Fellow-Presentation, Pierre-Emmanuell Roux: The Proscription of Catholicism in Late Imperial China: Local Realities and Regional Perspectives (1724-1860)
The proscription of Catholicism in Qing China has long been considered as the result of the well-known rites controversy – a symbol of the supposed incompatibility between Confucian and Christian values – and held responsible for the failure of Catholic missions on the Chinese soil. A detailed analysis of Chinese and Western sources however demonstrates that the proscription policy launched in 1724 was doomed to failure, due to partial and ineffective measures. Within a few decades European missionaries were reduced to secondary targets while Chinese converts and, soon, sectarians supposedly converted to Christianity were establishing themselves as the principal targets of the government in the early nineteenth century. This presentation is thus intended to rethink the idea that Catholicism may have been considered by the Chinese authorities just as an imported religion spread by Western missionaries. In doing so, I will also insist on the Japanese and Korean influences on the Chinese anti-Christian measures.