This paper attempts to expand on the scholarship surrounding the Jesuit strategy of cultural accommodation in China by Father Matteo Ricci by examining the influence of Chinese intellectual traditions on its inception and development. It incorporates the works of Zhu Xi, Matteo Ricci, and Philippe Couplet among others to establish a connection between the native Chinese traditions of syncretism and anti-heterodox scholarship, the process of cultural exchange between the Jesuits and the Chinese literati, and the translation and transmission of Chinese ideas to Europe in the late 16th and 17th centuries. This paper also uses this common thread to explain the absence of Daoism from European thought until the 19th century.

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in History

Date of Award

Winter 12-18-2020