I. Sixteenth to seventeenth centuries: Writings by Christians in China include letters, essays and treatises, dialogues, poetry, prefaces and memoirs. Amongst these should be noted:
1. The letter of Antonio China (Chinese companion of Francis Xavier), written from Cochin, 1554. Gives the full story of Xavier's last months, although written two years after Xavier's death. Original in Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu II, 894-6; many parts of text translated in St. Francis Xavier by James Broderick, London 1952, 524-526. Other writings of his appear in Documenta Indica (M.M.S.J.), II 454f., Schurhammer's Quellen zur Geschichte Portugiesich-Asiens, 6039-6144, Francis Zavier: His Life , His Times, IV, 640 ff., and Monumenta Xaveriana, 787 ff., 894 ff.
- Francis Xavier's China letters are given in Schurhammer 1944-5, and in Costelloe, 1993.
2. Li Zhizao (Li Chih Tsao) (c.1540-1630) completed the Tien-hsueh chu han 1966, a collection of writings by the Jesuits and their colleagues, concerning Christianity and science. Li also wrote many prefaces for the Jesuit writings which he edited. Others who also contributed to these include Xu Xuchen, Zhang Wendao and Yang Ting Yun (below).
3. Yang Tingyun (1557-1627) was both a Neo-Confucian scholar and an orthodox Christian and his works are central to the dialogue between Neo-Confucianism and Christianity. His writings, from the years 1617-1627, include:
- Tianshi Mingbian (Clear Discussion on [the teaching of] Heaven and Buddhism), n.d., last printed in Tianxhujiao dongchuan wenxian xubian (TDWX I.229-417) 1966.
- Xiaoluan bu bingming shuo (The Owl and the Phoenix do not sing together), n.d., TDWX I.37-47.
- Daiyi pian (Treatise to Supplant Doubts) 2 juan 1621. Tianxhujiao dongchuan wenxian 1965.
- Daiyi xupian (Sequel to "Treatise to Supplant Doubts") 2 juan, 1963. Courant 1912, 7111-7112.
- Dushi ping (Commentaries [after] Having Read History) 4 juan, 1622.
- Shengshui jiyan (Recorded words [of the Society] of the Holy Water) compiled by Sun Xueshi. Courant 1912, 6845.
A full study of Yang's life and thought is provided by Standaert, 1988.
4. Li Jiubiao and Li Jiugong (fl. 1630) compiled
- Koude Richao (Diary of Oral Exhortations) c. 1640, recording the Teachings of the Jesuits Rudomina and Aleni, and
- Lixiu Yijian (A Mirror to Encourage Self-improvement) c. 1644, Fujian. A compilation of stories, teachings and events chosen to show the divine power at work. See Michele Boin's "When the Twain met ... (Itenerario VIII.I 1984, 58-76).
5. Hsu Kuang-chi (Xu Guangqi, d. 1633) was one of the most prolific of seventeenth century Christian writers, not only expounding aspects of Christianity and Confucianism but also the responsibilities of government for peasant welfare and reform, agricultural methods and scientific processes. The main sources for his religious and political thought are found in:
- Hsu Kuang-ch'i chi (The Collected Writings of Xu Guangqi) edited by Wang Zhong-min. Peking, 1963, 2 vols.
- Hsu Wen-ting kung chia-shu mo-chi (Facsimile Reproductions of Hsu Kuang-ch'i's Family Letters). Taipei, 1962.
- Pien-hsueh chang shu (Memorial Written to Defend the Teachings  of T'ien) translated in The Chinese Repository, Canton, 19(3), 1850, 118-135.
- Hsu-shih pao-yen (Kitchen Talks of Mr Hsu), 1617+ Shanghai, Zikawei Cathedral Collections, 1933), 5 chuan.
- P'i-wang (Refuting Heterodoxy), in T'ien-chu-chiao tung-chuan wen-hsien hsu-pien, vol. 2, 1625-28.
Other writings on political and economic issues are included in Huang-Ming ching-shih wen pien (Collected Essays on Statecraft under the Ming Dynasty) edited by Ch'en Tzu-lung (1608-1647), published in 1638. A concise study of Hsu's work is given in Young 1983.
