A New Study on Feng Yingjing’s and Cao Yubian’s Communication with Westerners and Western Learning
Keywords:Feng Yingjing, Cao Yubian, Jesuits, Matteo Ricci, practical learning
Feng Yingjing (1555-1606) and Cao Yubian (1558-1634) are two figures who have been studied a lot in the research on the interactions between Chinese scholar-officials and missionaries in the late Ming Dynasty. However, in the past, the academic circles discussed the relationship between the two and the missionaries separately. In fact, Feng and Cao were good friends as well as metropolitan graduates of the same year. The ideological exchange between the two, especially the discussion on practical learning and the three religions of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, provided a rational basis for them to take a praising stand after contacting Western learning. Therefore, this paper investigates the ideological exchange between the two in religious philosophy, and brings the mutual influence of the two into their communication with the missionaries, so as to find out the reasons for their friendly attitude towards Westerners and Western learning.