News from the USCCA and the church in China

The Ricci Institute Relocates to Boston College


The Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, a highly regarded research center for the study of Chinese-Western cultural exchange, has moved to Boston College from the University of San Francisco (where it has been since its founding in 1984). The anticipated inauguration is February 2022.


The Ricci Institute is recognized as an international leader in the study of missionary history. Its early focus was the Jesuit missions from the 16th to the early 20th century and the history of Christianity in China. Under the leadership of the current director, the Rev. M. Antoni Ucerler, SJ, Ph.D., it has expanded its focus to include other societies in East Asia. The Ricci Institute will be co-led at Boston College by Dr. Xiaoxin Wu, director of research.


The Ricci Institute supports research in a wide range of interests, including Chinese and East Asian history, relations between east Asia and Europe, the mutual influence of China and Europe on each other, religion and cultural philosophies of the East and the West, and the impact of cultural exchange on the development of natural science, technology, astronomy, cartography, and medicine.


Fr. Ucerler notes that by moving to Boston College, the Ricci Institute will be able to take advantage of the opportunity to work closely with scholars at a major research university, as well as expanding ongoing connections with the Harvard Asia Center and the Yenching Institute, and Boston University’s Center for Global Christianity and Mission. Together, these institutions will house the world’s largest collection of research materials for scholars of Chinese-Western culture.


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