Next Article in Journal
Beyond the Scope of Philosophy and Kabbalah
Next Article in Special Issue
Traversing a Tightrope between Ecumenism and Exclusivism: The Intertwined History of South Africa’s Dutch Reformed Church and the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian in Nyasaland (Malawi)
Previous Article in Journal
Qurrat al-ʿAyn, the Maiden of the Kaʿba: On the Themenophany Inspiring Ibn ʿArabī’s Tarjumān
Previous Article in Special Issue
Migration, Interfaith Engagement, and Mission among Somali Refugees in Kenya: Assessing the Cape Town Commitment from a Global South Perspective One Decade On
Article
Peer-Review Record

Assessing Jesuit Intellectual Apostolate in Modern Shanghai (1847–1949)

Religions 2021, 12(3), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030159
by 1,2
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Religions 2021, 12(3), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030159
Received: 28 January 2021 / Revised: 23 February 2021 / Accepted: 24 February 2021 / Published: 28 February 2021

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

This is a good and well structured paper.

it gathers the result of previous studies more than it offers new finding, but its strength lies in inserting the facts being collected into a compelling argument and narrative.

The development of the argument is clear and convincing.

Some minor English improvements are required : mistaken use of the verb "conclude' in note 5 ; in line 242, one probably must read: "the group was tasked with the construction..." Most of these problems can be taken care of by the editors I suppose.

The conclusion could use some additional sources, as it goes beyond the period considered in the paper (which is not a problem per se).

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 1 Comments

Point 1: Some minor English improvements are required : mistaken use of the verb "conclude' in note 5 ; in line 242, one probably must read: "the group was tasked with the construction..."

Response 1: Thanks for reminding me of polishing the English. I have made some revisions, which you will notice in the text.

Point 2: The conclusion could use some additional sources, as it goes beyond the period considered in the paper (which is not a problem per se).

Response 2: I have reformulated the conclusion, encouraged to do so by you and another reader.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

This well-researched article is makes an important contribution to the study of the Jesuit mission in China. But it can further highlight its historiographical contribution by explaining the following three themes of the article with more clarity:

1) Historical context of the term "Jesuit intellectual apostolate." To what extent is this an actor's category used by Jesuits themself in the 19th century? How does Arrupe's 1976 letter explain this?  

2) Link between Zi-ka-wei and the modernization and globalization of Shanghai.

3) Link between Jesuit science and faith. To what extent does faith play a role in this article's analysis of Zi-ka-wei? Did science win Jesuits more converts? To what extent was Catholic faith integral to Shanghai's modernization and globalization in the 19th century? Or did Jesuit science emerge as a critical component of socio-economic change in 19th-century Shanghai, separately from its more spiritual aspects?  

The following are some editorial/stylistic suggestions:

p. 1 The entry into this country of well-educated, deeply zealous Jesuit missionaries along with their observations on the social and political changes taking place decisively contributed to the modernization of Shanghai and to the emergence of multi- perspective narratives about the destiny of the city. [The link between the Jesuit mission and the modernization of Shanghai is not yet fully explained in the main body of this article.] 

p. 2, an unique role -> a unique role

p. 4, its benefits extended to the newly established Qing dynasty in various fields like agriculture, military and other important sides of social well-being [More context for the word "benefits"?] 

p. 4 Renaissance library of around seven thousand volumes (西書七千卷) that combined together to fertilize the transmission of Renaissance culture into China during the early modern period. [Grammatically unclear]

p. 4, encountered -> encounters? 

p. 5 Kangxi enthusiastically supported the accurate geographical representation of China [More context for Kangxi’s notion of China]

p. 5 the Jesuits classics [Meaning unclear]

p. 5, was still seen by Jesuits -> was still being seen by Jesuits

p. 6 the Jesuits determined to found a mission capital that would not be associated 145 with previous conflicts. [Grammatically unclear]

p. 6 Chinese Christians -> Chinese Catholics?

p. 6 Thus, . . . [The relationship between French Jesuits’ move to central Shanghai and the building of the Zi-ka-wei compound is not yet fully explained.]

p. 6 accepting a to [Grammatically unclear]

p. 7 “from the bottom up;” [If this is a quote, a citation is needed]

p. 7 Several factors were decisive in the selection of Zi-ka-wei as the centre of the Jesuit presence in 173 China, and perhaps even East Asia. [To what extent did the French of Jesuits at Zi-ka-wei maintain ties to the French government or to communities back in France? If they were different from their predecessors such as Pardies, were there any factors back in France or Europe (apart from the situation in China) that we should consider in examining their intentions and decisions?]

p. 7 How was the land at Zi-ka-wei being used before the 1840s?

p. 8 look forward [look for?]

p. 8 Consular jurisdiction applied to the concessions were such buildings could be established. [Grammatically unclear]

p. 8 China was always the primary focus of the Western 206 missionary movement and a major object of the hopes of Christians around the world. [Reasons?]

