This essay explores the receptive potential of Evangelicae Historiae Imagines (Antwerp, 1593) in the context of Buddhist devotional culture in China. I argue that EHI, a meditative manual expounding the Jesuits’ exquisite methodology of visually oriented contemplation, could be eagerly received and fully functional among its Chinese audience, which was already familiar with a similar tradition drawn from the Sutra of the Contemplation of the Infinite-Age Buddha [ 觀無量壽經] (Guanwuliangshoujing) of Pure Land Buddhism. In 1637 the Jesuit missionary Giulio Aleni published Tianzhu Jiangsheng Chuxiang Jingjie [ 天主降生出像經解] (Explanation of the incarnation and life of the Heavenly Lord) in Fuzhou, Fujian province of southern China. Aleni’s book was a Chinese woodcut reproduction and translation of EHI. It was reprinted in multiple editions throughout the following centuries and circulated far beyond the southern Fujian province.
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