6. Xu Candida 1607-1680 (Grand-daughter of Xu Guangqi.) Her life, including extracts from her letters and conversation, is given fully by Philippus Couplet in his Histoire d'une dame Chretienne de la Chine (Paris, 1688). This narrates her founding of thirty churches, two congregations of women catechists and also of orphanages, her extensive work for the poor and in support of missionaries. Her son Basil composed a work of several volumes which has not survived.
7. Lo Wenzao (1615-1690, baptised Gregory Lopez). The first Chinese Roman Catholic Bishop to be consecrated (1685), and a Dominican supporter of the Jesuit approach to ancestral rites. His principal writings on these were:
- Tractatus de cultu Confucio et parentibus mortuis a Sinis exhibito. First written in Chinese in December 1681, revised and enlarged edition published in Shanghai, Church of the Jesuit Fathers, 1686, later translated into Latin.
- Four letters in Latin which are extant from the years 1682-85: to Philip Couplet S.J., to Pope Innocent XI, to the Cardinals of the Congregation de Propaganda and to the Master of the Dominican Order.
See especially Moule 1921/1964.
Chinese Christians in this period who were widely known as poets, include:
8. Wei I-chieh (1616-1686). His poems appear in a number of anthologies, most recently in the 1960 edition of Ching-shih to, edited by Chang Ying-ch'ang (1790-1874) re-printed in Beijing (Chung-huya shu-chu, 1983).
9. Wu Li, alias Wu Yu-shan (1632-1718). An acknowledged master of early Ch'ing dynasty painting who also pioneered a Chinese Christian poetry which used traditional forms to express orthodox Christian theology. This is found in:
Wu Yu-shan yen-chiu Lun-chi (Collection of Wu Yu-shan's Admonitions), edited by Chou Kang-hsieh (Hong Kong, Chung-wen Bookstore, 1971). Includes the "Compendium of Orthodox Sounds of Heavenly Music", probably Wu's greatest work, first printed in 1950.
Mo-ching chi (Inkwell Anthology), edited by Li Ti. Shanghai, Hsu-chia-hui [Zikawei] Press, 1909.
Mo-ching shih-ch'ao (Inkwell Poetry) in Hsiao-shih shan-fang ts'ung-shu (Pebble Cottage Series) edited by Ku Hsiang, 1874.
The most recent study of Wu Li giving also his collected poetry is that of Chaves 1993.
10. Zhang Xingyao (1633-c.1725). A senior licentiate of the literati, whose writing shows the compatibility of Neo-Confucianism with the "Lord of Heaven Teaching from the Far West". His principal writings are:
- Tongjian jishi benmo buhoubian (Supplement to the History of the Comprehensive Mirror) 50 juan, 1690.
- Shengjiao zanming (Inscriptions in Praise of the Sage Teaching/Christianity) 38 poems, c.1680. MS (Biblioteque National, Paris).
- Tianjiao Rujiao tongyi kao (Examination of the Similarities and Differences between the Heavenly Teaching and the Literati Teaching). 3 juan, 1672-1715. MS (Zikawei Library, Shanghai).
- Sidian shuo (Discussion of Sacrificial Rites). c.1685. MS (Jesuit Archive, Rome).
- (with Ding Yuntai) Tianjiao mingbian (Clearly distinguishing the Heavenly Teaching [from heterodoxy]), 1711.
- with Hong Ji, Pi Lueshuo tiaobo (abridged Refutation of Disputable Points [with Buddhists]). Hangzhou, 1689.
A full study of Zhang's life and work is given in Mungello. 1994.
11. Among other writings by literati contemporaries of Zhang, are Shengjiao xinzheng (Evidence of Christain Faith) by Hanlin and Zhang Geng, 1647, the Tianxue chuan 'gai (Summary of the Spread of the Heavenly teaching) ed. by Li Zubo et al., in 1664. (Reprinted in TDWX II, 1966.)
Those of Yan Mo (d. c.1720) are extensive, including:
- Ditiankao (Investigation into the Concepts of Lord and Heaven) c.1685). Argues from Chinese classical sources, that 'tien' and 'shang-ti' are sacred names of the Christian God.
