Asia in the Making of Europe: v. 3: A Century of Advance
Asia in the Making of Europe traces European encounters with Asia, and the ways in which those encounters have altered the development of western society, art, literature, science, and religion since the Renaissance. In doing so, this work provides a much-needed perspective necessary for a balanced view of European and Asian history. A Century of Advance, the third volume of this monumental work, is devoted to the seventeenth century. Donald F. Lach and Edwin Van Kley have researched virtually all the writings on Asia published in Europe at this time, in an effort to understand how contemporaries saw Asian societies and peoples. During this century, more and better information became available as merchants and missionaries pushed deeper into the interiors of the Asian lands previously known only on their peripheries. While conducting commerce and spreading Christianity, westerners discovered Manchuria, Korea, Tibet, Formosa, and Australia; they also learned much more than their predecessors about Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism and about their importance in Asian life. Their countrymen, eager for news from the East, read of their exploits in the widely published Jesuit letterbooks, mission reports, and merchant travelogues. These sources are valuable to modern scholars for the insights they provide on the development of European culture. They also provide details of everyday life not included in native Asian sources, and aspects of Asian culture that have passed out of existence and thus are unfamiliar to modern scholars. The authors' extraordinarily detailed and insightful readings of the documents of discovery, contribute greatly to a more balanced understanding of Asian history, in addition to deepening our understanding of this critical era in European history.