Knowledge Production in 17th-Century Chinese Christianity: Global and Local Dimensions of Power and Faith
The intellectual framework of seventeenth-century Chinese Christianity, or the “Learning of Heaven,” was not shaped solely by intellectual efforts and spiritual quests. It was also impacted by hegemonic claims and efforts at institutional control by both the Chinese and Christian sides. Many tensions remained unresolved between two large power systems, including their subordinate institutions: the globalizing Catholic Church and the Chinese state and society. For instance, contested knowledge about the outside world an important (and understudied) role in Late Ming Christian community. The paper argues that particularly a combination of micro- and macro-historical perspectives can help us understand how large power systems impacted religious life and knowledge on the ground.
Dominic Sachsenmaier holds a chair professorship in “Modern China with a Special Emphasis on Global Historical Perspectives” at Göttingen University/Germany. Before coming to Göttingen in 2015, he held faculty positions at Jacobs University, Duke University as well as the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dominic Sachsenmaier is the president of the US-based Toynbee Prize Foundation, and he is an elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is also one of the three editors of the book series „Columbia Studies in International and Global History“ (Columbia UP). Sachsenmaier’s most recent monograph is “Global Entanglements of a Man Who Never Traveled. A Seventeenth-Century Chinese Christian and his Conflicted Worlds” (Columbia UP, 2018).