Body Meets Soul: Jesuit Approach and East Asian Response between the 16th and 19th Centuries
When Jesuit missionaries brought Western science to China in the 16th century, it was the anatomical and biological information about the human body that sparked a unique intellectual interest among East Asians. This shocked the traditional medical theories of the East, which in turn revealed the differences and similarities between the East and West in describing the human being. In contrast to previous research on the East Asian reception of Western medical history, these studies focus on the theoretical compromises made by East Asian intellectuals based on Confucianism and neo-Confucianism. In this panel, we will analyze the understanding of the human body, especially the brain and the five senses, in Jesuit texts such as Taixirenshen shuogai 泰西人身說槪, Xingxuecushu 性學觕述, and Zhuzhiqunzheng 主制群徵, one by one, and relate them to human values in the East and West.