Title

MATTEO RICCI, S.J. IN CHINA, 1583-1610: A CASE STUDY OF A PRECURSOR IN EDUCATIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY (JESUITS, CROSS-CULTURAL METHODOLOGY)

Date of Completion

January 1985

Keywords

Education, History of

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Educational Anthropology or EA is considered a 'new' field by educators and anthropologists alike. The literature indicates the earliest linkage of education with anthropology in the United States was around the turn of the century, while the term itself, educational anthropology, was coined in 1954 by Rosenstiel. In an attempt to establish some historical roots for this young discipline, the author investigated, as a possible precursor of EA, Matteo Ricci, a sixteenth-century Italian Jesuit who spent twenty-seven years in China. Ricci was selected as the subject of this study since he was representative of the era in which the parent discipline of EA, namely anthropology, generally took shape.^ Ricci gained entry into China when there was a policy of isolationism. His prolonged residence and acceptance by the Chinese were due, in large part, to his knowledge of Western science and his familiarity with the language and customs of the country. His interest in education and his association with the scholarly-gentry gained his acceptance as a mandarin and permitted him to view the culture in terms of its educational system. Given the fact that Ricci came to understand the Chinese best through a holistic approach, the purpose of this study was to determine to what extent Matteo Ricci embodies the techniques of contemporary educational anthropology and thereby provides an historical background for the discipline.^ Ricci's EA techniques in China were examined providing the standpoint for a comparative analysis of the discipline's methodological principles today. The analysis of the data indicated that there were seven Riccian methods with contemporary EA counterparts, three Riccian methods with no contemporary EA counterparts, and one contemporary EA method without a Riccian couanterpart.^ Matteo Ricci, therefore, could be considered a precursor of EA in that he was, by reason of this indoctrination in ADAPTATION, fully prepared, on entering China, to accept the Chinese "where they were"; in that he partially, but only partially, implemented the basic EA METHODOLOGY; and finally, in that, to a great extent, he implemented the DEFINITION of EA. ^