China, Japan and Christian Emissaries to Muslim Lands

James Morris*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores Christian–Muslim relations in East Asia during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through a description of the lives and journeys of three Roman Catholics–Petro Kasui Kibe (Jesuit), Nicholas the Iruman (Augustinian), and Bento de Góis (Jesuit)–to predominantly Muslim lands. Their journeys display the different ways in which Christian–Muslim relations and communication were viewed at that time, and the varying levels of impact that inter-religious dialogue had. Kibe appears to have placed little importance on Christian–Muslim relations and his journey to Jerusalem remains little more than an interesting historical footnote. Nicholas played a background role in the tale of his superiors and travel partners who helped to establish European–Persian relations. And de Góis, through his journey and interactions with Muslims, was able to contribute to a paradigmal shift in European geographical knowledge that changed contemporary understandings of East Asia. The article illustrates that, although Christian–Muslim relations at that time took an array of forms and had a variety of results, episodes from the East Asian mission field that have often been overlooked were highly influential in shaping the early modern world on a regional and global level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-191
Number of pages25
JournalIslam and Christian-Muslim Relations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 3
Externally publishedYes


  • Augustinians
  • Bento de Góis
  • Cathay
  • China
  • Japan
  • Jesuits
  • Persia
  • Petro Kasui Kibe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Political Science and International Relations


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