Dialogo è accettare l'altro come è e come egli stesso si definisce e si presenta a noi, di non cessare di essere se stessi mentre ci si confronta con il diverso, di essere consapevoli che la nostra identità esce arricchita e non sminuita da chi di questa identità non accetta alcuni elementi, magari anche quelli che noi riteniamo fondamentali. La riconciliazione è possibile, tra i cristiani e nella compagnia degli uomini. (Enzo Bianchi, priore della Comunità di Bose)

Mission Arts Exhibit Commemorates Anniversary of Ricci’s Death

The University of San Francisco is commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of Matteo Ricci, Jesuit pioneer of inculturation, with an exhibition that brings together missionary and secular art, artifacts, and books from the Spanish Pacific Empire. The exhibit, “Galleons and Globalization: California Mission Arts and the Pacific Rim,” spans the 16th to 19th centuries, when the Spanish influence predominated.

The artifacts and art on display at USF’s Thacher Gallery illustrate the ways that East and West met from the very beginnings of the Spanish settlements in what are now California, Mexico and Central America.

“Then as now, the whole world ended up in California,” said museum curator Jesuit Father Thomas Lucas, USF professor of art and architecture. “Drawing from trade documents, historical accounts, early maps, and local lore, the exhibition speaks to the pluralism that defines what it means to be Californian.”

The exhibit presents more than 125 objects that exemplify the cultural interchange among missions in the Philippines, Macau, China, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, Baja and Alta California. The artifacts are on loan from the California Missions and 32 museums and private collections.

The exhibit emphasizes the Jesuits’ missionary work in Japan and China as well as the Americas. The interplay is highlighted by artifacts such as a Japanese language dictionary printed in Mexico City that “points to the Jesuits profound interest in engaging cultures other than their own not only for evangelization but to learn from their contacts about the world,” Fr. Lucas said.

“What the Jesuits did better than anyone else is they engaged the cultures they found. They engaged at high levels,” said Fr. Lucas, noting that Fr. Ricci translated Confucius into Latin and Euclid into Mandarin. “He was able to reach the very highest level of culture, which of course the Chinese appreciated.”

The exhibit is complemented by a display of imprints from Japan, China, the Philippines, Mexico and Peru. A scholarly conference, “Legacies of the Book: Early Missionary Printing in Asia and the Americas” will take place September 24-26, 2010. [ Catholic San Francisco ]



16 settembre 2010