- Bianji (Discerning Sacrifices) c.1693 (and its sequel Bianji houzhi, 1695) which counter arguments against their practice.
Five detailed studies of the basis, history and validity of rites honouring ancestors:
- Jizuokao (Investigation into Ancestral Worship), Kaoyi (Investigation into Doubts), Lishi tiaowen (Successive Questions of Fr. Li), Miaocikao (Ancestral Temple and Shrine), and Muzhukao (Investigation into the ancestral Tablet).
These and a number of letters were occasioned by the condemnation of all such rites, after 1695, but cannot be individually dated. See Standaert, 1995.
The Tian Ru yin (Comparison of the Heavenly and Literati Teachings) was written in 1664 by Shang Weitang (Huquig) in collaboration with Li Andang (Caballero a Santa Maria) who also wrote Zhengxue Liushi (Touchstone of True Learning) 1698. (TDWX II, 1966 and TDWX I, 1972.)
Other writings by Chinese authors of the period are collected in Tien-chu-chiao tung-ch'uan wen-hsien (A Collection of Writings of Catholicism's Orient Mission), 3 volumes, compiled by Wu Hsiang-hsiang. Taipei, Hsueh-sheng, 1964, 1966-7, 1972; also in Li Chih Tsao's First Anthology of Christian Learnings. Courant, 1912.
12. The principal writings of Li-Ma-Tou (Matteo Ricci, 1552-1610) in collaboration with Feng Yingqing, Li Qizhao and others, include:
Chi-jen shih-pien (Jiren Shipian) Ten Essays on Exceptional men; Chiao-yu lun (Jiaoyou Lun) On Friendship; and Erh-shih-wu-yen (Ershiwu yan) The Twenty-five sayings - all in T'ien-hsueh ch'u-han (First Anthology of Christian Learnings) 1595 edition, compiled by Li Zhizao. Reprinted Taipei, Hsueh-sheng, 1916, 6 volumes; French translation in Jacques 1938.
T'ien-chu shih-i (Tianzhu shiyi) The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, first printed in 1603, at Beijing, largely written (as The True Record of the Lord of Heaven) between 1579-1584. First complete English translation published in bilingual edition by the Ricci Institute (Taipei-Paris-HongKong,1985) as Varietes Sinologiques - Nouvelle Series, No. 27. This dialogue on Christian faith in the context of Chinese culture had wide influence throughout East Asia in succeeding centuries.
Bianxue yidu (Letters on Buddhism and Christianity) in Tianxue chuhan 2, 1966, 637-687.
Ricci's memoirs were issued by Nicholas Trigault (1576-1628) in De Christiana expeditione apud sinas (Augustae Vindekorum 1615), French edition in 1618 (Paris, P. le-Mur). English version in Luis J. Gallagher 1953
13. Writings of Ricci's more eminent Jesuit colleagues or successors in the 16th and 17th centuries include:
i) The letters and instructions of Alessandro Valignano (1539-1606), written in Macao 1578-79, listed in Schutte 1985.
ii) Michele Ruggieri 1543-1607. Letters, and poems in Chinese (Monumenta Serica v.41 (1993), as well as the early Chinese Catechism in dialogue form which he composed with assistants, printed in Macau in 1584.
iii) Alfonso Vagnone (d. 1640) Tianzhu jiaoyao jielue (Explanation of the Essentials of the Teaching of the Master of Heaven), 1615; Tianzhu shijie jielue (Explanation of the Ten Commandments of the Master of Heaven), n.d.; Simo Lun (On the Four Utmosts, 1624.
iv) Adam Schall (1591-1666) Historica Relatio de ortu et progressu fidei orthodoxae in regno Chinensi (Ratisbon, August Hanckwitz, 1672), and Lettres et memoires d'Adam Schall edited by Henri B. Maitre (Tientsin, Hautes Etudes, 1942).
v) R.P. Gabriel de Magaillans, S.J. (fl. 1640) Nouvelle relation de la Chine, contenant la description des particularites les plus considerables de ce grand empire (Paris, Claude Barlin, 1688).
