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Jesuit Chreia in Late Ming China

Two Studies with an Annotated Translation of Alfonso Vagnone’s "Illustrations of the Grand Dao</I>


Sher-Shiueh Li and Thierry Meynard

Used by Classical and Medieval Western schools to teach rhetoric, a chreia is a brief moral story attributed to a famous historical figure. In Late Ming China, the Italian Jesuit Alfonso Vagnone, also named Gao Yizhi, and the Chinese scholar-official Han Yun collaborated on a project to write down 355 chreiai and sayings. These short commentaries are not mere translations of the Grecoroman text but the elaborate literary creations of two luminaries working at the junction between Chinese and Western wisdom literature. Along with the original Chinese and its English translation (the original source is included when available) the authors share their expert analysis of each chreia.
This study will interest scholars across disciplines: Chinese literature, Comparative literature, Sinology, Chinese thought, Christian studies, Western classics and Moral Philosophy.
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About the Authors


Sher-shiueh Li received his Ph. D. in comparative literature from University of Chicago and is now a Research Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, as well as at the Research Center of Translation, Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also a member of the faculty of Translation and Interpretation, Taiwan Normal University; Cross-Cultural Studies, Catholic Fu Jen University. In addition to numerous papers and books on Chinese and Western literatures, Li has published books in both English and Chinese.

Thierry Meynard is a professor at the Sun Yat-sen University, China, where he teaches Western Philosophy and Latin Classics. He is the vice-director of Sun Yat-sen University’s Archive for the Introduction of Western Knowledge, as well as the director of the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. He studied philosophy and theology at Centre Sèvres, Paris, and at the Catholic Fu Jen University, Taiwan. He obtained his PhD in Philosophy from Peking University.

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