Angelo Zottoli, a Jesuit Missionary in China (1848 to 1902) : His Life and Ideas

This book offers a study of the cosmogonic works by Fr. Angelo Zottoli S.J., a Jesuit missionary who has received relatively little attention by modern scholars, but who deserves a special recognition for his theological and philosophical ideas. More generally, the book aims to shed light on the importance of cosmogony in the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary environment of Xujiahui, the area in modern Shanghai where Zottoli flourished. It shows how through Zottoli’s teaching and sermons he was able to reimagine his own cosmogonic ideas, his personality, and his relationship with local Chinese converts. Among Zottoli’s most famous students was Ma Xiangbo ( 1840-1939) and Zottoli played a crucial role in Ma’s intellectual formation. A wider familiarity with Zottoli’s works is not only interesting in and of itself, but also paves the way to future studies on the complex and multifaceted relationship between European missionaries and Chinese students in Shanghai during the nineteenth century.