The Mission in 17th-Century China

Issue 1704

15 May 2017

The Apostolate of the Press and the Development of a Local   Theology

The mission in China in the 17th century continues to attract the interest of numerous scholars. Of particular interest are Jesuit missionaries and their method of inculturation in China and the diffusion of science and European technology. However, the development of an “apostolate through books” and consequently the development of a local theology in China, is one of the less-known aspects, and nothing similar can be found in other missions of the same period. This development undoubtedly originated in the European training of missionaries, but more significantly, depended on the cultural, social and political context of China. For Chinese Christians, it facilitated the birth of a local theology that can be considered the foundation of theological reflection in the Chinese Church.