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Title: A study in cross-cultural transmission of natural philosophy: the Kenkon Bensetsu
Author: Santos, José Miguel Duarte Leite Pinto dos
Keywords: Natural Philosophy
Christianity in Japan
Heavens and Earth
Four Elements
Defense Date: Jun-2012
Publisher: Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Abstract: This work shows that the transmission of European natural philosophy by Christian missionaries in Japan during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was made in a systematic way, even if at an elementary level. The Kenkon Bensetsu is used as main evidence of this. This text was introduced into Japan by Antonio Rubino, on the orders of Inoue Masashige it was translated by Sawano Chuan, at the request of Kainosho Masanobu it was transliterated by Nishi Kichibei and Mukai Gensho, and this last one also wrote a commentary on its theories from a neo-Confucian perspective. The historical setting and the process that led to the production of the Kenkon Bensetsu are described. From this it is established that the Japanese of all walks of life were curious about the causes of natural phenomena; that the missionaries had the ability to provide those explanations, drawing from the pool of theories provided by sixteenth century Aristotelian natural philosophy, adjusted to the interests and talents of their audience; and that the Japanese authorities considered that these theories were important in some way and thus took the necessary steps to ensure that that they would not be consigned into oblivion as a consequence of their efforts to stamp out Christianity. The text is integrally translated following explicit criteria, therefore opening the way to further exploration by many researchers. Some of its most striking characteristics concerning content and style are analysed.
Description: Dissertação apresentada para cumprimento dos requisitos necessários à obtenção do grau de Doutor em História dos Descobrimentos e da Expansão Portuguesa
Appears in Collections:FCSH: DH - Teses de Doutoramento

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