vi) Giulio Aleni (d. 1649) Dizui zhenggui (Correct Rules of Confession), n.d.; Xixue fan (Account of Western Studies), 1623; Zhifang waiji (Record of Areas beyond the Tribute States), 1623; Sanshan lunxue ji (Record of the Discussions about the Teaching in Sanshan) 1627; The Dialogues with Buddhists at Hangzhou, TDWX II, 1966; (with Ding Zhilin) Yang Xiansheng chaoxing shiji (Achievements of the Surpassing Nature of Yang Xiansheng), n.d.
vii) Ferd. Verbiest (1623-88) Pu-Te-i-Pien (A Rebuttal of the 'I could not do otherwise'). A debate in two parts, co-authored by Luis Buglio, establishing the Jesuit understanding of the Master of Tien (Peking, 1665-70).
viii) Intorcetta, Prospero (1625-1696) Compendiosa narratio de statu Missiionis Chinensis Abanno 1581 usque ad annum 1669 (Rome, 1672). MS also in Biblioteca Nazionale de Napoli.
ix) Martini, Martino De bello Tartarico historia (Antwerp, 1654), and Novus atlas Sinensis (Amsterdam, 1655). (In Joannis Bleau's The Theatrum orbis terrarum sive novus atlas.)
Annual letters for the Jesuits in China are collected in Dehergre 1980.
14. Together with the volumes listed under (11) above, other sources of valuable studies include:
Alvaro Semmedo (1585-1685?) Imperio de la Chine: i cultura evangelica en el, por los religios de la companhia de Jesus. Madrid, I. Sanchez, 1642.
D. Fernando de Navarrete, O.P. (1618-1686) Tratados historicos politicos ethicos y religiosos de la monarchia de Chine. Madrid, Juan Garcia Infancon, 1676.
Luis Pfister Notices biographiques and bibliographiques sur les Jesuites de l'ancienne mission de Chine 1552-1773. Chang Hai, 1932-34, 2 volumes; Nendlen-Lieschenstein, Kraus Reprint, 1971, 2 volumes.
Le Gobien, Charles Histoire de l'edit de l'empereur de la Chine en favour de la Religion Chretienne. Paris, 1698.
II. Eighteenth century
Apart from the later writings of Zhang Xingyao, Yan Mo and Wu Li (above) few other Chinese Christian writings appear to have survived from the eighteenth century, when there were severe persecutions. Those extant include:
15. Andrew Ly (Li) 1692-1774. Journal d'Andre Ly, Pretre Chinois, Missionaire et Notaire Apostolique 1746-1763. Introduction by A. Launay. Hong Kong, 1924. In mss the journal fills 831 pages of fluent Latin. In a time of persecution, Ly laments the dearth of indigenous clergy, and records the racist attitudes of expatriates.
Between the years 1746-1762 Ly also wrote (in Chinese) a treatise on the Seven Deadly Sins, Catechisms on the Eucharist and Extreme Unction, a critical study of Chinese 'superstitions', a Mirror of the Virtues of good Servants (1762), and revised a three-volume book of Meditations on the Gospel composed by a Jesuit in 1620 (1747).
In addition, he collected and translated into Chinese, verse, many hymns, prayers and other liturgical texts (1747 and 1753). Refer Olichon 1933.
16. Pierre Cibot (fl. 1770), a Chinese Jesuit, countered Voltaire's elevation of Chinese virtues over against Judaism or Christianity, by presenting Biblical roots for Chinese civilization in his Essai sur l'antiquite des chinois, Paris, c.1777.
17. The work of Ricci was continued into this century, notably by
Kilian Stumpf (d. 1720) "Acta Pekinensia" etc.
Foucquet, Jean Francis (1665-1741), in Chung-kuo ching pen yu-t'ien (Chinese classics come from Heaven) (BAV, Rome. Borg.cin 380 (5), c.1712); I-Ching Tsung-shuo (Commentary on the I-Ching) (Bav, Rome. Borg.cin 317 (3), c.1714); New Chronological table of Chinese History (in Latin). Rome, 1729 and Augsberg, 1746.
Foucquet's letters appear in Lettres edifiantes (below), and other essays upon T'ai chi, the I-Ching, and Yin and Yang are extant.
Guiseppe Castighone (painter) mid 18th cent.