p. 9 Besides, as is well known, Xu Guangqi was versed in mathematics and astronomy, and had translated part of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry together with Ricci. This history provided an educational reference for the restored Jesuits from France in missionary regions where science proved helpful for Christianization, confirming that Jesuit engagement with science should continue undiminished. [How did the Jesuits at Zi-ka-wei associate Xu Guangqi with science? ]

p. 9 the one [in] the southeast of Chili

p. 9 scientific progress [Meaning unclear]

p. 10 which kept publishing from 1880 to 1927 [Grammatically awkward]

p. 10 Ma’s brothers -> Ma brothers

p. 11 native Jesuits [Meaning unclear]

p. 12 serial -> series?

p. 12 Jesuit historians [How were they different from other Jesuit missionaries?]

p. 13 Actually, the facts rather show that Jesuits were ahead of their Protestants counterparts in employing multiple scientific institutions encouraged by the opening up of China and the need for reforms and western science, with Zi-ka-wei under the supervision and leadership of French Jesuits the most vivid illustration. [More context for what it meant to be “ahead”? How were they measuring “success”?]

p. 13 Having introduced their devotional repertoire to China, it had come into being by virtue of the “French diplomacy and French arms” by which France had stepped in and established its position as the new protector which was extremely jealous of its worldly over-lordship as well as a key to prominence among the powers in China. [Grammatically unclear]

p. 13 One interesting fact was that one of the first three Jesuits to be sent to China was specifically chosen and designated for astronomical work were such an opening present itself. [Grammatically unclear]

p. 14, n53, Missionaries as Italian, Belgian, German, Austrian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and Irish, as well as Fren [Sentence incomplete]

p. 15 agents of globalization [More context for what globalization meant in the late 19th century? And as the article hints at the link between Shanghai of the late 19th century and Shanghai of today, how does this notion of globalization reveal the historical legacy of of the Zi-ka-wei compound in today’s Shanghai?

p. 16 “corporate culture,” [no comma after culture]

p. 16 Therefore, to study Jesuit “corporate culture,” constitutes a valuable contribution to the study of the factors having triggered and defined globalization, including in the trying times of the second half of the nineteenth century and in the first decades of the twentieth, which were marked by acrimonious debates on the status of science and reason. [Grammatically unclear]

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 2 Comments

Point 1: Historical context of the term "Jesuit intellectual apostolate." To what extent is this an actor's category used by Jesuits themself in the 19th century? How does Arrupe's 1976 letter explain this?  

Response 1: As noted in the text, one of the traditional expressions characterizing this apostolate was “Apostolate through books”. The letter of Arrupe was linking together several aspects (research and vulgarization) that were not immediately seen as a whole by former generations of Jesuits. Besides, as stressed by Fr Nicolas, Superior General of the /Society, in a letter I included in the revised version: “The long tradition of the involvement of the Society of Jesus in the intellectual apostolate forms part of our religious identity. We know that the first companions came to know one other in Paris while they were studying to become Masters of Arts.”

Point 2: Link between Zi-ka-wei and the modernization and globalization of Shanghai.

Response 2: It seems to me that the whole text shows that the “Scientific Plan for Jiangnan” (a region of which Shanghai is the center) helped to modernize Shanghai and to open it up to global trends. Besides, Jesuit presence in Zikawei led to the development of first-rate schools in the area and in the whole of Shanghai, a point that is evoked but not developed in the article,

Point 3: Link between Jesuit science and faith. To what extent does faith play a role in this article's analysis of Zi-ka-wei? Did science win Jesuits more converts? To what extent was the Catholic faith integral to Shanghai's modernization and globalization in the 19th century? Or did Jesuit science emerge as a critical component of socio-economic change in 19th-century Shanghai, separately from its more spiritual aspects?  

Response3: Some parts of the question go beyond the scope of this article (the link between science and conversion is a topic of research by itself and is not linked to ‘local’ issues). However, the following can be stressed:

The importance of Shanghai as a center for spreading Catholicism in China gathered resources that helped in the globalization of the city. The same has been argued for Protestantism. Shanghai was a center in the global missionary nexus and this was a factor in its modernization and globalization. Jesuit science”, as part of the missionary endeavour, was necessarily influencing its surroundings.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 3 Report

I read this paper with great interest. Though Christian missionary in China is not an uncommon topic, this case study focuses on Jesuit and its "localization" strategies in the Chinese context, based on various historical materials. Especially the idea of "constructive and fruitful interaction between religion and science" offer some new insights to the discussions of missionary activities in China and elsewhere in the world.

I am also interested in the idea that Jesuit mission in China was impacted both a strong French nationalism and how it has affected the mission of this "global corporate".

What I would like to know more is the tension between French nationalism and the growing Chinese nationalism at that time and how it may affect the strategies of Jesuit in proselytizing the public.

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 3 Comments

Point 1What I would like to know more is the tension between French nationalism and the growing Chinese nationalism at that time and how it may affect the strategies of Jesuit in proselytizing the public.

Response 1: French nationalism and its impact on the Jesuit missionary style actually started earlier than manifestations of Chinese nationalism. The debate between Missionaries and Chinese nationalism developed mainly after 1919, much later than the formative period here covered. However, the renewed interest of missionaries for Chinese languages and traditions from the 1870s onwards can be seen as triggered by a Chinese “cultural nationalism” that develops at this time around the discovery of oracular inscriptions in Anyang (origins of the Chinese writing system) and debates around Confucianism, other currents of Chinese thought, and their impact on modern China.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Back to TopTop