Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Richard Lufrano

Committee Members

Joseph Dauben

David Gordon

Thomas H.C. Lee

William Wooldridge

Subject Categories

Asian History


Christian, missionaries, Jesuits, China, Qing, Dynasty


This dissertation works to elucidate the long-term confusion over the identity of the Christian fathers in the early Qing court. The identity for which this dissertation argues is straightforward: Christian fathers were identified by the Kangxi emperor as his family slaves. The master-slave relationship has long been overlooked because it was overshadowed by an overwhelming focus on the Jesuit Adam Schall, who entered the Manchu court as a Chinese-style minister.

Shifting the focus from Schall, this dissertation starts by showing two seldom mentioned Jesuits, Ludovico Buglio and Gabriel de Magalhaens, who entered into Manchu service as slaves. It was, this dissertation shows, not Schall but Buglio, Magalhaens, and the network they built through their slave status that set the foundation for future Jesuits’ successful participation in the Manchu empire. With the master-slave relationship between Kangxi and the Christian fathers established, the fourth and fifth chapters examine Kangxi’s receptions of the two papal legations as family guests instead of as foreign embassies of state.

The identity of the Christian missionaries, this dissertation shows, determined both rise and fall of the Christian mission in the Kangxi and Yongzheng’s reigns.

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Asian History Commons