Online exhibition: The Jesuits between East and West
Cultural anxieties and suspicions are likely to prevent the development of more realistic images of each other. Therefore, it is instructive to look more closely at a relevant episode from the past: the adventures of the Jesuits in China in the 17th and 18th century.
These missionaries managed to establish a real dialogue on religion, philosophy and science with the oft well-educated upper echelons of Chinese society.
This online exhibition centres on the often lavishly illustrated books about China from Maastricht University’s Jesuit Collection. Driven by missionary zeal, many Jesuits embarked on a risky journey to the East – and quite a few of them did not survive the hazardous ocean journey.
The new exhibition is devoted to the role of the Jesuits as mediators between East and West, a theme which fits well with Maastricht University’s interdisciplinary Global Studies programme, which includes a focus on Tolerance & Beliefs. From the start, the Jesuits were known for the importance they attached not only to spirituality, but also to education. Many of them were – and are – themselves critical intellectuals with a scholarly mindset, an open attitude towards cultural contact and a global, international outlook.
This is the first online exhibition of Maastricht University. To view the online exhibition in Dutch, see here.
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