Ferdinand Verbiest, S.J. (1623-1688)

Jesuit Missionary, Scientist, Engineer and Diplomat

The book presents the proceedings of the international conference in Leuven in 1988, held in commemoration of the three hundredth anniversary of the death of the Belgian Jesuit Ferdinand Verbiest. Scientist, engineer, and diplomat, he was above all a missionary who contributed significantly to the growth of Christianity in China and to Sino-Western cultural exchange.


"... this collection enlightens us on some of the complexities of an eminent seventeenth-century European missionary to China ..."

D. E. Mungello
in International Bulletin of Missionary Research


„Der Band ist nicht nur für Missiologen interessant, sondern auch lesenswert für Sinologen und Spezialisten der Qing-Zeit sowie des europäisch-chinesischen Kulturaustausches."

Claudia von Collani
in Neue Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft


"The essays are so diverse in subject, approach, and agenda that a polymath, a veritable Verbiest, would be required to do justice to all of them. ... some of the essays do suggest new ideas and approaches that could contribute to the under-developed fields of world and comparative history."

John B. Henderson
in Sino-Western Cultural Relations Journal 



Verbiest in Europe

VALERIE ARICKX: New Findings on the Life and Family of Ferdinand Verbiest

JAN ROEGIERS: The Academic Environment of the University of Louvain at the Time of Ferdinand Verbiest


Verbiest: Scientist

ROGER A. BLONDEAU: Did the Jesuits and Ferdinand Verbiest Import Outdated Science into China?

ULRICH LIBBRECHT: General Evaluation of the Scientific Work of Ferdinand Verbiest

NOEL GOLVERS: Ferdinand Verbiest on European Astronomy in China: From the Compendia to the Astronomia Europaea (1687). A Historical Philological Analysis

NICOLE HALSBERGHE: The Resemblances of the Construction of Ferdinand Verbiest's Astronomical Instruments, as Compared to Those of Tycho Brahe. A Study Based on Their Writings

ISAIA IANNACCONE: Syncretism between European and Chinese Culture in the Astonomical Instruments of Ferdinand Verbiest in the Old Beijing Observatory

CHEN MINSUN: Ferdinand Verbiest and the Geographical Works by Jesuits in Chinese 1584-1674

LIN TONGYANG: Ferdinand Verbiest's Contribution to Chinese Geography and Cartography

YI SHITONG: The Kangxi Celestial Globe: A Milestone in the History of Sino-Western Cultural Exchange

XI ZEZONG: Ferdinand Verbiest's Contributions to Chinese Science


Verbiest: Engineer

GIOVANNI STARY: The "Manchu Cannons" Cast by Ferdinand Verbiest and the Hitherto Unknown Title of His Instructions

SHU LIGUANG: Ferdinand Verbiest and the Casting of Cannons in the Qing Dynasty

J. DITLEV SCHEEL (1918-1992): Beijing Precursor


Verbiest: Diplomat

VLADIMIR S. MIASNIKOV: Ferdinand Verbiest and His Role in The Formation of Sino-Russian Diplomatic Relations

HAO ZHENHUA (1927-1992): Ferdinand Verbiest and Sino-Russian Relations

EDWARD KAJDANSKI: Ferdinand Verbiest's Relations with King John III of Poland

JEROOM HEYNDRICKX, C.I.C.M.: Ferdinand Verbiest in the Cihai Dictionary

KU WEIYING: Between the Court and the Church: Ferdinand Verbiest in the Catholic History of China

LIN JINSHUI: The Influence of Ferdinand Verbiest on the Policy of the Kangxi Emperor Towards Christianity

JOHN E. WILLS: Brief Intersection. Changing Contexts and Prospects of the Chinese-Christian Encounter from Matteo Ricci to Ferdinand Verbiest

NICOLAS STANDAERT, S.J.: The Investigation of Things and Fathoming of Principles (gewu qiongli) in the Seventeenth-Century Contact between Jesuits and Chinese Scholars

JOSEPH HSING-SAN SHIH, S.J.: The Religious Writings of Father Ferdinand Verbiest

JOHN W. WITEK, S.J.: Presenting Christian Doctrine to the Chinese: Reflections on the Jiaoyao xulun of Ferdinand Verbiest

CLAUDIA VON COLLANI: Jing tian - The Kangxi Emperor's Gift to Ferdinand Verbiest in the Rites Controversy

GIORGIO MELIS (1925-1990): Ferdinand Verbiest and Martino Martini

FRANCIS A. ROULEAU, S.J. (1900-1984), EDWARD J. MALATESTA, S.J.: The "Excommunication" of Ferdinand Verbiest

WILLY VANDE WALLE: Ferdinand Verbiest and the Chinese Bureaucracy


Verbiest: Impact in China and in Europe

JEAN-CLAUDE MARTZLOFF: A Glimpse of the Post-Verbiest Period: Jean-François Foucquet's Lifa Wenda (Dialogue on the Calendrical Techniques) and the Modernization of Chinese Astronomy or Urania's Feet Unbound

CATHERINE JAMI: The French Mission and Verbiest's Scientific Legacy

KNUD LUNDBAEK: Theophilus Siegfried Bayer (1694-1738) on Ferdinand Verbiest


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Index with Glossary



Monumenta Serica
Monograph Series XXX

ISBN 3-8050-0328-5
ISSN 0179-261X