The Great Encounter of China and the West

The Great Encounter of China and the West


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The last section of our course deals with the beginnings of European contact with China.  Each civilization viewed the other with varying degrees of fascination and revulsion.  It arguably led to profound misunderstandings that are still present even today.


The book is divided into four sections.  Each deals with a different aspect of the Sino-European relationship.  Please read the book with certain thoughts in mind.  What aspects of European culture and religion did the Chinese adopt?  How did the Jesuits deal with the Chinese to get them to accept Christianity?  What were the long term effects and why did China ultimately reject the new faith?  What aspects of Chinese culture fascinated and were adopted by Europeans?  What kinds of intellectual controversies were set up?  How was China viewed by the Enlightenment philosophers?  Finally, why did the Western view of China turn from positive to negative by the end of the 18th century?


You should address the questions raised above and any other issues you believe to be important. We will be discussing some of these topics in class over the next two weeks.  Be sure to use footnotes or endnotes (Chicago-style) to document all references, direct or indirect; I will go over the proper format with you in class and there is a link on D2L. The paper should be 5-7 pages in length and is due on Tuesday, November 24 in the D2L drop box. Late papers will be penalized one letter grade (10%) going up to 20% after Friday, November 27.  No papers will be accepted after Monday, November 30.

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