Ricci, Matteo - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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RICCI, MATTEO (1552–1610), Jesuit missionary. Born at Macerata, in the Papal States, Ricci studied law at Rome and entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1571. He volunteered for the missions and was sent to Portugal (1577) and then to Goa (1578). He finished his theological studies in Goa and in 1580 was ordained at Cochin, on the Malabar coast. In 1582 he went to Macao to study Chinese language and culture. The next year, with unprecedented permission from Chinese authorities, Ricci and Michele Ruggier (1543–1607) traveled to Zhaoqing, China. Beardless, with shaven heads, they assumed garb similar to that worn by Buddhist monks. They sought to spread Christian doctrine unobtrusively, attracting educated visitors with their world map, Western clocks, and prisms. Ricci's use of the term tianzhu (lord of Heaven) to refer to God dates from that period. In 1588 Ricci, known in Chinese as Li Madou, took charge of the mission. Ordered by local...

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This section contains 944 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Ricci, Matteo Encyclopedia Article
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Ricci, Matteo from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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