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The Jesuits knew that their scientific skills helped their religious goals. Johann Adam Schall von Bell, SJ (1592-1666) became famous throughout China.

Paris was a key center in the republic of letters. Many scientific and philosophical books were published here.

Semedo reached China in 1613 and died there in 1658. Between 1640 and 1644 he visited Europe to describe the Jesuit missionary work.

Descartes described Athanasius Kircher, S.J. (1602-1680) as “more quicksalver than savant”, others “the premodern root of postmodern thinking.” Kircher also collated writings about China.