Friendship and Hospitality: The Jesuit-Confucian Encounter in Late Ming China

February 8, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Mānoa Campus, Webinar

Jesuit mission to China more than four hundred years ago has been the subject of sustained scholarly investigation for centuries. Focusing on the concepts of friendship and hospitality as they were both theorized and practiced by the Jesuit missionaries and their Confucian hosts, this book offers a new, comparative, and deconstructive reading of the interaction between these two vastly different cultures. Dongfeng Xu analyzes how the Jesuits presented their concept of friendship to achieve their evangelical goals and how the Confucians reacted in turn by either displaying or denying hospitality. Challenging the hierarchical view in traditional discourse on friendship and hospitality by revealing the irreducible otherness as the condition of possibility of the two concepts, Xu argues that one legacy of the Jesuit-Confucian encounter has been the shared recognition that cultural differences are what both motivated and conditioned cross-cultural exchanges and understandings.” (Google Books) Prof. Xu’s book was published by the State University of New York Press in 2021. Dongfeng Xu is Assistant Professor of Chinese at Colgate University where he teaches courses on literature, language, and CORE. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor at UHM in 2012-14. Wensheng Wang, Associate Professor of History, specializes in late Imperial China at UHM. Yiqun Zhou, Associate Professor, teaches Ming-Qing fiction in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Stanford University. This talk is co-sponsored with the UHM Department of History. To learn more about the events of the Center for Chinese Studies, please join our online community at, or follow us on Instagram at uhawaiiccs. To make a donation, go to

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Center for Chinese Studies, Mānoa Campus

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