Should We Proselytize?

The latest of the now-weekly bombshells to emerge from the Holy See is an interview that Pope Francis gave to the influential atheist founder of La Repubblica, the most widely read Italian daily (poorly translated English version here). He joked with Eugenio Scalfari that “my friends think you want to convert me,” to which Scalfari responded that this was a joke, since he’d heard the same about Pope Francis! The interview got off to an interesting start. […]

Ricci Back on the Sainthood Track

The sainthood cause for Matteo Ricci, SJ, is back on track after a decades-long hiatus during which theologians debated his often controversial reputation. Ricci went to China in 1582 as a missionary. He learned the Chinese language, adopted Chinese customs, and worked to express the Christian faith in concepts and symbols drawn from Chinese culture. He introduced Western science, medicine, and learning to China, and is recognized today as major figure in Chinese history. Many […]

Ricci Day

Today marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the Jesuit Matteo Ricci, who was the first Westerner in the court of Imperial China.  He is one of my heroes, not only because I am fascinated by the history of China, but also because his ministry represents in my mind a model for the future of interreligious dialogue, globalization, and even Catholic mission.  (See the China Daily story.) Ricci’s was a very Ignatian approach to […]

Weekend Links

A reading list of Jesuit classics. Jesuits are pro-life. Jim Martin, SJ goes into the recording studio. Thinking about Matteo Ricci. Suggestions for Ignatian prayer.

Ricci's Map

In 1602 the Jesuit Matteo Ricci created a map of the world and presented it to the Chinese emperor.   It was the first world map to combine the geographic knowledge of the west and east.  It is now on display the Library of Congress.  Go here for a Times review of the exhibition.  A scalable version of the map is online at the Tohoku University Library in Japan. Ricci was the first westerner admitted to […]

Celebration of Matteo Ricci, SJ

Next year is the 400th anniversary of the death of Matteo Ricci, SJ, one of the most remarkable of the early Jesuit missionaries.  He was the first to bring European learning and culture to the Chinese.  This is a video marking a special exhibition at the Vatican in honor of Ricci.