Amongst other French Jesuits:
Premare (ca.1666-1734) wrote in fluent Chinese, pamphlets used by both Protestants and Catholics, as well as the lexicon Notitia
Antoine Gaubil (d. 1759) translated Tang Annals, a life of Ghenghis Khan, and the Shu Ching, and wrote many treatises on scientific and theological subjects.
J.A.M. de Moyriac de Mailla wrote the extensive Histoire Generale de la Chine in 3 volumes (Paris 1777-1780), Francois Noel translated Mencius (c.1705) and Joseph M. Amiot prepared a Vita Confucii (c.1760)
18. For this period further sources are contained in:
Lettres edifiantes et curieuses ed. by Charles Le Gobien and J.B. du Halde, 26 volumes, (Paris, 1707-1772), (reprinted 1814, 1829-1832, 1943, 1879.);
Memoires concernant l'histoire, les sciences, les arts, les moeurs, les usages, etc. des Chinois, par les missionaires de Pekin, 17 volumes, (Paris, 1718-1793).
Sinica Franciscana by Anastaas van deen Wyngaert and others, 8 volumes, (Florence/Rome, 1929-1975).
19. Reports and letters written by members of the Russian Orthodox mission in Peking, in the 18th century, include those of Filofei Leszczynski (b. 1650), Innokentii Kulchitsku (b. 1680), Antonii Platkovskii (fl. 1720-1740), Vasilii Bratishchev (in Peking 1765-), Gervasii Lintsevsku (1745-1755), Ambrosii Yumatov (1755-1771), Archimandrite Nikolai (1771-1781) and Irakiin Shishkovskii (1781-1794).
20. Amongst 'non-Christian' sources which include Christian elements, the Shen Hsien T'ung Chien, a Taoist work written c.1700, and published in 1787 includes an account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (Chinese Repository 18, (1850), 498-502.
Chaves, Jonathan Singing the Source - Nature and God in the Poetry of the Chinese Painter Wu Li. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1993.
Costelloe, M. Joseph (tr. & introd.) The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier. Anand Gujurat, Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1993.
Courant, M. Catalogue des Livres Chinois etc. Paris, 1912.
Criveller, Gianni Preaching Christ in Late Ming China. Taipei, Ricci Institute and Brescia, Fondazione Civilta, 1997.
Dehergre, Joseph Les lettres annuelles des missions jesuits de Chine au temps des Ming 1581-1644. Roma, Institute Historique de la Compagnie de Jesus, 1980.
Gallagher, Luis J. (tr.) China in the Sixteenth century: the Journals of Matthew Ricci, 1583-1610. New York, Random House, 1953.
Jacques, Ch. Choix de lettres edifiantes. Brussels, 1838, vol. II.
Li Zhizao (Tianzue chuchan) First Anthology of Christian Learnings. 6 vols. Taipei, Hsueh-sheng, 1966.
Moule, A.C. "Gregory Lopez, Bishop" in New China Review (Shanghai) vol. I, 480-487, 1919, and Vol. III, 138-9, 1921. (Reprinted Taipei, 1964).
Mungello, D.E. The Forgotten Christians of Hangzhou. Honolulu, University of Hawaii, 1994.
Olichon, A. Aux Origines du Clerge Chinois: Le Pretre Andre Ly. Paris, 1933.
Schurhammer, George (ed.) Epistolae S. Francisci Xavierii aliaque euis scripta. Roma, Historical Institute of the Society of Jesus, 1944-45, vol. II.
Schutte, Joseph F. Valignano's Mission Principles for Japan. Anand, Gujurat Sahitya Prakash, 1985, vol. I, 401-428.
Standaert, Nicholas The Fascinating God. Rome, 1995.
------ Yang Ting Yun - Confucian and Christian in Late Ming China. Leiden, Brill, 1988.
------ et al. Chinese Christian Texts from the Zikawei Library. 5 vols. Taipei, Fujen Catholic University, 1996.
TDW - Documents on the Spread of Catholicism to the East. Taipei, 1965, 471-631.
TDWX - Second Collection of Documents on the Spread of Catholicism to the East. 3 vols. Taipei, 1966.
Young, John D. Confucianism and Christianity - The First Encounter. Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 1983.