S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Religious Studies (종교학과) 종교와 문화(Religion and Culture) 종교와 문화(Religion and Culture) 10호(2004)
알레산드로 발리냐노(Alessandro Valignano)와 적응주의 선교 방식
Alessandro Valignano Went to the East Because…
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 종교문제연구소
- 종교와 문화, 10호, 2004, pp. 233-252
- Alessandro Valignano is more important than any other missionary in the history of the East Asian Church and culture including of our country's. Without Valignano there would have been no Matteo Ricci, no other Jesuit companions and no books written by them.
Their brilliant and controversial apostolate of science, philosophy and Christian faith in China was conceived and carried out through the desire, insight, imagination, determination and permission of Alessandro Valignano, Visitor to the East of the Society of Jesus. Valignano chose Ricci; decided
what he should study and how he would work. He affirmed Ricci's decision about the problem of translation and rites. Thus what was called 'the practices of Li Madou' by Kanxi emperor in the imperial rescript of 1706 was originally the way of Valignano.
The central question of the Chinese Rites Controversy is not whether this or that detail of the inculturation process was right or not, but how it came about that a group of mainly Italian Jesuits developed a policy of radical inculturation of the Christian faith into the Japanese and Chinese worlds in a period in which the tabula rosa approach had so far reigned supreme." We
deal with this central question (in part III), but before that we examine his life in general and then focus on his missionary methods particularly in Japan (in part II).
In summary, we looked at the life of Alessandro Valignano, focused on his mission policy and activity as Visitor to the East during first stay in Japan, and the elements and background of the radical accommodation policy. The first half of his life until the appointment as Visitor at the age of thirty four was influenced by classical Humanism and Jesuit spirituality. Through the second half, thirty three years until his death, he had a decisive role in shaping an innovative mission policy in East Asia.
As an example we considered his first stay in Japan. His mission concept, which was based on an open-minded and kind attitude toward the Japanese people and culture, was concretized through the establishment of colleges and the formulation of detailed practical guidelines entitled Advertimentos, both of which resulted from the Bungo consultation. In spite of the problem of adherence to authoritarian custom, his approach was undoubtedly pioneering and even revolutionary for his time.
We analyzed the elements and background of his dramatically innovative approach from multiple aspects. Valignano's policy was influenced not only by religious elements, such as the missiological model of Francis Xavier and the spiritual formation of identity as a Jesuit, but it was catalyzed also by socio-cultural variables comprising both the East Asian situation on the side of 'the Other' and the European background of the relationship between the Church and state on the side of the missionaries. As mission is both a religious and socio-cultural phenomenon, so Valignano's mission policy cannot be explained without considering multiple factors.
In conclusion, even viewed from the standpoint of today, four centuries after his death, he deserves to be called an example of cultural reconciliation and, in particular, of dialogue between Christianity and Confucianism. It is true that he neglected lower culture and ignored East Asian ethno-centrism. However, those problems including either European or Asian ethno-centrism has not been resolved until now.
It is also noteworthy that his open-minded perspective included opposition to Western political imperialism as well as cultural Europeanism. Valignano's consciousness remains the limit, though, in that he would not challenge East Asian autocratic order, authoritarian custom, and Japanese bellicosity or its illegal invasion of our country, Korea. Nonetheless, as is currently found in new liberalist policy, the problem of imperialistic expansion is not simple to grasp and not easy to solve.