Book Reviews / Journal of Early Modern History 14 (2010) 379-392 385 Hsia, Florence C, Sojourners in a Strange Land: Jesuits & Their Scientiﬁc Missions in Late Imperial China (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2009), xv + 273 pp., illustrations, £31.00/$45.00, ISBN 978 0 226 35559 7. The ﬁgure of the missionary scientist has long fascinated scholars of the early modern period. Men such as the seventeenth-century Jesuits appear as liminal ﬁgures, with one foot in the medieval world of militant Chris- tianity and the other in the modern world of scientiﬁc progress. The image of the Jesuits of the China mission is doubly intriguing: not only do they stand at the crossroads of two epochs, they straddle the divide between East and West. As such, commentators have judged them for their ability to create bonds between China and the West, regardless of whether the transmission of science (and thereby modernity) was one of the Jesuits’ goals. Invoking the image of the missionary-scientist as it was represented in the European publications of the Society of Jesus from the mid-seventeenth until the mid-eighteenth century—yet without analyz- ing the speciﬁc projects or constraints of “missionary science” during that
Journal of Early Modern History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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