Duplicitous Thieves: Ouyi Zhixu's Criticism of Jesuit Missionaries in Late Imperial China 狡辯的小偷: 蕅益智旭在帝制中國晚期對基督徒的批評

Beverley Foulks, Beverley Foulks
2008 Hwa Buddhist Journal   unpublished
This paper analyzes the anti-Christian writings of Ouyi Zhixu 蕅益智旭 (1599-1655)-who is recognized as one of the four great Buddhist masters of the Ming dynasty-that form his Collected Essays Refuting Heterodoxy (Pixie ji 闢邪集). I argue that Ouyi's polemical strategy differs from that of Zhuhong and other Buddhist writers in several respects, the most important being that Ouyi bases his arguments strictly on secular and Confucian grounds in order to preclude anyone criticizing his essays as
more » ... is essays as defensive or vitriolic. Ouyi identifies what he perceives to be a clear difference between Confucianism and Christianity: while the former locates morality and ethical responsibility within the individual, the latter portrays God as creating human nature and atoning for human sins through Jesus Christ. Ouyi not only amplifies this difference between Confucianism and Christianity, he also seeks to defend Buddhism against Jesuit criticism. I contend that Ouyi's anti-Christian writings play an important role for him as a Buddhist, enabling him to redress his attacks on Buddhism in his youth.