Xu Guangqi and intercultural dialogue

Feng Chuan Pan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Xu Guangqi (1562-1633), one of the three pillars of Chinese Catholic Church, is usually regarded as a converted Confucian scientist who was deeply involved in transmitting European science to late Ming China to save the empire from decline. After having revisited his writings within the context of his life-experience, this article highlights the indispensable relation between the spiritual and the material dimensions of the reality indicated in Xu's thought. In his view, it is equally important to improve both human material and spiritual life. The two are of the same value that the vulgar utensils do goods to human body and the subtle morality liberates human soul. The significance of his assertion: "Complementing Confucianism and Replacing Buddhism" (Bu Ru Yi Fo) in Chinese intellectual history is not only the importing of European scientific knowledge but to establish a metaphysical foundation for human life on earth by means of the Sino-European intercultural dialogue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-233
Number of pages25
JournalLogos and Pneuma - Chinese Journal of Theology
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sept 1


  • Complementing Confucianism and Replacing Buddhism (Bu Ru Yi Fo)
  • Intercultural Dialogue
  • Jesuit in China
  • Spirit-Material in Correlation/Tao-Qi in Mutual Enrichment
  • Xu Guangqi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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