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BOOK REVIEWS213 seling are described in the fourteen chapters. Appended are notes on specifically Italian problems, on the form for medical examination, on the technique of compiling a scholastic form for guidance, and more than eight pages of bibliography, comprising works and articles not only published in Italy, but in America, England, France, Germany , too. The well-balanced presentation of the questions involved makes this book particularly valuable. One welcomes especially the reference to the necessity that man be considered in his totality, including not only his psycho-physical but also his spiritual nature. Rudolf Allers. Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C. Historia de las cosas más notables, ritos y costumbres del gran Reino de la China. By P. Juan González de Mendoza, O.S.A. Edition, introduction and notes by P. Felix Garcia, O.S.A. Collection España Misionera, Vol. II. Madrid: M. Aguilar, 1944. Pp. LII +396. This volume is a new, handy edition of a famous book on China, of a book which was the first comprehensive treatment of the country and the customs of the unknown Middle Kingdom. From the Franciscan standpoint, it is interesting because it spread the news of the missionary journeys of the Franciscans, Pedro de Alfaro (1579) and Martin Ignacio (1581) and their companions, in a few years all over the Western world. Juan González de Mendoza (1545-1618), its author, was a native of Torrecilla de Cameros in Spain, and went as a lad of eighteen to Mexico, where he soon joined the Augustinian order and began to study for the priesthood. Like many of his contemporaries, he developed a great interest in the mission prospects of the Far East. Through his monastery in Mexico many a famous traveler passed on his way to or from the Philippines, or even China, and Juan González studied their reports and discussed with them the unknown countries of the Pacific. Because he was so interested and informed, he was permitted to accompany in 1574 the Augustinian provincial, Diego de Herrera, who had just visited the Philippines, to Spain. Herrera's report resulted in a new mission of forty friars to the Philippines. Juan Gonzales would have liked to go along, but he had to stay behind to continue his studies at Salamanca and to serve as preacher at the famous monastery of San Felipe el Real. In 1580, after P. Martin de Rada's visit to China, the Spanish king decided upon an embassy to China to open up commercial relations 214BOOK REVIEWS and the way for preaching the Gospel to the Chinese. Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza was appointed ambassador. With two confreres he sailed to Mexico, but there he was retained and met with such serious obstacles that he returned to Spain personally to inform the king. But even there he no longer found sufficient assistance so that the idea of an embassy was soon abandoned. Nevertheless, he kept interested in China, and, encouraged by friends, notably Don Antonio de Padilla y Meneses, President of the Indies, and Pope Gregory XIII, he published in 1585 the results of his studies. The success of the book was phenomenal. Within 16 years it went through no less than 38 editions , and appeared in Spanish, Italian, French, English, Latin, Dutch, and German. Gonzalez's book is considered the first book of importance in the field of Sinology. Though its author was never in China and held opinions which have since proved false, he gives an honest and scientific account of that empire, treats its geography, its climate, its natural wealth, its religions and customs, its political institutions, as well as some new missionary journeys to China and other oriental countries. As sources he used besides older books like Marco Polo, written reports of travelers to China and their oral information. Though the book has its importance in the field of Sinology, it is primarily a mission book. Juan Gonzalez's principal aim was to tell the Christian world of a large, unknown country which was still faraway from Christ and untouched by the work of the missionary. Today the book is not only a classic of the Spanish language, but...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 213-214
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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