddhist or Taoist images and objects with Christian art, and some even becoming painters of Christian-themed art themselves. Chinese Christian patrons, both men and women, sponsored such art and church architecture as acts of piety. A unique aspect of the Jesuit mission was churches built exclusively for women, a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the same historical period. Balanced attention is given to both European and Asian Christians, Christian men and women, Han and ethnic minorities, and intellectuals and ordinary Christians. Primary sources from archeological materials and written texts suggest that in their mission of evangelization, the Jesuits valued Christian-themed art. Art also served to sustain Christian faith and devotion in the post-conversion period. In sum, this study is primarily an exploration of the historical and theological themes and meanings emerging out of Jesuit art and architecture, and the significant role such art played in local people’s ways of knowing God and living out a Christian life.

In: Art as a Pathway to God

Abstract

To carry out their mission of evangelization, early Jesuit missionaries followed practices that included creating, facilitating, and using Bible-themed painting, sculpture, and church architecture. The purpose of this study is to highlight and investigate the significant role of art in Jesuit mission efforts in the late Ming and the early Qing Dynasties (1552–1773), as well as Christian-themed art in the history of China prior to the Jesuit contact. It examines the initial European Jesuit motivation for using art in mission, and explores how the Jesuits developed their art and architecture within their historical context. An exploration of how some Han and other ethnic peoples in China responded to the gospel as presented through religious art reveals new Christians replacing Buddhist or Taoist images and objects with Christian art, and some even becoming painters of Christian-themed art themselves. Chinese Christian patrons, both men and women, sponsored such art and church architecture as acts of piety. A unique aspect of the Jesuit mission was churches built exclusively for women, a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the same historical period. Balanced attention is given to both European and Asian Christians, Christian men and women, Han and ethnic minorities, and intellectuals and ordinary Christians. Primary sources from archeological materials and written texts suggest that in their mission of evangelization, the Jesuits valued Christian-themed art. Art also served to sustain Christian faith and devotion in the post-conversion period. In sum, this study is primarily an exploration of the historical and theological themes and meanings emerging out of Jesuit art and architecture, and the significant role such art played in local people’s ways of knowing God and living out a Christian life.

In: Art as a Pathway to God

Abstract

To carry out their mission of evangelization, early Jesuit missionaries followed practices that included creating, facilitating, and using Bible-themed painting, sculpture, and church architecture. The purpose of this study is to highlight and investigate the significant role of art in Jesuit mission efforts in the late Ming and the early Qing Dynasties (1552–1773), as well as Christian-themed art in the history of China prior to the Jesuit contact. It examines the initial European Jesuit motivation for using art in mission, and explores how the Jesuits developed their art and architecture within their historical context. An exploration of how some Han and other ethnic peoples in China responded to the gospel as presented through religious art reveals new Christians replacing Buddhist or Taoist images and objects with Christian art, and some even becoming painters of Christian-themed art themselves. Chinese Christian patrons, both men and women, sponsored such art and church architecture as acts of piety. A unique aspect of the Jesuit mission was churches built exclusively for women, a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the same historical period. Balanced attention is given to both European and Asian Christians, Christian men and women, Han and ethnic minorities, and intellectuals and ordinary Christians. Primary sources from archeological materials and written texts suggest that in their mission of evangelization, the Jesuits valued Christian-themed art. Art also served to sustain Christian faith and devotion in the post-conversion period. In sum, this study is primarily an exploration of the historical and theological themes and meanings emerging out of Jesuit art and architecture, and the significant role such art played in local people’s ways of knowing God and living out a Christian life.

In: Art as a Pathway to God
This book solves the long-standing mystery of a Christian monastery near Samarkand, seen and described by two Arab travellers in the tenth century. Despite several attempts made since the 1890s, its precise location had never been established. The first part covers the quest, the find, and the archaeological excavations’ results. Then the author proceeds to search for a mediaeval Christian enclave near modern Tashkent, which appears to have been washed away by a river that changed its course over centuries.
Apart from the Christians, the book also touches upon the Manichaeans, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and other Sogdians, their languages, faiths, and material remnants.