Traduttore, traditore: The Jesuit Construction of Science via Translation in Ming-Qing China, 1600-1800
When Europeans reached China during the age of exploration, they encountered different scientific explanations for natural phenomena. European scientia, represented by the specialized branches of Aristotelian moral and natural philosophy, encountered in China thenaturalistic concepts of yin-yang, qi, and the classical ideal of the six arts.
This lecture will examine early modern scientific texts translated jointly by Christian missionaries and Chinese literati. These translations were not simply byproducts of the missionary enterprise, but texts encoded with Christian messages and religiously-induced silences written in classical Chinese. The focus is not on translation as a futile exercise in philosophical incommensurability, but on the use of Christian beliefs in scientific textbooks translated into Chinese.
March 6 (Thursday), 2014. 5:00 – 6:30 PM, Berman Room, Fromm Hall, University of San Francisco
Speaker: Dr. Benjamin Elman, Professor, Department of East Asian Studies, Princeton University
Discussion facilitator: Dr. Mark Miller, Assistant Professor, St. Ignatius Institute, University of San Francisco
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