Joseph de Premare came to China from France in 1698 and worked as a missionary in Jiangxi until 1724 when he was banished to Canton by the Chinese government. While in exile at Canton, he composed the "Notitia Linguae Sinicae" a treatise on the structure of the Chinese language which formed the basis of academic sinology in Europe for more than a century, and was reprinted as late as 1893. In this study, Knud Lundbaek provides a comprehensive picture of Premare's philological and theological ideas, prominent among which was the concept of "figurism". The book also describes the intellectual milieu in which de Premare moved, including other famous figurist Jesuit scholars such as Joachim Bouvet and Jean-Francois Foucquet. This biography is a contribution to the history of European sinology as well as to the study of China's relations with the West.
Publisher: Aarhus University Press